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By constructing one expression of femininity as an ideological reference point and subsequently internalizing this ideal, both white women and women of color reproduce the subordination of other representations of femininity.

Just as the existence of hegemonic femininity implies the existence of marginalized femininities, in the same way, hegemonic family formation begets marginalized family formations.The absence of cultural, legal, social, and economic privileges accorded to marginalized families results in perceptions of them as “deviant” or “alternative” in relation to the nuclear family structure, making families sites for both marginalization and resistance.Although an increasing number of families form through divorce, cohabitation, interracial relationships, single parenthood, same-sex partnerships, and adoptions, a dominant narrative that privileges a heteronormative, endogamous, nuclear pathway toward family formation persists [1,20].Individuals reproduce commonsense notions of family through ideals of courtship, marriage, and childbearing.Drawing on intersectionality, Pyke and Johnson [19] utilize hegemonic femininity to discuss the hierarchies that develop between Asian American and white women when considering categories of race, class, and sexuality.

Asian American women internalize constructions of white femininity as superior over what they consider to be “backward” Asian femininity and as such, navigate both hegemonic and marginalized femininities in family, work, and school contexts.While the preference for men of color challenges racial hegemony by placing greater value on men of color in comparison to white men, the prevalence of same-race and same-education marriages for nuclear families makes endogamy an important aspect for embodying the nuclear family structure, making interracial and interclass dating less coveted and viable options.The mechanisms that challenge and reproduce hegemonic family formation in this study are experiences with racism from whites, the rejection of racial and cultural incorporation into the dominant society, gendered racism from men of color, and the college gender gap.In contrast, Latinas have marriage rates that resemble more closely those of white women, are less likely to bear children outside of marriage than Black women [3], and have higher interracial marriage rates than Blacks, with Latinos accounting for 26 percent of new interracial marriages in 2010 with no significant gender differences [4].To uncover the processes through which women of color navigate endogamy (intragroup marriage) and normative family ideals, this study asks how professional Latinas and Black women construct their partner preferences.For example, married couples earn a refundable tax credit for having children, gay rights activism has allocated extensive resources to same-sex marriage over challenging the normativity of marriage or other issues affecting LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual) groups, and married undocumented immigrant couples are more likely to be granted family reunification than unmarried couples. disproportionately allocates rights and privileges to normative families over others, constructing the very notion of “the family” through the process. women are accessing higher education and professional work at unprecedented rates.