Papers from the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology Conferences

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Despite an increase in interracial or mixed marriages (intermarriages) globally, the experiences of couples in such marriages are generally under-researched, particularly within psychology. Using a cultural psychological framework and qualitative methods, this paper studies the psychosocial experiences of couples in intermarriages. It focuses on four South Asians in ethnically intermarriages in two settings: two Indian-origin men married to native Danish women in Denmark, and two Indian-origin women married to Euro-American men in Canada. Data from in-depth interviews were subjected to a thematic analysis yielding an array of themes, of which this paper presents the two most dominant themes across the two contexts: ‘transnationalism’ and ‘racialized experiences in social situations’. The results demonstrate that the participants lived transnational lives to varying degrees depending on their gender, socio-economic status and age, which in turn intersected with variables such as the nature of the transnational relationships they were attempting to sustain, and their own motivations and agency in maintaining these ties. While in some cases participants maintained a high level of contact with India through visits and digital technology, others kept up limited ongoing contact with the country of origin. Furthermore, varying racialized experiences emerged from the narratives, with differences in how these experiences were interpreted. While some participants recognized them as racial discrimination, others chose to rationalize these experiences in various ways. After offering an account of these results, the paper reflects briefly on the implications of these findings.

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