Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964517 | Print ISBN: 9781412909167 | Online ISBN: 9781412964517| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The term colorism refers to the biased treatment of individuals based on their skin color and can occur interracially (similar to race bias) or intraracially (with members of the same race expressing bias against fellow members based on skin color). Colorism also refers to other identifiable racial features, such as hair texture, lip shape, nose shape, eye shape, and eye color. Like gender, skin color and related phenotypical features are readily visible traits that designate minority or majority status. Other minority statuses are not necessarily visible and thus not immediately identifiable: ableism, lesbianism, religious affiliation, social class, criminal status, and so on. The visibility of a minority trait, racial identity in this case, is key since it almost automatically invites a public response that can be experienced as bias. This entry explores the compounded effects of colorism and sexism. Historically, colorism derives from notions of supremacy, with white Northern European ...