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Looking at How Social Proximity Affects Colourism

Presenters Name: 
Abeba Amenshowa
Co Presenters Name: 
Primary Research Mentor: 
Sophie Trawalter
Secondary Research Mentor: 
1:00 - 1:15
Time of Presentation: 
2019 - 1:00pm to 1:15pm
Room 389
Presentation Type: 
Presentations Academic Category: 
Social Science
Grant Program Recipient: 
USOAR Program

Colourism is defined as a “prejudice or discrimination act against individuals with a dark skin tone.” Although prevalent within different communities worldwide, it is a widespread issue within the black population. In spite of being a big social issue, colourism is one that remains largely unstudied. The present work examines whether social distance, specifically in conjunction with gender, affects colourism. Specifically, the study will examine whether people are more likely to exhibit colourism in closer relationships (ex: a romantic partner) compared with more distant relationships (ex: co-worker). The working hypothesis states that people are more likely to exhibit colourism in closer relationships in part because people will perceive their bias in favour of lighter (vs. darker) skin as a preference, not prejudice (ex: I prefer a lighter skinned woman because they are more attractive). Ultimately, this data will offer evidence that chronic concerns about prejudice relating to gender and skin colour.