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Living Color: The Biological and Social Meaning of Skin Color

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Living Color: The Biological and Social Meaning of Skin Color Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Living Color is the first book to investigate the social history of skin color from prehistory to the present, showing how our bodyand#8217;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 meaningand#151;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 historyand#151;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.

and#160;

Review:

"'Children begin to attribute significance to skin color at about three years of age,' observes anthropologist Jablonski (Skin: A Natural History). 'But,' she continues, 'they don't develop ideas of race based on what they see.' The book's first half addresses the biology of skin color, lucidly explaining the science of what happened with skin color as 'people moved into solar regimes markedly different from those under which their ancestors had evolved.' The second half focuses on the social consequences of skin color; Jablonski moves succinctly through recorded history from ancient Egypt, the early faiths (Judaism, Christianity, Islam), the European Middle Ages and Renaissance, a review of the 'natural philosophers' (such as Kant), a consideration of the impact of slavery and the slave trade in modern Europe and the Americas, and a review of how skin color is regarded in South Africa, Brazil, India, and Japan. In the concluding chapters, Jablonski brings biology, culture, and health together. Her fresh approach to the skin color/race conundrum is not only provocative, but persuasive and exceptionally accessible whether she's writing about the science of skin color or Kant ('one of the most influential racists of all time'). Agent: Regina Brooks, Serendipity Literary Agency. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

and#147;Among traits that differ between human populations, skin color is the most noticeable, the subject of the most comments, and the hardest to understand. In this fascinating book, Nina Jablonski negotiates this mine field and comes up with many surprises.and#8221; and#150;Jared Diamond, author of Guns, Germs, and Steel and Collapse

"Nina Jablonski is a world-renowned expert on human pigmentation, and one of the leaders in the science of anthropology. In Living Color she has done a brilliant job of explaining the biological and cultural significance of our skin tones in nontechnical terms. Living Color should be required reading for every high school and college student." and#150;Paul R. Ehrlich, author of The Race Bomb and The Dominant Animal

and#147;Rooted firmly in the science of human history, this groundbreaking book brings the biological and social meanings of skin color into dialogue with one another, creating an open, rich, and essential conversation about this fact of life that differentiates us from one another but that ultimately, and profoundly, unites us.and#8221; and#150;Henry Louis Gates Jr., author of Faces of America and Tradition and the Black Atlantic

About the 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.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Preface and Acknowledgments

Introduction

Part One. Biology

1. Skinand#8217;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

ISBN:
9780520251533
Author:
Jablonski, Nina G.
Publisher:
University of California Press
Subject:
Anthropology - Cultural
Subject:
Anthropology - Physical
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20120931
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
10 color illustrations, 49 b/w photograp
Pages:
280
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » Style and Design
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Anatomy and Physiology
History and Social Science » Anthropology » Cultural Anthropology
History and Social Science » Anthropology » Physical
History and Social Science » Archaeology » General

Living Color: The Biological and Social Meaning of Skin Color New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$34.95 In Stock
Product details 280 pages University of California Press - English 9780520251533 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "'Children begin to attribute significance to skin color at about three years of age,' observes anthropologist Jablonski (Skin: A Natural History). 'But,' she continues, 'they don't develop ideas of race based on what they see.' The book's first half addresses the biology of skin color, lucidly explaining the science of what happened with skin color as 'people moved into solar regimes markedly different from those under which their ancestors had evolved.' The second half focuses on the social consequences of skin color; Jablonski moves succinctly through recorded history from ancient Egypt, the early faiths (Judaism, Christianity, Islam), the European Middle Ages and Renaissance, a review of the 'natural philosophers' (such as Kant), a consideration of the impact of slavery and the slave trade in modern Europe and the Americas, and a review of how skin color is regarded in South Africa, Brazil, India, and Japan. In the concluding chapters, Jablonski brings biology, culture, and health together. Her fresh approach to the skin color/race conundrum is not only provocative, but persuasive and exceptionally accessible whether she's writing about the science of skin color or Kant ('one of the most influential racists of all time'). Agent: Regina Brooks, Serendipity Literary Agency. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by ,
and#147;Among traits that differ between human populations, skin color is the most noticeable, the subject of the most comments, and the hardest to understand. In this fascinating book, Nina Jablonski negotiates this mine field and comes up with many surprises.and#8221; and#150;Jared Diamond, author of Guns, Germs, and Steel and Collapse

"Nina Jablonski is a world-renowned expert on human pigmentation, and one of the leaders in the science of anthropology. In Living Color she has done a brilliant job of explaining the biological and cultural significance of our skin tones in nontechnical terms. Living Color should be required reading for every high school and college student." and#150;Paul R. Ehrlich, author of The Race Bomb and The Dominant Animal

and#147;Rooted firmly in the science of human history, this groundbreaking book brings the biological and social meanings of skin color into dialogue with one another, creating an open, rich, and essential conversation about this fact of life that differentiates us from one another but that ultimately, and profoundly, unites us.and#8221; and#150;Henry Louis Gates Jr., author of Faces of America and Tradition and the Black Atlantic

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