Racially Diverse Schools and Adolescent Romantic Relationships
Kate Strully from the University of Albany: Wednesday, October 23, 2013, 12:00PM - 1:30 PM, 4240 Public Affairs Bldg.
Focusing on romantic relationships, which are often seen as a barometer of social distance, this analysis investigates how adolescents from different racial-ethnic and gender groups respond when they attend racially and ethnically diverse schools which offer many opportunities for inter-racial-ethnic dating. Which groups respond to school diversity by primarily forming inter-racial-ethnic relationships, and which groups appear to “work around” a diverse pool of potential dating partners by forming more same-race-ethnicity relationships outside of school boundaries? Most existing studies of school integration and relationship formation focus exclusively on social networks within schools and, therefore, cannot capture a potentially important way that adolescents express preferences for same-race-ethnicity relationships and/or work around constraints generated by other groups’ same-race-ethnicity preferences. Using data from the 1st and 2nd waves of National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), I find that black females and, to a lesser extent, white males are most likely “work around” diverse dating pools in their schools by forming more same-race-ethnicity relationships outside of the school. On the other hand, Hispanic males and females in diverse schools are most likely to date across racial-ethnic boundaries within the school. I interpret these results in terms of structural sociological theories and propositions.
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