Home Institution

Smith College

Publication Date

Spring 2013

Program Name

Netherlands: International Perspectives on Sexuality and Gender


Interracial relationships cannot be defined purely through the lens of racial difference. Drawing upon loosely structured interviews with three couples, this case study presents lived experiences as a way to better understand interracial relationships in the Netherlands. An intersectional analysis of these interviews uncovers three distinctive themes among couples: 1) their relationship is frequently treated as "common property" to be commented on by family, friends, and strangers alike, 2) the use of "avoidance" discursive strategies when discussing negative reactions, and 3) the enactment of color-blind ideology when talking about race. The personal narratives of individuals in each couples are presented in order to take into account the diverse local realities enacted when embodying these relationships. This research concludes that there is no common value system that indicates the success or failure of a relationship, and that relationships are built at a crossroads of race, ethnicity, class, nationality, gender, religion, and age.


Family, Life Course, and Society | Inequality and Stratification | Race and Ethnicity | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies


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