Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Van C. Tran

Committee Members

Richard Alba

Erica Chito Childs

Jessica Halliday Hardie

Subject Categories

Family, Life Course, and Society | Gender and Sexuality | Migration Studies | Race and Ethnicity


mixed race, intermarriage, assimilation, ethnicity, family


This dissertation examines how White and second-generation Asian American heterosexual couples negotiate race, ethnicity, and gender as they come together and form families. While Asian-White intermarriage is often theorized as an endpoint of assimilation, this research concerns itself with the ways in which race plays a central role in shaping various domains of family life among mixed couples. Drawing on 62 semi-structured interviews with White and second-generation Asian American individuals, I find that race and gender jointly shape how the couples navigate household divisions of labor, in-law relationships, naming decisions, and transmitting ethnicity to children. By revealing the ongoing processes of racialization within mixed families, this study challenges the popular imagination of intermarriage as a symbol of racial transcendence. Instead, it argues that Asian-White mixed families are an important site to interrogate intersectional inequalities.