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      It Is About Time: Interracial Couples and Racialized Wait Times in Dining



            In this article, I explore “wait time” as a form of racial border patrolling experienced by interracial couples when they dine out. I am framing “wait time” as something imposed and intentional to exclude these couples. When interracial couples are together, they are conspicuous reminders that the borders of whiteness are permeable. Racial borders, upheld through legal and extra legal means, include the contested, patrolled and often hostile spaces near the colour line. Interracial couples dining in restaurants across the globe report in their online post-dining reviews that they experienced comparatively long wait times to be both being seated and served. They report seeing other patrons not being made to wait while they are made to wait. Much of the literature on wait time during leisure assumes a colour-blind backdrop. Exploring the historical construction of race, specifically racial borders, provides the context for understanding why interracial couples are made to wait. I begin with an overview of the historical construction and reinforcing of “exclusionary” borders of whiteness. Next, I outline digital discourse analysis and the context of the data collection: TripAdvisor. Finally, I analyze the TripAdvisor reviews written by interracial couples. Analysis of the reviews highlighting the border patrolling of these couples is pervasive: “Wait time,” poor service, and being rushed out are three ways interracial couples' experience being excluded. At stake is not just the time lost or the energy of dealing with negative emotions associated with racialized waiting, at stake is humanity.


            Author and article information

            International Journal of Critical Diversity Studies
            Pluto Journals
            1 December 2018
            : 1
            : 2 ( doiID: 10.13169/intecritdivestud.1.issue-2 )
            : 18-32
            Roosevelt University, Chicago, IL, USA
            © 2018 International Journal of Critical Diversity Studies

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            Custom metadata

            Social & Behavioral Sciences
            interracial,TripAdvisor,racial categories,border patrolling,whiteness,racial borders,“wait time,” time


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