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Source: http://www.ucalgary.ca/oncampus/ ... ssing-cultures.html|
Febecca Malhi is doing what excites her.
After working 14 years with computers in the Information Technology area, much of the time at a large oil company, Malhi returned to school. A course in the history and theory of psychology sparked her interest, and several years later, Malhi is now on her way to earning a PhD in Psychology.
“ I’ve always been interested in how people think and act,” says Malhi, who has received Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada funding for her research. “And I’m definitely doing what excites me.”
For Malhi, excitement comes in researching interracial marriages. She’s embarked on an ambitious project to examine how Canadians perceive interracial marriages and also examine how individuals involved in interracial marriages cope with the challenges of their relationships.
Malhi will examine how Canada’s multi-culturalism affects society’s perception of interracial marriages. Although a lot of research has been done on interracial marriages in the United States – primarily focusing on African Americans married to Caucasians – in Canada, there is a dearth of information.
“ I want to examine how interracial relationships are different from other romantic relationships,” says Malhi, who was born in India, moved to England as a young child and later came to Canada with her family. “Interracial relationships are rare, and they also appear to experience psychological hardships more than other couples do. For example, couples tend to report being the target of discrimination, negative comments and such when they are in public together.
“ Observers may have no problems with people of different racial backgrounds interacting casually, but once they are put together romantically, then there could be tension. It seems that the relationship itself may be the issue.”
Malhi, who completed her Master of Psychology at the University of Calgary, hopes her research will spark other research in the area, and also provide valuable insights for marriage counsellors and therapists working with interracial couples.
In the first phase of her research, Malhi will survey over 100 people on their perceptions of various relationships, attitudes and beliefs surrounding a variety of relationships. She’ll then interview people about their reactions to people involved in interracial relationships.
Finally, Malhi will interview couples involved in interracial relationships and talk to them about the challenges – both positive and negative – they perceive.