Interracial Couples, Intimacy, and Therapy

Crossing Racial Borders

Kyle D. Killian

Columbia University Press

Interracial Couples, Intimacy, and Therapy

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Pub Date: September 2013

ISBN: 9780231132954

280 Pages

Format: Paperback

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Pub Date: September 2013

ISBN: 9780231132947

280 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $120.00£93.00

Pub Date: September 2013

ISBN: 9780231536479

280 Pages

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List Price: $39.99£30.00

Interracial Couples, Intimacy, and Therapy

Crossing Racial Borders

Kyle D. Killian

Columbia University Press

Grounded in the personal narratives of twenty interracial couples with multiracial children, this volume uniquely explores interracial couples' encounters with racism and discrimination, partner difference, family identity, and counseling and therapy. It intimately portrays how race, class, and gender shape relationship dynamics and a partner's sense of belonging. Assessment tools and intervention techniques help professionals and scholars work effectively with multiracial families as they negotiate difference, resist familial and societal disapproval, and strive for increased intimacy. The book concludes with a discussion of interracial couples in cinema and literature, the sensationalization of multiracial relations in mass media, and how to further liberalize partner selection across racial borders.
This comprehensive, up-to-date book captures the realities of today's interracial couples via authentic and compelling narratives and is a landmark reference for seasoned scholars and practitioners, as well as for students in the social sciences and clinical professions. Peter Fraenkel, City College of New York and Ackerman Institute's Center for Work and Family
Without fear, Kyle D. Killian inquires into the lives of interracial couples, inviting readers to appreciate how race relations unavoidably makes its way into the most intimate spaces. Adopting a strengths-oriented approach, his book wonderfully weaves history, couple formation, human development theory, family systems approaches, and social constructionist psychotherapy approaches to illuminate interracial couples' lived experience. It is a must addition in counseling psychology, couples therapy, and multicultural counseling courses and a welcome addition to undergraduate courses in family and human development. Gonzalo Bacigalupe, Director, Family Therapy Program, University of Massachusetts Boston
Killian connects the experiences of twenty interracial couples to literature, cinema, and the intersections of culture, race, gender, and class. Contending that moving beyond silence about race can be transformative, he provides ways that professionals can help interracial couples make sense of their experiences of marginalization, find their voice, and reauthor their family identities in life-enhancing ways. This emancipatory book is for all those who support and celebrate relationships that may not fit society's conventions. Fred P. Piercy, Editor, Journal of Marital and Family Therapy
Killian has made a major contribution to the scholarly literature on multiracialism in the twenty-first century, providing a means to affirm interracial intimacy while reinforcing, rather than rejecting or retiring, an anti-racist political project. This book should be required reading for all those in the helping professions struggling to understand better the matrix of race, gender, class, and sexuality in and beyond their clinical practice. To the extent that they are animated by a desire to live and love in a more just and equal world, rather than a 'free market,' this learned study should appeal to academic and general audiences alike. Jared Sexton, University of California, Irvine
Killian does an excellent job of discussing the intersections of race, gender, and socioeconomic factors as they affect the development and progression of intimate relationships in the lives of his participants... A strong contribution to the literature on working therapeutically with such couples and to the broader literature on multiracial families. PsycCRITIQUES
Acknowledgments
Introduction. What Interracial Couples Can Tell Us
Significance of the Book
Unpacking Basic Concepts: Race
Interracial in the Age of Obama: The Impact of Color-Blind and "Postracial" Discourses
The Politics of Voice: A Note from the Author
The Couples
1. Racialized Bodies and Borders in the United States
Defining and Demarcating Borders
Interracial Borders from the Sixteenth Century to the Present
Trends in Black–White Intermarriage
Race and Sex Differences in Marriage Rates: The "Marriage Squeeze"
Interracial Mate-Selection Theories
Summary
2. Crossing a Black-and-White Border: Choosing the Other
Attraction and Falling in Love
Partners' Reactions to Differences
Is There Any Difference?
Negotiating Differences in Axes of Power to Establish a Couple Identity
In Black and White: The Border of Race
He Said
Summary
3. Crossing Community Borders: Families of Origin
Social Support and Resistance to the Relationship
Strategies of Coping with Reactions
Multiracial Couples and Social Networks
Partner Sensitivity to Racism: The Community Context
Summary
4. A Nexus of Borders: The Next Generation
The Next Generation and Their Opportunities
A Persistent Question: "What About the Children?"
Intersections of Gender and Race
Intersections of Race and Class
White Male and Female Partners
About Difference: Social and Political Dimensions
Happy Together? Processes Contributing to Couple Identity Formation
Couple Identities and Negotiation Styles
Summary
5. Raising (and Erasing) Difference: Dominant and Marginalized Discourses in Interracial Couples' Narratives
What Is Discourse Analysis?
The Discourse of Homogamy
The Discourse of Hypersensitivity
The Discourse of History's Insignificance
What These Findings Say About Multiracial Couples
An Overarching Discourse of "No Race Talk"
Summary
6. Systemic Interventions with Interracial Couples
The Art of Drawing Distinctions Instead of Conclusions
What Couples Said About Therapy
Couples Who Might Present for Therapy
Specific Assessments and Interventions
A Narrative Approach to Therapy with Multiracial Couples
Summary
7. (Re)presentations of Interracial Couples in Cinema
Cinema and Literature: Racial Logics and the Hegemonic Aesthetics of Intimacy
Interracial Couples' Own Depictions of Their Intimate Relations
Reflecting on the Research and the Researcher: Integrating the Interview Process
Are Interracial Couples Different from Intraracial Couples?
Salience of Identities: Under Which Conditions
Notes
Appendix A. Summary of Participant Information
Appendix B. Assessment Inventories
Appendix C. Directions for Scoring the Assessment Inventories
Appendix D. Resources for Interracial Couples and Multiracial Families and Individuals
References
Index

Read the introduction to Interracial Couples, Intimacy, and Therapy

About the Author

Kyle D. Killian, Ph.D., LMFT, is associate professor and scholar at the Centre for Refugee Studies at York University, Toronto. A licensed couple and family therapist, he has published books, articles, and chapters on interracial and intercultural couples, immigrant and refugee families, and trauma and resilience. Interculturally married, he lives with his wife, Anna, and their two trilingual sons.