Interracial Unions with White Partners and Racial Profiling: Experiences and perspectives

Tamari Kitossa, Katerina Deliovsky


Over the past decade racial profiling has received much scholarly and public attention. Our study explores the awareness, perspectives and experiences of the individuals in interracial unions with White partners. We found most White partners’ awareness and objection to racial profiling arose from vicarious experiences with racialized partners who are subjected to everyday racism including racial profiling. White women, in general, exhibited a fairly high degree of anxiety about their partners being racially profiled. Women ‘of colour’ exhibited varied levels of awareness and experience with racial profiling. Most men ‘of colour’ in our study experienced racial profiling, but two provisionally accommodated themselves to the practice. Our study indicates few couples felt they were racially profiled because of their mixed union though couples with young Black men and White women were the exception. All couples experienced overt and covert forms of discrimination and some felt their hypervisibility as interracial couples opened them to consistent regulatory surveillance. We describe the latter as a process of ‘repressive tolerance’ and offer thoughts on future study. This research suggests racial profiling and repressive tolerance have points of convergence in how interracial couples make sense of law enforcement and their place in Canadian society.

Full Text:


International Journal of Criminology and Sociological Theory | ISSN : 1916-2782