Living Color: The Biological and Social Meaning of Skin Color

Living Color: The Biological and Social Meaning of Skin Color

By: Nina G. Jablonski (author)Paperback

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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 feature influences our social interactions in profound and complex ways. Nina Jablonski begins this fascinating and wide-ranging work with an explanation of the biology and evolution of skin pigmentation, tracing how skin color changed as humans moved around the globe, exploring the relationship between melanin and sunlight, and examining the consequences of mismatches between our skin color and our environment due to rapid migrations, vacations, and other life-style choices. Aided by plentiful illustrations, this book also explains why skin color has become a biological trait with great social meaning - a product of evolution perceived differently by different cultures. It considers how we form impressions of others, how we create and use stereotypes, and how prejudices about dark skin developed and have played out through history - including as justification for the transatlantic slave trade. Offering examples of how attitudes toward skin color differ in the United States, 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.

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About Author

Nina G. Jablonski is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at Pennsylvania State University. She is the author of Skin: A Natural History (UC Press) and was named one of the first Alphonse Fletcher, Sr. Fellows for her efforts to improve the public understanding of skin color.


List of Illustrations Preface and Acknowledgments Introduction Part One. Biology 1. Skin's Natural Palette 2. Original Skin 3. Out of the Tropics 4. Skin Color in the Modern World 5. Shades of Sex 6. Skin Color and Health Part Two. Society 7. The Discriminating Primate 8. Encounters with Difference 9. Skin Color in the Age of Exploration 10. Skin Color and the Establishment of Races 11. Institutional Slavery and the Politics of Pigmentation 12. Skin Colors and Their Variable Meanings 13. Aspiring to Lightness 14. Desiring Darkness 15. Living in Color Notes References Index

Product Details

  • publication date: 04/11/2014
  • ISBN13: 9780520283862
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 280
  • ID: 9780520283862
  • weight: 454
  • ISBN10: 0520283864

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