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Trends in Asian American Racial/Ethnic Intermarriage: A Comparison of 1980 and 1990 Census Data

Sharon M. Lee and Marilyn Fernandez
Sociological Perspectives
Vol. 41, No. 2 (1998), pp. 323-342
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
DOI: 10.2307/1389480
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1389480
Page Count: 20
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Trends in Asian American Racial/Ethnic Intermarriage: A Comparison of 1980 and 1990 Census Data
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Abstract

In this paper, we use data from the 1990 census to compare patterns of Asian American intermarriage with those reported by Lee and Yamanaka (1990). Lee and Yamanaka (1990) used data from the 1980 census to examine patterns of Asian American racial and ethnic intermarriage. They reported that one- quarter of married Asian Americans were outmarried; of these, 90% were married to non-Asians. Variations by gender and nativity were also observed. Women and the native-born were more likely to be outmarried. We expect to see a decline in Asian American intermarriage since 1980 because of high levels of immigration, growth of the Asian population, and increased social distance between Asian Americans and Whites. Our main findings show that: (i) the overall outmarriage rate has declined; (ii) Asian American inter-ethnic marriages (that is, marriages between two Asian Americans of different Asian ethnicities) have increased; and (iii) social distance, measured by an Index of Intermarriage Distance, between Asian Americans and other racial and ethnic groups has widened. We conclude by discussing some implications of the findings for the role of racial and ethnic intermarriage as an indicator of intergroup relations. /// [Spanish] En este trabajo, utilizamos la información del censo de 1990 para comparar los patrones de matrimonio mixto entre asiático americanos con aquéllos reportados por Lee y Yamanaka (1990). Lee y Yamanaka (1990) utilizan la información del censo de 1980 para examinar los patrones raciales y étnicos de los matrimonios mixtos entre los asiático americanos. Ambos reportaron que un cuarto de asiático americanos estaba casado con individuos de diferente nacionalidad; de estos, el 90 por ciento estaba casado con personas no asiáticas. Se observaron algunas variaciones de género y nacimiento. Las mujeres y los nativos de nacimiento presentaron una tendencia matrimonial con individuos de otra nacionalidad. Esperamos una disminución en matrimonios mixtos entre asiático americanos desde 1980 por los altos índices de inmigración, crecimiento poblacional y el incremento de la distancia social entre asiático americanos y blancos. Nuestros resultados muestran que: (i) el promedio de matrimonios casados con diferente nacionalidad ha declinado; (ii) los asiático americanos casados entre su mismo grupo étnico (esto es, matrimonios entre dos asiático americanos de diferentes etnias asiáticas) han incrementado; y (iii) la distancia social se ha ampliado entre asiático americanos y otros grupos raciales y étnicos, esta medida se tomó con un Indice de Distancia de Matrimonios Mixtos. Concluímos con la discusión de algunas implicaciones sobre los resultados del role racial y étnico de los matrimonios mixtos como un indicador de las relaciones intergrupales. /// [Chinese] (Unicode for Chinese abstract). /// [Japanese] (Unicode for Japanese abstract).

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