chapter  10
Asian Indians in Intercultural Marriages: Intersections of Acculturation, Gender, and Exogamy
ByMudita Rastogi
Pages 18

Asian Indians in the United States include people who trace their ancestry to the Indian subcontinent and were either born and raised in the United States or have immigrated here directly from India or from other countries. The 2000 census figures reveal that the number of Asian Indian people in the United States is about 1.7 million (U.S. Census Bureau, n.d.). This chapter focuses on intercultural marriages of two types: (a) Both the wife and the husband identify as Asian Indian but differ in their levels of acculturation; and (b) where one partner is of Asian Indian heritage and the other is not. Members of the Asian Indian community in the United States range widely in their level of acculturation. This chapter will detail how acculturation impacts an individual’s values, family structure, relational expectations, and gender schema (Jain & Belsky, 1997) and the effects these have on the couple’s relationship. I will also discuss the possible challenges faced by couples where one partner comes from outside the Asian Indian community. I will provide case vignettes to illustrate these issues based on my research and clinical and community work. All names and some identifying information have been changed to protect confidentiality. Interspersed in this chapter are also pointers for mental health professionals. I have not discussed same-sex or cohabiting heterosexual intercultural couples within the Asian Indian community as there is no body of literature describing these relationships. I will revisit this issue at the end of the chapter.