Genesis of U.S. Colorism and Skin Tone Stratification: Slavery, Freedom, and Mulatto-Black Occupational Inequality in the Late 19th Century

Posted in Articles, Economics, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Slavery, Social Science, United States on 2018-12-03 02:54Z by Steven

Genesis of U.S. Colorism and Skin Tone Stratification: Slavery, Freedom, and Mulatto-Black Occupational Inequality in the Late 19th Century

The Review of Black Political Economy
First Published 2018-05-21
21 pages
DOI: 10.1177/0034644618770761

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

Studies show lighter skinned Black people are advantaged on a number of social indicators—a phenomenon called “colorism.” These studies generally contend preferences for light-skinned and/or Mulatto slaves endured the postbellum period to shape social outcomes into today. Following this idea, other studies examine differences in social outcomes between Mulattos and Blacks in the 19th century, but few empirically connect antebellum life to postbellum Mulatto–Black stratification. With that in mind, I examine whether the socio-economic differences between Mulattos and Blacks varied across geographic space in proportion to places’ reliance on slave labor and the characteristics of its free African American population. This allows me to examine whether differences in economic status between Mulattos and Blacks are a result of Mulatto advantage in the form of privileged positions during slavery. My results reveal that Mulattos have higher occupational statuses relative to Blacks in places where slavery was more prominent and where free Mulattos were literate. This suggests the intraracial hierarchy established during slavery was more likely to be replicated in places where slavery was more important, and Mulattos were able to capitalize on freedom by leveraging their literacy into better economic statuses after emancipation. These results support the idea that skin color stratification was initiated at least in part by practices during chattel slavery and offers some plausible mechanisms for its transmission.

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Are Biracial People Better-Looking? New Research On Beauty And Race

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2016-08-17 14:23Z by Steven

Are Biracial People Better-Looking? New Research On Beauty And Race

Medical Daily
2016-08-15

Dana Dovey, Health and Science Reporter

The number of interracial marriages are at an all-time high, and the biracial demographic continues to grow. However, our admiration for the “exotic” looks of multicultural people may have consequences. According to a recent study, black people who simply say they’re multiracial are considered better-looking by others, regardless of how they actually look.

For the study, 3,200 self-identified black people were interviewed by people of all different races as part of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. The interviewees were asked a series of questions about their racial background. Afterwards, the interviewers then rated the black interviewees on their attractiveness based on a scale of one to five. Results revealed that individuals who said they were multiracial got higher scores of attractiveness, suggesting that just the idea that an African-American person is of mixed-race heritage makes that person more attractive to others…

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I seek to take a different approach and examine how racial self-identification influences perception, not of race, but of attractiveness, which has also been shown to be an agent of stratification.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2016-08-15 15:22Z by Steven

These studies on self-identification hinge on the idea that self-identification is derived in part from people’s interpretations of external perceptions and social context, e.g., because multiracial people with black heritage think they are viewed as black rather than multiracial, they identify as black. I seek to take a different approach and examine how racial self-identification influences perception, not of race, but of attractiveness, which has also been shown to be an agent of stratification. People viewed as more attractive are afforded a variety of privileges including being viewed as more competent (Parks and Kennedy 2007; Ritts et al. 1992), having higher incomes (Frieze et al. 1991), and having increased chances of being hired (Hosoda et al. 2003; for an in-depth review of this literature see Frevert and Walker 2014). While studies have examined the intraracial effects of skin tone on attractiveness (e.g., Hill 2002), few have explored how other processes  such as multiraciality affect perceptions of attractiveness.

Robert L. Reece, “What are You Mixed with: the Effect of Multiracial Identification on Perceived Attractiveness,” The Review of Black Political Economy, June 2016, Volume 43, Issue 2, 141. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12114-015-9218-1.

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What are You Mixed with: the Effect of Multiracial Identification on Perceived Attractiveness

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2016-08-15 13:30Z by Steven

What are You Mixed with: the Effect of Multiracial Identification on Perceived Attractiveness

The Review of Black Political Economy
June 2016, Volume 43, Issue 2
pages 139–147
DOI: 10.1007/s12114-015-9218-1

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

Studies consistently show that attractiveness is racialized, and in a racial hierarchy that privileges whites at the expense of blacks, white phenotypic characteristics are deemed more attractive than black phenotypic characteristics. This study seeks to examine whether the racialized nature of attractiveness is based on more than just appearance. To that end, I use Add Health data to analyze whether black people who identify as mixed race rather than as a single race are perceived as more attractive even when controlling for phenotype, particularly skin tone, eye color, and hair color.

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Beauty is in the Ear of the Beholder Too

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2016-08-15 13:19Z by Steven

Beauty is in the Ear of the Beholder Too

Duke Research Blog
Duke University
2016-08-10

Eric Ferreri

Just the suggestion that an African-American person is of mixed-race heritage makes that person more attractive to others, research from Duke University concludes.

This holds true even if the people in question aren’t actually of multiracial heritage, according to the peer-reviewed study, published in the June 2016 issue of Review of Black Political Economy.

The simple perception of exoticism sways people to see multiracial blacks as better-looking, says study author Robert L. Reece, a doctoral candidate in sociology at Duke.

“Being exotic is a compelling idea,” Reece says. “So people are attracted to a certain type of difference. It’s also partially just racism – the notion that black people are less attractive, so being partially not-black makes you more attractive.”…

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Is Parental Love Colorblind? Human Capital Accumulation within Mixed Families

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Economics, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Social Science on 2014-11-19 17:32Z by Steven

Is Parental Love Colorblind? Human Capital Accumulation within Mixed Families

The Review of Black Political Economy
2014-07-04
DOI: 10.1007/s12114-014-9190-1

Marcos A. Rangel, Assistant Professor
Sanford School of Public Policy
Duke University, Durham, North Carolina

Studies have shown that differences in wage-determinant skills between blacks and whites emerge during a child’s infancy, highlighting the roles of parental characteristics and investment decisions. Exploring the genetics of skin-color and models of intrahousehold allocations, I present evidence that, controlling for observed and unobserved parental characteristics, light-skinned children are more likely to receive investments in formal education than their dark-skinned siblings. Conscious parental decisions regarding human capital acquisition for their children seem to contribute for the persistence of earnings differentials and socio-economic stratification in Brazil.

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Biological v. Social Definitions of Race: Implications for Modern Biomedical Research

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, United States on 2012-01-09 05:51Z by Steven

Biological v. Social Definitions of Race: Implications for Modern Biomedical Research

The Review of Black Political Economy
Volume 37, Number 1 (2010)
pages 43-60
DOI: 10.1007/s12114-009-9053-3

Joseph L. Graves, Professor & Associate Dean for Research
Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering
North Carolina A&T State University & University of North Carolina, Greensboro

Misconceptions concerning the concordance of biological and social definitions of race are ongoing in American society. This problem extends beyond that of the lay public into the professional arena, especially that of biomedical research. This continues, in part, because of the lack of training of many biomedical practitioners in evolutionary thinking. This essay reviews the biological and social definitions of race, examining how understanding the evolutionary mechanisms of disease is crucial to addressing ongoing health disparities. Finally it concludes by laying bear the fallacies of “race-specific” medicine.

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