Exploring the everyday experiences of inter-ethnic couples in Australia

New research from the Australian Centre for Cultural Environmental Research (AUSCCER) has found that Darwin and Sydney have higher proportions of inter-ethnic couples than any other Australian city. These couples are those in which the two partners involved have different ethnic backgrounds.

This analysis of 2011 Census data is part of a new project aimed at better understanding the everyday experiences of inter-ethnic couples across different parts of Australian cities. Partnerships that are perceived to cross ethnic boundaries have historically evoked negative reactions among some members of the community. Recent Australian studies have shown that these couples may still face prejudice and discrimination in their everyday lives. With this in mind, we are keen to understand what makes some places more attractive to inter-ethnic couples than others.

Having mapped the geographical distribution of inter-ethnic partnerships across Australia, AUSCCER researchers are now hoping to interview inter-ethnic couples in two ‘hot spot’ cities for mixed marriages – Darwin and Sydney – to learn more about their everyday experiences in these cities.

Interviews will focus on the experiences of inter-ethnic couples in their communities, as well as in their extended family and friendship networks. The researchers would also like to learn more about the factors that influence couples’ decisions about where to live, and whether there are certain places where they feel comfortable or uncomfortable as an inter-ethnic couple.

If you live in Darwin or Sydney, and are in an inter-ethnic relationship, we would like to invite you to take part in this study.

The researchers will be conducting interviews with inter-ethnic couples in Darwin during October 2014, while interviews in Sydney will be ongoing throughout the rest of 2014 and early 2015.

If you are interested in participating in this study, please contact the research leader, Dr Natascha Klocker (natascha@uow.edu.au; 02 4298 1331), or the student investigator, Alex Tindale (at196@uowmail.edu.au; 0448 188 513).

Natascha or Alex can discuss the research with you in more detail, and will also provide you with a copy of the participant information sheet – which describes the research methods and activities in more detail.

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