Mixed Blessings: A Guide to Multicultural and Multiethnic Relationships

Is love really all you need? This book mines the complexity of romantic relationships that are a union of cultures as well as individuals, offering guidance and applied examples.
Berlin and Cannon are marriage and family therapists who wrote this book, their first, as a reflection of issues that continually arose during their counseling sessions. “We’ve had countless conversations about how multiculturalism affects us and our clients,” writes Berlin. “We train other professionals on this topic, too, so it feels natural to extend these conversations into book form.” The guide, which Berlin explains was “written from the gut,” begins with the authors’ own stories of their multicultural backgrounds and comprises three main sections: an introduction to the terms and concepts that will be used, including collectivist versus individualist paradigms, acculturation, ethnocentricity and code switching; fictionalized first-person narratives of twelve different couples that offer illustrations of these concepts; and a resource section with a glossary, worksheets and suggested reading list. The material is enlightening, effectively outlining how varied cultural perspectives affect worldviews. The authors argue that many of us aren’t aware of how our cultural responses may differ from those of our loved ones, inspiring aha moments from readers who may not even think of their primary relationship as a multicultural one. The writing is intelligent but not academic, ensuring that the book will be as accessible to clients as to therapists, and some of the narratives are riveting. Particularly poignant is the story of Angie, from Chicago, and Francois, from Haiti. Angie grappled with life as a strong and modern woman in a traditionally patriarchal culture; Francois, with being black in America without being African-American. Berlin and Cannon rely heavily on these personal anecdotes, and they form the bulk of the book, reflecting their assertion that they are “clinicians, not researchers.” This statement may serve, too, as a disclaimer for those who might question some of their definitions: Some readers, for instance, may raise an eyebrow at the idea of individualist cultures being more dependent on governmental structure than collectivist ones. But, ideologically pure or not, their concepts ring true through the examples, giving readers much to think about and apply to their own real-world experiences.
Required reading for anyone who counsels or is part of a multicultural relationship.

Pub Date: Nov. 20, 2013

ISBN: 978-0989522908

Page Count: 210

Publisher: Mixed Blessings LLC

Review Posted Online: July 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2014

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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