Skin Bleaching and the Cultural Meanings of Race and Skin Color

12 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2014

Date Written: March 21, 2014


The explanations for skin bleaching in Jamaica are best pursued by using: a nested qualitative inquiry of the historical origins of the social meanings that influence the Jamaican skin bleachers; an examination of cultural artifacts in Jamaica for evidence of the meanings of skin bleaching; an examination of the repeated behavior of the skin bleachers in their interaction with skin bleaching vendors to understand skin bleaching as a cultural practice; conversations with Jamaicans about skin bleaching, and an examination of their narratives for the consensual meanings that influence skin bleachers

Keywords: skin bleaching, skin toning, skin lightening, skin whitening, Jamaica, dancehall, race, skin color, racism, colorism, culture, social representations, blackness

Suggested Citation

Charles, Christopher, Skin Bleaching and the Cultural Meanings of Race and Skin Color (March 21, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

Christopher Charles (Contact Author)

University of the West Indies ( email )

Kingston 7
Mona, Mona Kingston 7

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