McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts
Francesco C. Cesareo
interracial marriage, racism, discourse analysis, critical discursive psychology, Michel Foucault, color-blindness
Interracial marriage remains one of the most emotionally charged issues in the troubled racial history of the United States. Love in Black and White: The Triumph of Love over Prejudice and Taboo is Mark and Gail Mathabane's relatively popular memoir of their interracial marriage. Using this text as a means of access to the discourses surrounding interracial marriage in the post-Civil Rights era, this study applies the key Foucauldian concepts of discourse, power, subjectivity, and critique to an interpretation of this text in relation to its sociohistorical context. Color-Blind Love emerges as the dominant discourse of the memoir and this Foucauldian discourse analysis consists of an explication of: 1) this discourse, 2) the implications of its associated subject positions, and 3) the historical, institutional, political, and ideological dimensions of the context that sustain this discourse--and that this discourse simultaneously helps to bolster. Though the notion of Color-Blind Love was formerly quite radical, this analysis shows that it now helps to maintain racial inequalities. New ways of thinking about and articulating the experience of interracial marriage are needed.
McElwain, B. (2005). Whither Color-Blind Love? A Foucauldian Discourse Analysis of Love in Black and White (Doctoral dissertation, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/907