CitationThompson, Maxine S. & McDonald, Steve (2016). Race, Skin Tone, and Educational Achievement. Sociological Perspectives. vol. 59 (1) pp. 91-111
AbstractResearch on skin-tone bias has focused primarily on intraracial inequality with little attention to skin-tone inequality across ethnoracial groups. We engage the debate over the color line by considering the independent, simultaneous, and interactive impacts of skin tone and self-identified race on educational performance. Analyses of National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) and Adolescent Health and Academic Achievement (AHAA) data show significant skin-tone differences in grade point average (GPA) both across and within racial groups, with darker skinned tone individuals receiving significantly lower grades than their lighter skinned tone counterparts. Net of controls, skin-tone differences in GPA are essentially flat among African Americans but are notably stronger among other race/ethnic groups. These findings highlight the interplay between racial categorization and colorism by revealing the categorical disadvantage of racial stigma versus the more fluid colorism boundaries of nonblack groups.
Keyword(s)mexican-americans phenotypic discrimination teacher expectations Social Class High school Color students
Reference TypeJournal Article
Journal TitleSociological Perspectives
Author(s)Thompson, Maxine S.