Published at Russell Sage Foundation Press (2022).
Within and across ethnoracial groups, skin color affects life experiences, including one’s financial earnings, educational opportunities, health outcomes, exposure to discrimination, interactions with the criminal justice system, and sense of group belonging. Mara Ostfeld and Nicole Yadon examine how these relationships also infuse skin color with political meaning. In particular, the authors explore how skin color influences political views among Latino, Black, and White Americans, as well as whether political views influence how members of these groups assess their own skin color. At a time when the United States is becoming both more diverse and politically divided, Skin Color, Power, and Politics in America is a timely and illuminating account of the ways in which skin color and politics are intertwined.
“Skin Color, Power, and Politics in America offers a compelling study examining the linkage between skin color and politics in the United States. Importantly, Mara Ostfeld and Nicole Yadon embark on a careful comparative analysis that examines the nuances and varied effects of skin color on the political attitudes of the three major ethnoracial groups in the United States.”
— Marisa Abrajano, Professor of Political Science, University of California San Diego
“The conception of race as a social construct is not novel. What is novel and what makes Skin Color, Power, and Politics in America an essential read is its nuanced and deeper understanding—from measurement to meaning—of the multifaceted ways that people are stratified by skin shade both across and within broadly defined racial groups, and how that sorting links to power and politics.”
— Darrick Hamilton, University Professor and Henry Cohen Professor of Economics and Urban Policy, The New School
“Skin Color, Power, and Politics in America is a landmark achievement. It provides new and important insights about how skin tone shapes politics within and across ethnoracial categories. By looking beyond broad ethnoracial categories using novel data, Mara Ostfeld and Nicole Yadon carefully reveal the manifold pathways through which race, gender, color, and class influence political ideologies and ethnoracial politics in the United States. In so doing, Skin Color, Power, and Politics in America is an indispensable resource and a must- read for anyone interested in enriching their understanding of contemporary ethnoracial politics in the United States.”
— Ellis Monk, Associate Professor of Sociology, Harvard University