The Roundtable
2:47 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Living Color: The Biological and Social Meaning of Skin Color

In the book, Living Color: The Biological and Social Meaning of Skin Color, Nina 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.

Jablonski, the Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at Penn State University, 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.

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