Family types continue to expand in the U.S., yet normative patterns of endogamy and the privileging of nuclear families persist. To understand how professional women of color navigate endogamy and family ideals, I draw on 40 in-depth interviews of professional Black women and Latinas to ask how they construct partner preferences. I find that professional Latinas and Black women prefer same-race, similarly educated partners but report significant barriers to satisfying these desires. Respondents’ experiences with racism, the rejection of ethno-racial and cultural assimilation, gendered racism from men of color, and the college gender gap emerge as mechanisms for endogamous preferences. These preferences resist and support hegemonic family formation, an ideological and behavioral process that privileges, white, middle class, endogamous, heteronormative ideals for families comprising courtship, marriage, and biological childbearing. By challenging the racial devaluation of people of color while preferring the normativity that endogamy offers, the women in this study underscore the fluidity embedded in endogamy.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited