Romantic relationships and health are fundamental for society, but what happens to a person’s well-being when he or she chooses the “wrong” partner? Interracial Romance and Health: Bridging Generations, Race Relations, and Well-Being tackles this growing public health issue, which impacts millions of people in interracial relationships, especially young adults. With a particular focus on a group of young adults whom he calls the Bridge Kids, Byron Miller provides a critical examination of how racial identity, socialization, and the partner selection process influence whether a person becomes interracially involved. For those that do cross racial lines for romance, Miller reveals that the race of one’s partner can have a significant impact on their lived experiences and health outcomes. Opposing the idea that interracial relationships are bad for society and an individual’s health, Miller argues that interracial romance has health benefits for some, is generally good for society, and that what is truly detrimental is the unnecessary stress people in interracial relationships feel due to their experiences with stigma, racism, and discrimination. Miller concludes that as the prevalence of interracial romance grows, so does the urgency to address these issues to protect the well-being of the Bridge Kids and others in interracial romantic partnerships.
Byron Miller is associate professor of sociology at the University of South Florida and coordinator for the Interdisciplinary Social Science (ISS) Program.
Introduction, by Roudi Nazarinia Roy and Anthony G. James Jr.
Chapter 1. Bridging the Interracial Literature
Chapter 2. Bridging Racial Groups
Chapter 3. Bridging Health and Well-Being
Chapter 4. Bridging Family and Friends
Chapter 5. Building the Next Bridge
Conclusion, by Sara Rocks and Kathryn Harker Tillman
About the Author and Contributors
In Interracial Romance and Health, Miller lays out the potential benefits and negative impacts of interracial relationships in the US. He argues first that increasing the number of interracial relationships in the US offers one major avenue toward bridging racial and ethnic divides generally. Unfortunately, as Miller also explains, due to the difficulty many still experience embracing interracial relationships, support for such relationships—from both family and society at large—is often quite thin. This alone represents an injustice against those who form interracial relationships, as all romantic relationships deserve the support they need to succeed. In addition, Miller argues, as the chance for success in interracial relationships decreases, so too does society's chance to benefit socially from such relationships. This text brings together an extensive body of literature, deftly demonstrating the need for change at the policy and professional levels that will help Americans better support interracial relationships. In doing so, the author provides an important resource to graduate students and professionals who hope to join in efforts to support relationships among all people. Highly recommended. Graduate students, faculty, and professionals.
I recommend this book strongly for advanced undergraduate courses in the interdisciplinary sociomedical sciences, introductory and intermediate graduate courses in the same disciplinary areas, and clinical and community practice in a diverse array of health and social service professions. Likewise, doctoral candidates taking comprehensive exams in inequality and health subject cores will find Miller and contributing colleagues’ reviews of prior literature invaluable for their own writing and thinking at exam time.
"Interracial Romance and Race Relations is an excellent primer for understanding the research on interracial relations and the role interracial couples can play in shaping our racial culture in the United States. Deeply recommend it for those wanting a reader on interracial relationships in their race or marriage/family courses, as well as individuals who want to be brought up to date on the latest research on interracial, heterosexual relations. Sure to provoke meaningful dialogue and discussion."