Living color: The biological and social meaning of skin color

Research output: Book/ReportBook

48 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Living Color is the first book to investigate the social history of skin color from prehistory to the present, showing how our body's most visible trait influences our social interactions in profound and complex ways. In a fascinating and wide-ranging discussion, Nina G. Jablonski begins with the biology and evolution of skin pigmentation, explaining how skin color changed as humans moved around the globe. She explores the relationship between melanin pigment and sunlight, and examines the consequences of rapid migrations, vacations, and other lifestyle choices that can create mismatches between our skin color and our environment. Richly illustrated, this book explains why skin color has come to be a biological trait with great social meaning- a product of evolution perceived by culture. It considers how we form impressions of others, how we create and use stereotypes, how negative stereotypes about dark skin developed and have played out through history-including being a basis for the transatlantic slave trade. Offering examples of how attitudes about skin color differ in the U.S., Brazil, India, and South Africa, Jablonski suggests that a knowledge of the evolution and social importance of skin color can help eliminate color-based discrimination and racism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherUniversity of California Press
ISBN (Print)9780520251533
StatePublished - Sep 27 2012

Fingerprint

stereotype
slave trade
vacation
social history
prehistory
mismatch
racism
biology
discrimination
Brazil
migration
India
present
history
interaction

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)

Cite this

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Living color : The biological and social meaning of skin color. / Jablonski, Nina G.

University of California Press, 2012.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

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