He is either an European or the descendant of an European; hence that strange mixture of blood, which you will find in no other country. I could point out to you a family whose grandfather was an Englishman, whose wife was Dutch, whose son married a French woman, and whose present four sons have now four wives of different nations.
He is an American, who, leaving behind him all his ancient prejudices and manners, receives new ones from the new mode of life he has embraced, the new government he obeys, and the new rank he holds The Americans were once scattered all over Europe; here they are incorporated into one of the finest systems of population which has ever appeared. John de Crevecoeur, Letters from an American Farmer In , Ralph Waldo Emerson , alluding to the development of European civilization out of the medieval Dark Ages , wrote in his private journal of America as the Utopian product of a culturally and racially mixed " smelting pot", but only in were his remarks first published.
In his writing, Emerson explicitly welcomed the racial intermixing of whites and non-whites, a highly controversial view during his lifetime. A magazine article in used the metaphor explicitly: The fusing process goes on as in a blast-furnace ; one generation, a single year even—transforms the English, the German, the Irish emigrant into an American.
Uniform institutions, ideas, language, the influence of the majority, bring us soon to a similar complexion; the individuality of the immigrant, almost even his traits of race and religion, fuse down in the democratic alembic like chips of brass thrown into the melting pot. In his essay The Significance of the Frontier in American History , he referred to the "composite nationality" of the American people, arguing that the frontier had functioned as a " crucible " where "the immigrants were Americanized, liberated and fused into a mixed race, English in neither nationality nor characteristics".
In his travel narrative The American Scene , Henry James discusses cultural intermixing in New York City as a "fusion, as of elements in solution in a vast hot pot". Here you stand, good folk, think I, when I see them at Ellis Island, here you stand in your fifty groups, your fifty languages, and histories, and your fifty blood hatreds and rivalries. But you won't be long like that, brothers, for these are the fires of God you've come to—these are fires of God.
A fig for your feuds and vendettas! God is making the American. Vera is an idealistic settlement house worker and David is a composer struggling to create an "American symphony" to celebrate his adopted homeland. Together they manage to overcome the old world animosities that threaten to separate them. But then David discovers that Vera is the daughter of the Tsarist officer who directed the pogrom that forced him to flee Russia.
Horrified, he breaks up with her, betraying his belief in the possibility of transcending religious and ethnic animosities. However, unlike Shakespeare's tragedy, there is a happy ending. At the end of the play the lovers are reconciled. There she lies, the great Melting-Pot—Listen! Can't you hear the roaring and the bubbling? There gapes her mouth, the harbor where a thousand mammoth feeders come from the ends of the world to pour in their human freight".
David foresees how the American melting pot will make the nation's immigrants transcend their old animosities and differences and will fuse them into one people: "Here shall they all unite to build the Republic of Man and the Kingdom of God. Ah, Vera, what is the glory of Rome and Jerusalem where all nations and races come to worship and look back, compared with the glory of America, where all races and nations come to labour and look forward!
The prophetic words of his Jewish protagonist against the backdrop of the Statue of Liberty allude to Emma Lazarus 's famous poem The New Colossus , which celebrated the statue as a symbol of American democracy and its identity as an immigrant nation.
United States[ edit ] In terms of immigrants to the United States , the "melting pot" process has been equated with Americanization , that is, cultural assimilation and acculturation. The "melting pot" metaphor implies both a melting of cultures and intermarriage of ethnicities , yet cultural assimilation or acculturation can also occur without intermarriage. Thus African-Americans are fully culturally integrated into American culture and institutions.
Yet more than a century after the abolition of slavery, intermarriage between African-Americans and other ethnicities is much less common than between different white ethnicities, or between white and Asian ethnicities.
Intermarriage between whites and non-whites, and especially African-Americans, was a taboo in the United States for a long time, and was illegal in many US states see anti-miscegenation laws until This discipline examines the " social construction of whiteness" and highlights the changing ways in which whiteness has been normative to American national identity from the 17th to the 20th century.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, European immigration to the United States became increasingly diverse and increased substantially in numbers. Beginning in the s, large numbers of Southern and Eastern European immigrant groups such as the Italians , Jews , and Poles arrived.
Many returned to Europe but those who remained merged into the cultural melting pot, adopting American lifestyles. Hostility forced them into "Chinatowns" or ethnic enclaves in the larger cities, where they lived a culture apart and seldom assimilated.
The acquisition of Hawaii in , with full citizenship for the residents of all races, greatly increased the Asian American population. In the early 20th century, the meaning of the recently popularized concept of the melting pot was subject to ongoing debate which centered on the issue of immigration. The debate surrounding the concept of the melting pot centered on how immigration impacted American society and on how immigrants should be approached.
The melting pot was equated with either the acculturation or the total assimilation of European immigrants, and the debate centered on the differences between these two ways of approaching immigration: "Was the idea to melt down the immigrants and then pour the resulting, formless liquid into the preexisting cultural and social molds modeled on Anglo-Protestants like Henry Ford and Woodrow Wilson , or was the idea instead that everyone, Mayflower descendants and Sicilians, Ashkenazi and Slovaks, would act chemically upon each other so that all would be changed, and a new compound would emerge?
They felt that far too many "undesirables," or in their view, culturally inferior immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe had already arrived. The compromises that were reached in a series of immigration laws in the s established the principle that the number of new arrivals should be small, and, apart from family reunification, the inflow of new immigrants should match the ethnic profile of the nation as it existed at that time.
Native Americans[ edit ] Intermarriage between Euro-American men and Native American women has been common since colonial days. In the 21st century some 7. Miscegenation[ edit ] The mixing of whites and blacks, resulting in multiracial children, for which the term " miscegenation " was coined in , was a taboo, and most whites opposed marriages between whites and blacks.
In many states, marriage between whites and non-whites was even prohibited by state law through anti-miscegenation laws.
As a result, two kinds of "mixture talk" developed: As the new word—miscegenation—became associated with black-white mixing, a preoccupation of the years after the Civil War, the residual European immigrant aspect of the question of [ethnoracial mixture] came to be more than ever a thing apart, discussed all the more easily without any reference to the African-American aspect of the question.
This separation of mixture talk into two discourses facilitated, and was in turn reinforced by, the process Matthew Frye Jacobson has detailed whereby European immigrant groups became less ambiguously white and more definitely "not black". Marriages between white Americans and African-Americans were still problematic in both communities.
Israel Zangwill saw this coming in the early 20th century: "However scrupulously and justifiably America avoids intermarriage with the negro, the comic spirit cannot fail to note spiritual miscegenation which, while clothing, commercializing, and Christianizing the ex-African, has given ' rag-time ' and the sex-dances that go with it, first to white America and then to the whole white world.
White appropriation, stereotyping and mimicking of black culture played an important role in the construction of an urban popular culture in which European immigrants could express themselves as Americans, through such traditions as blackface , minstrel shows and later in jazz and in early Hollywood cinema, notably in The Jazz Singer Unlike other racially stigmatized groups, white immigrants can put on and take off their mask of difference.
But the freedom promised immigrants to make themselves over points to the vacancy, the violence, the deception, and the melancholy at the core of American self-fashioning". Ethnicity in films[ edit ] This trend towards greater acceptance of ethnic and racial minorities was evident in popular culture in the combat films of World War II, starting with Bataan These bonds became the dominant figures in the increments of biracial dating.
The college campus became an ideal laboratory for experiments in interracial affairs. In the university setting, the blacks and whites who dated were peers, with similar educational backgrounds, interests, and values.
Young white women, who were not as racist as their parents, were liberated from parental and community control. Their student cohorts were more accepting of or indifferent to their dating across racial lines.
Those changes in interracial dating practices coincided with the civil rights movement and a greater white acceptance of blacks as racial equals. In the s through s, integration of work settings, neighborhoods, schools, and other public settings has meant that blacks and whites interact much more as equals than in the past.
According to a Gallup poll , a majority of blacks go to school, live, and work in places where the population is at least half white or even predominantly white. Only 15 percent of blacks work with mostly or all blacks and 41 percent of blacks live in a mostly or all-black neighborhood. Therefore, it is not surprising that with increasing social interaction there would also be an increasing number of interracial unions.
In addition to these systemic changes, there has been a major change in public attitudes toward biracial couples. According to a Gallup poll , a majority of blacks and whites under the age of 50 say they accept and approve of interracial unions between blacks and whites. Of all the different race-related trends, this change in attitude is the most significant. In , only 4 percent of white Americans approved of marriages between blacks and whites; in , 61 percent approved.
About a quarter of blacks and about 40 percent of whites say they disapprove of interracial marriage. Much of this can be attributed to how different generations view interracial marriages, as well as regional differences.
Younger people approve of such marriages, while older black and white Americans are less likely to approve. In their study, they found younger, educated cohorts to be more accepting of such unions, compared to older, less educated cohorts. Moreover, acceptance of such marriages is much lower in certain regions of the United States, such as the South Gallup Organization Although these changes in attitudes toward intermarriage seem positive, this poll result could be misleading.
Many people tend to give the liberal answer they think is proper or expected when asked about controversial issues such as interracial marriage. However, when confronted with the issue on a very personal level, their response may be much different. In the past, white families in particular frequently refused to have anything to do with children who entered into interracial marriages Golden ; Porterfield ; Spickard According to Rosenblatt and colleagues , white families compared to black families were most often in opposition.
Opposition by white family members was most often based in racist assumptions and stereotypes, but also based in concern about the racism that the couple would face from society at large. Moreover, white families were concerned that marrying interracially meant a poor economic future. Other concerns raised by white families included issues of safety and well-being, as well as the issue of raising a biracial child.
The authors found that there was less opposition in black families. Close family members might have been militantly against the marriage, but mothers in black families played a key role in providing acceptance of the interracial marriage.
On the other hand, in white families, fathers were the key person in providing acceptance. In both black and white families, families were particularly concerned about their daughters' marrying interracially.
Rosenblatt and colleagues explain that "for white families, the roots may include the racism of a dominant group and fear of loss in status. For black families, the roots may include the fear and pain of being connected with the oppressor" p. Jean discusses how black males in families may be more ambivalent about such unions. In previous studies, black women more than black men had tended to disapprove of such intermarriages Paset and Taylor ; however, St. Jean found quite the opposite.
She found that black men had a more difficult time accepting such marriages. Given the persistence of racism, many interracial marriages face rough going.
Based on her qualitative research findings, St. Jean found that although for the "couples the salience of color seems to diminish after marriage, race consciousness does not diminish. In their everyday lives, they are reminded by Blacks, Whites, relatives and nonrelatives of the inappropriate nature of their association" St.
Jean, p. It is a fact that the scars of nearly years of the worst human bondage known are not healed, and disapproval by many black and white people of interracial love affairs is one of the wounds.
Bureau of the Census By the year , this population had reached As this group increases in size, intermarriage will probably occur more frequently Lee and Fernandez According to Gordon , the acculturation to American beliefs and values by new immigrants has meant that intermarriage would follow and is an important sign of the assimilation process. Hwang and colleagues report that Asian Americans with high levels of acculturation and structural assimilation have a high incidence of intermarriage: " Asian Americans who speak fluent English and who have lived longer in the US were found to have a higher tendency to marry persons from different racial and ethnic groups" p.
Despite the increase in population growth, the intermarriage rate for Asian Americans has declined overall. However, there are several explanations that account for these changes. They note that intermarriage levels dropped for Koreans, Filipinos, and Vietnamese. While outmarriage rates among American-born Asians increased, they declined for those foreign-born.
They also note that Asian-American women were more likely to outmarry than men and that outmarriage was more common among Japanese Americans , Filipinos, Chinese, and Asian Indians. Lee and Fernandez further suggest that even though the Asian-American outmarriage rate overall has fallen, Asian interethnic marriages, made up of partners from two Asian ethnicities, has increased from 11 to 21 percent. According to Shinagawa and Pang , these marriage patterns can be explained through a sociohistorical framework.
Those in the post—World War II cohort lived in an era when antimiscegenation laws were struck down and Asian immigrants could now become citizens. At the same time, American soldiers fighting wars in Asia brought back Asian wives.
The civil rights era cohort experienced radical changes in terms of race. Racial groups, no longer segregated from each other, were interacting more, and laws were enacted to bar racist discrimination. Asians could now intermarry with whites, and this era saw an increasing number of Asian women marrying white men.
The posts cohort experienced the beginning politicization of the Asian-American community. However, intermarriages were still mostly between whites and Asians. Major changes started to happen in the Vincent Chin cohort. In , Vincent Chin, a Chinese American autoworker in Detroit, was beaten to death by two whites who mistakenly identified him as a Japanese American, angering the Asian-American community and fueling community mobilization and politicization.
The murder, which became symbolic of anti-Asian hate crimes and discrimination, brought diverse Asian communities together to eradicate discrimination against Asians and bring justice to Vincent Chin's family Espiritu This era was defined by an emerging increasingly coalesced Asian-American community as well as by a growth of the Asian Pacific American population.
According to Shinagawa and Pang , these dramatic developments contributed to the growth of interethnic Asian marriages. Shinagawa and Pang hypothesize six major reasons why pan-ethnic intermarriages and pan-ethnicity among Asian Americans are on the ascent: 1 the growth of the Asian-American population; 2 the growth of personal and social networks due to these population increases; 3 the growth in the number of educated, middle-class Asian Americans; 4 the acculturation of Asian Americans; 5 shared racial identity; and 6 most importantly, the growing racial consciousness among Asian Americans.
According to Espiritu , the construction of pan-Asian ethnicity arose out of a need for political strength and power. Shinagawa and Pang stress the importance of a pan-Asian ethnic consciousness that has shaped not only political but also marital patterns: "Deindustrialization, white flight, increased economic competition, anti-immigrant sentiments, hate violence against Asians, the growing sense of despair and hopelessness in the inner cities, and interracial conflicts not only between Whites and Asian Americans but also between racial minority groups all signify racial consciousness by Asian Americans" p.
Intermarriage between white ethnics is quite the norm Lieberson and Waters Marriages between members of different faiths also happens much more frequently and seems to carry less stigma than interracial coupling. Using data from the — National Survey of Families and Households, Lehrer also suggests that intermarriages between Protestants and Catholics have increased steadily. She identifies key variables that play a role in the decision to intermarry. She reports that those with higher levels of education are more likely to intermarry than those with lower levels of education.
She also discusses how a premarital pregnancy will increase the likelihood of an intermarriage. Those who are strongly committed to their faith are least likely to intermarry. Despite these increases, Lehrer and Chiswick report that interfaith marriages are more likely to end in divorce, attributing these high divorce rates to the different religions of the couple. However, they also suggest that conversion by one spouse to the faith of the other produces less conflict and a more harmonious relationship.
According to psychotherapist Joel Crohn , the decision to intermarry is not based on one single element—there may be many psychological influences operating. From his work as a therapist, he identifies four reasons that individuals from different religious, cultural, or ethnic backgrounds may be attracted to each other.
First, stereotypes about a particular group may attract persons to each other; for example, black men are masculine, Jewish men are good providers, and Asian women are sexy. Second, Crohn suggests that outmarriage can also be due to a partner's struggle with his or her identity. Those who outmarry may find members of the opposite sex from their ethnic, racial, or religious group unappealing and unattractive.
Marriage can then be the arena in which individuals deal with their ambivalent attitudes toward their racial, ethnic, or religious identity: "Marriage to an outsider represents the ultimate strategy in trying to erase the stigma of a minority identity" Crohn , p.
At the same time, minority groups may outmarry into the dominant group to gain acceptance by that group. According to Pang , Asian-American women who choose relationships with white men "participate in a language of assimilation that minimizes essential core parts of their self" Pang , p. She found that Asian-American women who outmarry do not place importance on their race or culture and rather take on the identity of their white husband.
According to Pang , assimilation and incorporation into white society for these Asian-American women was of importance. Third, Crohn suggests that whites may feel like they lack a particular cultural tradition and thus be attracted to a partner with a certain cultural and ethnic distinctiveness. In fact, other studies have documented that those who chose to intermarry were more rebellious and had huge conflicts with family due to objections to their marital choice Sung Fourth, Crohn discusses how attraction across religious, ethnic, or racial barriers may be grounded in cultural values and traditions, such as collectivism or individualism, that the individual is attracted to.
According to social exchange theory, relationships are exchanges of valued resources and involve an analysis of costs and benefits. Pierre Van den Berghe theorizes that racial or ethnic intermarriage is an instance of such an exchange, in this case that of hypergamy. Hypergamous means that women marry up in status; while hypogamous means that the racial and ethnic status of the husband is lower than that of his wife.
In the past, most black men who married white women were of a higher social status than their wives. In fact, this marrying down was so common that sociologists formulated a theory about it, hypothesizing that the black groom was trading his class advantage for the racial caste advantage of the white bride Davis ; Merton Kalmijn notes that these marriages involved white women and high-status black men, meaning that white women moved up in socioeconomic status.
Other factors may propel people into an interracial marriage. Some students of the subject assert that uneven sex ratios are a basic cause. Wherever a group near another group has an imbalance in sex ratio, there is a greater likelihood of intermarriage. If the groups have a relatively well-balanced distribution of the sexes, members will marry more within their own group Guttentag and Secord ; Parkman and Sawyer As for the sociocultural factors that promote or deter interracial marriages, several explanations have been put forth to explain the variation in intermarriage patterns in the United States.
Tucker and Mitchell-Kernan hypothesized that certain environments are more racially tolerant of intermarriage than are others. Their hypothesis is based on findings from U. Similar to their explanation is the argument by Blau and Schwartz that the larger the group size as a proportion of the population, the less likely it is that members will marry outside their group.
Second, they suggested that the more heterogeneous an area's population, the more likely it is that people will marry outside their group. Both the aforementioned propositions imply that intermarriage is a function of environmental forces, not individual motivations. In addition to the normal problems of working out a satisfactory marital relationship, interracial couples must cope with social ostracism and isolation.
While the motivation for an interracial marriage may or may not differ from that of intraracial marriages, there are problems that are unique to interracial marriages. When researchers studied interracially married couples they discovered that courtship in most cases had been carried on clandestinely and, further, that many of them were isolated from their families following the marriage.
Other outstanding social problems encountered by the couples centered on such factors as housing, occupation, and relationships with family and peers. Several of the spouses lost their jobs because of intermarriage, while others felt it necessary to conceal their marriages from their employers. In addition to these strains, intermarried couples also face stressors within the family. Conflicts with in-laws contributed to marital instability Chan and Smith Moreover, intermarried couples experienced not only the greatest conflict with inlaws but also differences that arose in terms of child rearing.
According to Chan and Smith , intermarried couples may face more problems because of their concerns with raising biracial children. They may worry about the children's psychosocial development because of their mixed heritage. The children may look more black than white and "this may create more stress for the mother who is most likely to be the primary caretaker and have to deal with the prejudice others might have about her children" Chan and Smith , p.
Further research needs to be done to investigate the factors involved in intermarriages, as well to assess marital stability and instability among intermarried couples. However, there are several data problems in conducting research on intermarriages. First, marriage data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics NCHs is incomplete, since not all states are required to submit data and only about forty states submit such information Besharov and Sullivan Moreover, many states do not ask questions about race on marriage licenses.
Even if data on race and ethnicity are available, the analysis is quite limited when conducting research on the second-generation intermarriage experience Roy and Hamilton Moreover, data on interfaith marriage are also sparse, since the census and other government surveys rarely ask a respondent's religion Salins In addition, the General Social Survey, which collects information on attitudes toward intermarriages, is quite limited because only two questions are presented in this survey: "How do you feel about having a close relative or family member marry a Black person?
Jean , these questions do not adequately address current attitudes on intermarriages. Rather, St.Section 4 presents the empirical results. In the United States, where the term melting pot is still commonly used, the ideas of cultural pluralism and multiculturalism have, in some circles, taken precedence over the idea of assimilation. Instead of regarding interracial dating and marriage as a matter of personal choice, many minorities have taken up the call for racial purity so common to their white supremacist adversaries of the past. At any rate, the rate of miscegenation in the past almost certainly casts doubt on any pure race theory for the United States Day Upon the independence of MexicoMexico began receiving hypothesis differ between migrants who marry a German spouse, migrants who marry a non-German spouse and singles labeled as Mexican, meaning in the United States, where. I cannot estimate a fixed and model for realised return because there is only one observation for the return period. My main findings are that preferences for the home and then distributing leaflets These groups were called suffragist and explain the heterogeneity, intermarriage and treatment of anticipated. business plan magasin de jouets
Marriage can then be the arena in which individuals deal with their ambivalent attitudes toward their racial, ethnic, or religious identity: "Marriage to an outsider represents the ultimate strategy in trying to erase the stigma of a minority identity" Crohn , p. Many men and women mate for no more complex reasons than meeting, liking each other as individuals, and choosing to transcend the societal barriers to their relationship. The reference group are migrants who are recorded as single throughout the observation period. According to a Gallup poll , a majority of blacks and whites under the age of 50 say they accept and approve of interracial unions between blacks and whites. Racist attitudes still persist. Note that the sample used in the estimation is restricted to the sub-sample of migrants who marry after entering SOEP.
The distinction between migrants who marry before and after coming to Germany is imposed in order to compare and contrast intermarriage effects on home country preferences for these migrants, as it is likely that there are differences between these groups of migrants. This film celebrated solidarity and cooperation between Americans of all races and ethnicities through the depiction of a multiracial American unit. In addition to the normal problems of working out a satisfactory marital relationship, interracial couples must cope with social ostracism and isolation.
Here you stand, good folk, think I, when I see them at Ellis Island, here you stand in your fifty groups, your fifty languages, and histories, and your fifty blood hatreds and rivalries. This term was coined by Kallen. This separation of mixture talk into two discourses facilitated, and was in turn reinforced by, the process Matthew Frye Jacobson has detailed whereby European immigrant groups became less ambiguously white and more definitely "not black". On the other hand, in white families, fathers were the key person in providing acceptance.
However, when confronted with the issue on a very personal level, their response may be much different. This line of thought holds that this American national culture derived most of its traits and characteristics from early colonial settlers from Britain, Ireland, and Germany. The concept of cultural pluralism first emerged in the s and s among intellectual circles out of the debates in the United States over how to approach issues of immigration and national identity.
Degler, Carl N. Migrants who marry before entering Germany are, for example, more likely to be tied movers — that is, migrants who come to the host country to join earlier immigrated partners Even if data on race and ethnicity are available, the analysis is quite limited when conducting research on the second-generation intermarriage experience Roy and Hamilton New York: Haworth Press. Kalmijn notes that these marriages involved white women and high-status black men, meaning that white women moved up in socioeconomic status. Those who oppose it often combine a hostility toward racial equality with invidious assessments of the private thoughts and lives of interracial couples.
The Challenges to America's National Identity , have expressed the view that the most accurate explanation for modern-day United States culture and inter-ethnic relations can be found somewhere in a fusion of some of the concepts and ideas contained in the melting pot, assimilation, and Anglo-conformity models. Stember, Charles Herbert Sexual Racism. In his essay The Significance of the Frontier in American History , he referred to the "composite nationality" of the American people, arguing that the frontier had functioned as a " crucible " where "the immigrants were Americanized, liberated and fused into a mixed race, English in neither nationality nor characteristics". Section 4 presents the empirical results. Jean discusses how black males in families may be more ambivalent about such unions.
According to Pang , Asian-American women who choose relationships with white men "participate in a language of assimilation that minimizes essential core parts of their self" Pang , p. From his work as a therapist, he identifies four reasons that individuals from different religious, cultural, or ethnic backgrounds may be attracted to each other. This data set provides unique background information of migrants and their spouses and allows me to study three types of outcome related to home country preference: intentions to return, remittances sent and return realisations.
Instead of regarding interracial dating and marriage as a matter of personal choice, many minorities have taken up the call for racial purity so common to their white supremacist adversaries of the past. Many men and women mate for no more complex reasons than meeting, liking each other as individuals, and choosing to transcend the societal barriers to their relationship. Olympic team.
Frazier, E. I could point out to you a family whose grandfather was an Englishman, whose wife was Dutch, whose son married a French woman, and whose present four sons have now four wives of different nations.
New York, Oxford University Press.