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Color in Context: Three Angles on Contemporary Colorism

Color in Context: Three Angles on Contemporary Colorism Colorism is a form of discrimination based on skin tone wherein people with light(er) complexions are advantaged over those with dark(er) ones. In this review, we define key terms, explore colorism as an individual and structural phenomenon, and identify some predominant themes in the existing scholarship on colorism. We review three case studies of contemporary uses and ramifications of colorism in order to encourage scholars to engage with this important field. These case studies are skin tone’s impact on U.S. politics, “transraciality,” the appropriation of skin tone, and finally, the global skin lightening industry. While the first two are mostly focused on the United States, the third enables an appreciation of the global dynamics of colorism, and links back to the national and regional contextual politics of skin tone. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sociology of Race and Ethnicity SAGE

Color in Context: Three Angles on Contemporary Colorism

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Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© American Sociological Association 2021
ISSN
2332-6492
eISSN
2332-6506
DOI
10.1177/23326492211012532
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Colorism is a form of discrimination based on skin tone wherein people with light(er) complexions are advantaged over those with dark(er) ones. In this review, we define key terms, explore colorism as an individual and structural phenomenon, and identify some predominant themes in the existing scholarship on colorism. We review three case studies of contemporary uses and ramifications of colorism in order to encourage scholars to engage with this important field. These case studies are skin tone’s impact on U.S. politics, “transraciality,” the appropriation of skin tone, and finally, the global skin lightening industry. While the first two are mostly focused on the United States, the third enables an appreciation of the global dynamics of colorism, and links back to the national and regional contextual politics of skin tone.

Journal

Sociology of Race and EthnicitySAGE

Published: Jul 1, 2021

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