Skin Color Bias in the Workplace: The Media’s Role and Implications Toward Preference

  • Matthew S. Harrison
  • Wendy Reynolds-Dobbs
  • Kecia M. Thomas


Racial discrimination is a widely studied topic in the areas of sociology and psychology. A common negligence of several studies concerning this issue is that many disregard the subject of skin tone stratification, and present an analysis of discrimination based upon the treatment of Blacks and Whites (both as collective units); thereby overlooking a prevalent issue that has long existed in western culture-colorism. This particular chapter examines the influence of colorism in today’s society with a specific look at the role the media plays and how, in turn, this has potential implications in the workplace. Given the variability amongst the images the media presents us with in regards to Blacks (depending upon whether or not the individual is light- or dark-skinned), the favorability of a Black applicant can be highly dependable on not necessarily their race (as often assumed), but perhaps more so, their complexion.


Black Woman Skin Color African American Woman Racial Discrimination Black Male 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew S. Harrison
    • 1
  • Wendy Reynolds-Dobbs
  • Kecia M. Thomas
  1. 1.Department of Applied (Industrial/Organizational) PsychologyThe University of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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