White Colorism

Posted in Articles, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2020-03-10 17:41Z by Steven

White Colorism

Social Currents
Volume 2, Issue 1, March 2015
pages 13-21
DOI: 10.1177/2329496514558628

Lance Hannon, Professor of Sociology and Criminology
Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania

Perhaps reflecting a desire to emphasize the enduring power of rigidly constructed racial categories, sociology has tended to downplay the importance of within-category variation in skin tone. Similarly, in popular media, “colorism,” or discrimination based on skin lightness, is rarely mentioned. When colorism is discussed, it is almost exclusively framed in terms of intraracial “black-on-black” discrimination. In line with arguments highlighting the centrality of white racism, the present paper contends that it is important for researchers to give unique attention to white colorism. Using data from the 2012 American National Election Study, an example is presented on white interviewers’ perceptions of minority respondent skin tone and intelligence (N = 223). Results from ordinal logistic regression analyses indicate that African American and Latino respondents with the lightest skin are several times more likely to be seen by whites as intelligent compared with those with the darkest skin. The article concludes that a full accounting of white hegemony requires an acknowledgment of both white racism and white colorism.

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Whiter: Asian American Women on Skin Color and Colorism

Posted in Anthologies, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Books, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2020-03-06 18:06Z by Steven

Whiter: Asian American Women on Skin Color and Colorism

New York University Press
March 2020
280 pages
6.00 x 9.00 in
Paperback ISBN: 9781479800292
Hardcover ISBN: 9781479881086

Edited by:

Nikki Khanna, Associate Professor of Sociology
University of Vermont

Whiter

Heartfelt personal accounts from Asian American women on their experiences with skin color bias, from being labeled “too dark” to becoming empowered to challenge beauty standards

“I have a vivid memory of standing in my grandmother’s kitchen, where, by the table, she closely watched me as I played. When I finally looked up to ask why she was staring, her expression changed from that of intent observer to one of guilt and shame. . . . ‘My anak (dear child),’ she began, ‘you are so beautiful. It is a shame that you are so dark. No Filipino man will ever want to marry you.’” —“Shade of Brown,” Noelle Marie Falcis

How does skin color impact the lives of Asian American women? In Whiter, thirty Asian American women provide first-hand accounts of their experiences with colorism in this collection of powerful, accessible, and brutally honest essays, edited by Nikki Khanna.

Featuring contributors of many ages, nationalities, and professions, this compelling collection covers a wide range of topics, including light-skin privilege, aspirational whiteness, and anti-blackness. From skin-whitening creams to cosmetic surgery, Whiter amplifies the diverse voices of Asian American women who continue to bravely challenge the power of skin color in their own lives.

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Beneath the Surface: A Transnational History of Skin Lighteners

Posted in Africa, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, South Africa, Women on 2020-01-10 01:07Z by Steven

Beneath the Surface: A Transnational History of Skin Lighteners

Duke University Press
January 2020
368 pages
85 illustrations (incl. 39 in color)
Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-0642-8
Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-0538-4

Lynn M. Thomas, Professor of History
University of Washington

Beneath the Surface

For more than a century, skin lighteners have been an ubiquitous feature of global popular culture—embraced by consumers even as they were fiercely opposed by medical professionals, consumer health advocates, and antiracist thinkers and activists. In Beneath the Surface, Lynn M. Thomas constructs a transnational history of skin lighteners in South Africa and beyond. Analyzing a wide range of archival, popular culture, and oral history sources, Thomas traces the changing meanings of skin color from precolonial times to the postcolonial present. From indigenous skin-brightening practices and the rapid spread of lighteners in South African consumer culture during the 1940s and 1950s to the growth of a billion-dollar global lightener industry, Thomas shows how the use of skin lighteners and experiences of skin color have been shaped by slavery, colonialism, and segregation, as well as consumer capitalism, visual media, notions of beauty, and protest politics. In teasing out lighteners’ layered history, Thomas theorizes skin as a site for antiracist struggle and lighteners as a technology of visibility that both challenges and entrenches racial and gender hierarchies.

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Me, Myself, and My Mixed Identity

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Canada on 2019-11-19 01:05Z by Steven

Me, Myself, and My Mixed Identity

The Bull & Bear: McGill’s Student-Run News Magazine
Montreal, Quebec
2019-10-17

Alia Shaukat


Photo courtesy of Regina Gonzalez

Content Warning: This article deals with sensitive topics such as racism, colorism, and sexual abuse.

I first encountered the world of racial fetishization during my brief stint on Tinder last June. That low-stakes, medium-reward dating app that we all know and love seemed like the perfect place for me to explore the dating scene. It was also, as I soon discovered, the perfect place for many men to explore their potential for racism.

Each morning, I would wake up to an aggressive amount of inquiring “What’s your race?” texts paired with a wealth of heart-eye emojis. This duality of violation and flattery was extremely confusing. Upon revealing my mixed ethnicity to my Tinder suitors, I would be praised for being “different” or “interesting,” and yet the only thing they knew about me was my mixed race identity. When I was younger, I would’ve found the comments gratifying, simply because they indicated that someone had taken an interest in me. However, now that I am older, I’ve seen that these compliments are the subtle forms in which racial fetishization manifests. It is a form of racism in which hurtful stereotypes camouflage as compliments and praise…

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New Evidence of Skin Color Bias and Health Outcomes Using Sibling Difference Models: A Research Note

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2019-10-26 03:32Z by Steven

New Evidence of Skin Color Bias and Health Outcomes Using Sibling Difference Models: A Research Note

Demography
Volume 56, Issue 2 (April 2019)
pages 753-762
DOI: 10.1007/s13524-018-0756-6

Thomas Laidley, Postdoctoral Fellow
Institute of Behavioral Science
University of Colorado

Benjamin Domingue, Assistant Professor of Education and, by courtesy, of Sociology
Stanford University

Piyapat Sinsub
Princeton University

Kathleen Mullan Harris, James Haar Distinguished Professor of Sociology
University of North Carolina

Dalton Conley, Henry Putnam University Professor in Sociology
Princeton University

In this research note, we use data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) to determine whether darker skin tone predicts hypertension among siblings using a family fixed-effects analytic strategy. We find that even after we account for common family background and home environment, body mass index, age, sex, and outdoor activity, darker skin color significantly predicts hypertension incidence among siblings. In a supplementary analysis using newly released genetic data from Add Health, we find no evidence that our results are biased by genetic pleiotropy, whereby differences in alleles among siblings relate to coloration and directly to cardiovascular health simultaneously. These results add to the extant evidence on color biases that are distinct from those based on race alone and that will likely only heighten in importance in an increasingly multiracial environment as categorization becomes more complex.

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Column: Lightskin privilege and its place in activism

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2019-10-23 01:00Z by Steven

Column: Lightskin privilege and its place in activism

The Daily Tar Heel
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2019-04-14

Devon Johnson, Chief Opinion Editor

Column: Lightskin privilege and its place in activism

After reading a letter to the editor this week questioning the place of biracial students in campus activism, I thought it was an important question that deserved to be expanded upon and hopefully answered to some degree. So I’ve reflected on my race, specifically how my race is perceived by others and how, if at all, it impacts the ways in which I form my racial identity.

The first time I distinctly remember my biracial identity being affirmed was, perhaps unsurprisingly, in Drake’sYou & The 6.” “I used to get teased for being Black, and now I’m here and I’m not Black enough.” This line summed up the in-betweenness I had felt for most of my life; the tugging from either side of the aisle by those trying to have me racialize and categorize myself…

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Coloring Racial Fluidity: How Skin Tone Shapes Multiracial Adolescents’ Racial Identity Changes

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Passing, Social Science, United States on 2019-10-07 00:13Z by Steven

Coloring Racial Fluidity: How Skin Tone Shapes Multiracial Adolescents’ Racial Identity Changes

Race and Social Problems
First Online: 2019-09-30
9 pages
DOI: 10.1007/s12552-019-09269-w

Robert L. Reece, Assistant Professor of Sociology
The University of Texas, Austin

Research on racial fluidity has become increasingly common as researchers seek to understand the ways and reasons people change their racial identifications and/or are perceived differently over time and across contexts. Concurrently, researchers have deepened their investigations of the attitudinal and identity aspects of “color,” that is the ways that people’s racial and political attitudes vary based on skin tone among members of the same racial group, particularly black Americans. This paper attempts to blend research on racial fluidity and color into an exploration of adolescent racial identity formation. I examine the effect skin tone on the likelihood and type of racial identity change among multiracial black adolescents as they transition into adulthood. My results reveal that lighter skinned adolescents are more likely to change their identification to a non-black single race, while darker skinned adolescents are more likely to change their identification to black only.

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Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall, Who is the Fairest of Them All? Colourism and light skinned privilege

Posted in Africa, Anthropology, Articles, Autobiography, Media Archive, Oceania on 2019-08-15 18:12Z by Steven

Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall, Who is the Fairest of Them All? Colourism and light skinned privilege

The Pin
2018-02-11

Elodie Silberstein, Artist & Scholar
Brooklyn, New York

Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall, Who is the Fairest of Them All? Colourism and light skinned privilege
Image Credit: Elodie Silberstein

Footscray station. Fifteen minutes by train from the city centre and here I am, in the multicultural melting pot of Melbourne. I feel thrilled. I want to sense the buzzing atmosphere of the market, and to replenish the stock of hair products that I use to enhance my natural curls. Some friends advised me to look for the requisite articles in the numerous shops of the East African community. Being new to Australia, I struggle to find products in mainstream stores that are suitable for my textured hair inherited from my Cameroonian father and French mother. The first beauty salon I encounter sets the scene. The flagship products in the window display immediately grab my attention: skin-lightening body lotions, whitening soaps… you name it, they have it. Smiley models display their charms all over the packaging promising to women of colour a lighter skin tone. A few applications, et voilà! Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all? Faced with this extravaganza of skin-whitening products I am suddenly brought back to my childhood in Cameroon, and I cannot help but feel my heart sinking.

Growing up mixed-race in Douala was a peculiar experience. Interracial unions were rare in the 1970s. My parents were a bit of a curiosity. I became used to being called chocolat au lait (milk chocolate) by my neighbours. It did not take me long to realise the obvious advantages that my lighter hue provided me over my dark chocolate counterparts in the white, but also in the black community…

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Biracial American Colorism: Passing for White

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Passing, Social Justice, United States on 2019-07-24 22:56Z by Steven

Biracial American Colorism: Passing for White

American Behavioral Scientist
Volume: 62 issue: 14 (The Implications of Colorism vis-à-vis Demographic Variation in a New Millennium)
DOI: 10.1177/0002764218810747
pages 2072-2086

Keshia L. Harris
University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Biracial Americans constitute a larger portion of the U.S. population than is often acknowledged. According to the U.S. Census, 8.4 million people or 2.6% of the population identified with two or more racial origins in 2016. Arguably, these numbers are misleading considering extensive occurrences of interracial pairings between Whites and minority racial groups throughout U.S. history. Many theorists posit that the hypodescent principle of colorism, colloquially known as “the one drop rule,” has influenced American racial socialization in such a way that numerous individuals primarily identify with one racial group despite having parents from two different racial backgrounds. While much of social science literature examines the racial identification processes of biracial Americans who identify with their minority heritage, this article focuses on contextual factors such as family income, neighborhood, religion, and gender that influence the decision for otherwise African/Asian/Latino/Native Americans to identify as White.

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The Globalization of Light Skin Colorism: From Critical Race to Critical Skin Theory

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Science on 2019-07-24 22:50Z by Steven

The Globalization of Light Skin Colorism: From Critical Race to Critical Skin Theory

American Behavioral Scientist
Volume: 62 issue: 14 (The Implications of Colorism vis-à-vis Demographic Variation in a New Millennium)
DOI: 10.1177/0002764218810755
pages 2133–2145

Ronald E. Hall, Professor of Social Work
Michigan State University

On the cusp of Western civilization, Caucasians aspired to a racial world order defining Caucasian as superior race status. Today, racial diversity is a societal theme facilitated by laws, which deems racial equality a right and racial discrimination illegal. Nevertheless, by globalization, a racial world order exists by locating light skin at the zenith of humanity. As pertains to the globalization of light skin, culture and social criteria are most significant considering the demands of a racist racial hierarchy. The existence of such a hierarchy by replacing racism with colorism then necessitates moving beyond race category. Critical race theory (CRT) per light skin as new world order must defer to critical skin theory (CST). Colorism per CST operates identical in manner to racism per CRT. CST must then be elevated to priority over CRT such that the future of humanity may be rescued from the tenacious transgressions of a racist societal past.

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