chapter  6
“We’re Just a Couple of People”: An Exploration of Why Some Black– White Couples Reject the Terms Cross-Cultural and Interracial
ByTerri A. Karis
Pages 22

The growing literature on Black-White couples suggests that a significant subset of these couples take issue with the labels cross-cultural and/or interracial (Karis, 2003; Killian, 2002). Although these terms often are used interchangeably, from a metaphoric perspective they are not synonymous. Using theories of metaphor and categorization, I will consider what is highlighted and what is obscured by each label when it is applied to Black-White heterosexual couples. After reflecting on differences and similarities between these labels, I offer preliminary thoughts on the discursive work done when couples use or reject a label. I argue that learning more about couples’ interpretive repertoires-how and when they use these terms and what is accomplished socially and politically by their usage-is a potentially fruitful path for deepening understanding of Black-White couples and how they make sense of race in their daily lives.