Transnational Couples: The Intersections of Race, Ethnicity, Nativity, and Gender

Blendine P. Hawkins, Virginia S. Zuiker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Over one in ten heterosexual married couples are interracial and close to 10% of marriages are transnational. Even with the increasing rates of intermarriage there continues to be opposition to such marriages and their families. This study aimed to explore the lived experiences of transnational couples, where both partners hail from different countries, as they navigate life in the U.S. Six heterosexual transnational couples across the country were interviewed separately and together using a phenomenological design, and within and across case analyses were conducted. Race, skin color, visibility, nativity, gender, and language interconnected to engender experiences that were different across every couple as they conceptualized how best to protect their families while navigating through varying social narratives, and familial and societal expectations about their relationship. The emergent themes organized into three intersecting processes -internal, intermediary, and external- as these couples navigated their different values, each other, and other systems in their lives. Implications for research and clinical practice follow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-342
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Feminist Family Therapy
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Transnational
  • couples
  • intersectionality
  • parenting
  • phenomenology


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