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Beyond LovingIntimate Racework in Lesbian, Gay, and Straight Interracial Relationships$
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Amy C. Steinbugler

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199743551

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199743551.001.0001

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Intimate Interactions: Racework as Emotional Labor

Intimate Interactions: Racework as Emotional Labor

Chapter:
(p.74) Chapter 4 Intimate Interactions: Racework as Emotional Labor
Source:
Beyond Loving
Author(s):

Amy C. Steinbugler

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199743551.003.0004

This chapter turns the lens from public spaces to the inner workings of relationships in order to look more closely at how interracial partners interpret and negotiate racial difference in everyday life. It introduces the concept of racial habitus, developed by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, to explain how racial differences emerge in routine interactions. It then identifies “emotional labor” as the form of racework that individuals use to manage race and racism. It shows how this type of racework permits interracial partners to negotiate differences in racial habitus. One crucial difference is that White partners have not needed to develop the double-consciousness that characterizes a Black racial habitus. The chapter then discusses the minority of partners whose racework is best characterized as racial silence. In sum, the chapter has two main goals: to make clear the ways in which racial difference infiltrates intimate relationships and to show how interracial partners go about directly and indirectly managing this difference.

Keywords:   racework, emotional labor, Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, racial habitus, double-consciousness

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