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A series of articles on
Race and ethnicity
Main topics

White people (Whites) is a term which is usually used to refer to human beings characterized, at least in part, by the light pigmentation of their skin. It often refers narrowly to people claiming ancestry exclusively from Europe.[1][2] A broadly corresponding concept is the Caucasian race.[3] Caucasoid people from the Middle East, North Africa, and parts of Central and South Asia[4] may also be considered "white."

Rather than a straightforward description of skin color, the term white functions as a color terminology for race. Various conceptions of whiteness have had implications in terms of national identity, consanguinity, public policy, religion, population statistics, racial segregation/affirmative action, eugenics, racial marginalization and racial quotas. The concept has been applied with varying degrees of formality and internal consistency in disciplines including: sociology, politics, genetics, biology, medicine, biomedicine, language, culture, and law.

Raj Bhopal and Liam Donaldson, both M.D.s at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, England, criticize the broad classification of white used by contemporary demographic surveys such as the U.S. Census and British Census. They state that the term white "in practice, refers to people of European origin with pale complexions". They conclude that white people are a sufficiently heterogeneous group that white should be abandoned as a classification for purposes of epidemiology and health research.[5]

History of the term

A 19th century craniometry drawing comparing different races' skulls.

The definition of white people has varied in different time periods and locations. Ancient Greece used the term white as one description of skin color. Its light appearance was distinguished, for example, in a comparison of white-skinned Persian soldiers from the sun-tanned skin of Greek troops in Xenophon's Agesilaus.[6] One early use of the term appears in the Amherst Papyri, which were scrolls written in ancient Ptolemaic Greek. It contained the use of black and white in reference to human skin color.[7] In an analysis of the rise of the term, classicist James Dee found that, "the Greeks do not describe themselves as "white people" —or as anything else because they had no regular word in their color vocabulary for themselves—and we can see that the concept of a distinct 'white race' was not present in the ancient world."[6] Assignment of positive and negative connotations of white and black date to the classical period in a number of European languages, but these differences were not applied to skin color per se. Religious conversion was described figuratively as a change in skin color.[6]


Some 19th and 20th century scientific ideas of race rejected skin colour as definitive. The two Somali women and Indian man and woman are part of the same white race as Europeans by such measures, e.g. Lyde (1914) states "The non-European population of Africa belongs mainly to one of two races, the White and the Black [the whites of African include] Arabs and Abyssinians... Berbers and Tuaregs, Masai and Somalis"[8]

The term "white race" or "white people" entered dictionaries of the major European languages in the 1600s.[6] Winthrop Jordan, author of White Over Black: American Attitudes Towards the Negro, argues that race emerged with the inherited status of slavery. He says the shift from Christian, free, and English to white happened in approximately 1680.[9] James Allen notes in The Invention of the White Race that white identity emerged in the colonies with slavery, and says, "Another seventeenth-century commentator, Morgan Godwyn, found it necessary to explain to the English at home that, in Barbados, 'white' was "the general name for Europeans."[10] White quickly became a legal category, encoded in a variety of laws and conferring different status.

In 1758, Carolus Linnaeus proposed what he considered to be natural taxonomic categories of the human species. He distinguished between Homo sapiens and Homo sapiens europaeus, and he later added four geographical subdivisions of humans: white Europeans, red Americans, yellow Asians and black Africans. Although Linnaeus intended them as objective classifications, he used both taxonomical and cultural data in his subdivision descriptions.[11]

In 1775, Johann Friedrich Blumenbach described the white race as "the white color holds the first place, such as it is that most Europeans. The redness of cheeks in this variety is almost peculiar to it: at all events it is but seldom seen in the rest... Color white, Cheeks rosy".[12] He categorized humans into five races, which largely corresponded with Linnaeus' classifications, except for the addition of Oceanians (whom he called Malay).[11] He characterized the racial classification scheme of Metzger as making "two principal varieties as extremes:(1) the white man native of Europe, of the northern parts of Asia, America and Africa.."[13], and the racial classification scheme of John Hunter as having, "seven varieties:... (6) brownish as the southern Europeans, Italians &e., Turks, Abyssinians, Samoiedes and Lapps; (7) white, as the remaining Europeans, the Mingrelians and Kabardinski"[13]. Blumenbach is known for arguing that physical characteristics like skin color, cranial profile, etc., were correlated with group character and aptitude. Craniometry and phrenology would attempt to make physical appearance correspond with racial categories. The fairness and relatively high brows of Caucasians were held to be apt physical expressions of a loftier mentality and a more generous spirit. The epicanthic folds around the eyes of Mongolians and their slightly sallow outer epidermal layer bespoke their supposedly crafty, literal-minded nature.

Later in life, Blumenbach encountered in Switzerland "eine zum Verlieben schönen Négresse" ("a negro woman so beautiful to fall in love with"). Further anatomical study led him to the conclusion that 'individual Africans differ as much, or even more, from other individual Africans as Europeans differ from Europeans'. Furthermore he concluded that Africans were not inferior to the rest of mankind 'concerning healthy faculties of understanding, excellent natural talents and mental capacities'.[14] These later ideas were far less influential than his earlier assertions with regard to the perceived relative qualities of the different races, which opened the way to secular and scientific racism.[15]

In a 1775 work, Von den verschiedenen Rassen der Menschen ("Of [About] The Different Races of Humans"), German philosopher Immanuel Kant used the term weiß (white) to refer to "the white one [race] of northern Europe" (p.267).[13]

According to Gregory Jay, an English professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee,

Before the age of exploration, group differences were largely based on language, religion, and geography. … the European had always reacted a bit hysterically to the differences of skin color and facial structure between themselves and the populations encountered in Africa, Asia, and the Americas (see, for example, Shakespeare's dramatization of racial conflict in Othello and The Tempest). Beginning in the 1500s, Europeans began to develop what became known as "scientific racism," the attempt to construct a biological rather than cultural definition of race ... Whiteness, then, emerged as what we now call a "pan-ethnic" category, as a way of merging a variety of European ethnic populations into a single "race" …

—Gregory Jay, "Who Invented White People?"[16]

Physical appearance

There is no universal definition of "whiteness" as a human physical characteristic. The most notable trait describing people who identify as white is light skin, although even this trait is not universal amongst people identifying as white, for example there is an: "influence of social class to the fluidity of color/race identification in Brazil. Wealthier people with darker phenotypes tend to classify themselves and be classified by others in lighter categories".[17][dubious]

Light skin

White people are archetypically distinguished by pale skin. In Jablonski and Chaplin's (2000) study, The evolution of human skin coloration, Europeans have lighter skin (as measured by population average skin reflectance read by spectrophotometer at A685) than any other group that was measured. On the other hand, women have lighter skin than men in all human groups. Southern Europeans (measures taken from Spaniards) show a skin pigmentation in parts of the body not exposed to the sun similar to that of Northern Europeans and, in some cases, even lighter.[18] While all mean values of skin reflectance of non-European populations are lower than Europeans for the groups represented in this study, there is significant overlap between populations.[19] This observation has been noted by the Supreme Court of the United States, which stated in a 1923 lawsuit over whiteness that the "swarthy brunette[s] ... are darker than some of the lighter hued persons of the brown or yellow races".[20]

The epidermis of light skinned people is not actually white. The underlying layers of collagen and adipose tissue are white in people of all races. In lightly pigmented people, the epidermis is an almost transparent layer of film. Consequently the epidermis allows the underlying white tissues to become visible.[21] Blood vessels interlaced between the adipose tissue produce the pale pink color associated with light skin. Pigments known as carotenes found in the fat produce a more yellow effect. In darker skinned people the epidermis is filled with melanosomes that obscure the underlying layers.[22][23][24] Most mammals have a thick layer of body hair that protects the skin from the sun's rays and also keeps the body warm at night. Chimpanzees are the closest living relatives to humans. Since they have light skin covered by hair, it is likely that our shared common ancestor would also have lacked pigmentation and been covered by hair.[25] As human brain size increased the increase in its energy requirements would have required finer thermoregulation to avoid overheating.[18] This may be one reason why humans developed sweat glands, an evolution we share only with similarly hairless swine. The additional loss of body hair would have increased the effectiveness of evaporation of sweat, and produced better cooling.[18] Though naked skin is advantageous for thermoregulation, it exposes the epidermis to destructive levels of UV radiation that can cause sunburn, skin cancer and birth defects resulting from the destruction of the essential vitamin B folate.[18] Consequently strong natural selection in Africa favored increased levels of melanin in the skin, and the hairless Hominina ancestors of modern humans lost their light skin.[18]

The skin of albinos is similar to European and East Asian people's skin in that it is depigmented relative to other populations. However, in white and East Asian people the enzymes that produce melanin are still active and produce relatively small amounts of melanin to provide some coloration to the skin. With albinos, the enzyme that produces melanin is defective, thus they produce virtually no melanin, which produces the palest skin of all humans.[26] Since melanin protects the skin from UV radiation, albinos have no natural protection and their skin is vulnerable to sunlight that can be tolerated by other light-skinned peoples. Furthermore in the presence of more intense levels of UV radiation from the sun, the skin cells of white and East Asian people are able to produce additional amounts of melanin to tan the skin to a darker complexion, providing extra protection, while albinos lack the ability to tan.[27][28] Albinism is very rare. For example, one person in 17,000 in the United States has some type of albinism.[29]

Origins of light skin

Any mutation that produced lighter skin color would have been a severe disadvantage to those living under the bright African sun.[25] When humans left Africa for less sun intense regions of the world, the selective pressure against lighter skin would have relaxed. This probably explains the greater variety of skin color found outside sub-Saharan Africa.[30] Lighter skin colors may have been advantageous at higher latitudes since they allow greater penetration of the sun's UV radiation, a requirement for vitamin D synthesis. This may have led to selection for lightly pigmented skin.[25] Scientists have identified at least 100 genes associated with pigment processing. Though African populations are relatively dark, according to a recent study[How to reference and link to summary or text] they possess a greater diversity in skin complexion than all other populations. It is therefore likely that many of the alleles associated with light pigmentation were already present in an ancestral population in Africa prior to their dispersal. When humans migrated out of Africa, the lighter skin causing alleles may have accumulated in one population, either by genetic drift, natural selection, sexual selection or a combination of these effects. Since their effects are additive it is possible light skin could arise over several generations without any new mutations taking place.[31][32]

According to Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza, light skin probably arose in North Africa or both in the north and east.[33]

A 2006 study provides evidence that the light skin pigmentation observed in Europeans and East Asians arose independently. They concluded that light pigmentation in Europeans is at least partially due to the effects of positive directional and/or sexual selection.[34]

Molecular biology of light skin

Skin color is a quantitative trait that varies continuously on a gradient from dark to light, as it is a polygenic trait, under the influence of several genes. Many of these genes have yet to be identified, however two genes are known that do contribute to skin color, they are the MC1R and the SLC24A5 genes.[25] The mutation resulting in the light skin version of the SLC24A5 gene has been estimated to have originated in Europe between 6,000 and 12,000 years ago, indicating that at least one of the genes responsible for pale skin colour in Europeans arose relatively recently.[35]

Mixed ancestry people of African-European descent who possess one or two copies of the European allele of the SLC24A5 gene have skin color that is significantly lighter than mixed ancestry people who possess only the African allele. It is estimated, based on this observation, that the SLC24A5 locus "explains between 25-38% of the European-African difference in skin melanin index".[36][32][37][38]

Census and social definitions in different regions

Further information: Whiteness studies

Definitions of white have changed over the years, including the official definitions used in many countries, such as the United States and Brazil.[39] Some defied official regulations through the phenomenon of "passing", many of them becoming white people, either temporarily or permanently. Through the mid- to late 20th century, numerous countries had formal legal standards or procedures defining racial categories (see cleanliness of blood, apartheid in South Africa, hypodescent). However, as critiques of racism and scientific arguments against the existence of race arose, a trend towards self-identification of racial status arose. Below are some census definitions of white, which may differ from the social definition of white within the same country. The social definition has also been added where possible.


Main article: White Argentine

Argentina, along with other areas of new settlement like Canada, Australia, New Zealand or the United States, is considered a country of immigrants where the vast majority originated from Europe.[40] According to different estimates, white Argentines make up anywhere from 86.4%[41] to 97% of Argentina's population, or around 39 million people.[42]

Most immigrants came between the mid-19th century and World War II. Nearly half were from Italy,[43] and almost one third from Spain. Poland, France, the Ottoman Empire (chiefly Christian Lebanese and Syrians), Russia, Austria-Hungary, Germany, Yugoslavia, and Portugal made up the other eight top sources of immigrants. Switzerland, Belgium, United Kingdom, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden, and the United States were the next largest. European Jews were among the Eastern European arrivals.

Argentine censuses are conducted on the basis of self-identification. According to the last census, 95% of Argentines identify as white.[44][verification needed]

Criticism of the national census state that data has historically been collected using the category of national origin rather than race in Argentina, leading to undercounting Afro-Argentines and mestizos.[45] Africa Viva (Africa Lives) is a black rights group in Buenos Aires with the support of the Organization of American States, financial aid from the World Bank and Argentina's census bureau is working to add an "Afro-descendants" category to the 2010 census. The 1887 national census was the final year where blacks were included as a separate category before it was eliminated by the government.[46]


Further information: Europeans in Oceania

From 1788, when the first British colony in Australia was founded, until the early 19th century, most immigrants to Australia were British and Irish convicts. These were augmented by small numbers of free settlers from Britain, Ireland and other European countries. However, until the mid-19th century, there were few restrictions on immigration, although members of ethnic minorities tended to be assimilated into the Anglo-Celtic populations.

People of many nationalties, including many non-white people, emigrated to Australia during the goldrushes of the 1850s. However, the vast majority was still white and the goldrushes inspired the first racist activism and policy, directed mainly at Chinese people.

From the late 19th century, the Colonial/State and later federal governments of Australia restricted all permanent immigration to the country by non-Europeans. These policies became known as the "White Australia policy", which was consolidated and enabled by the Immigration Restriction Act 1901,[47] but was never universally applied. Immigration inspectors were empowered to ask immigrants to take dictation from any European language as a test for admittance, a test used in practice to exclude people from Asia, Africa, and some European and South American countries, depending on the political climate.

Although they were not the prime targets of the policy, it was not until after World War II that large numbers of southern European and eastern European immigrants were admitted for the first time.[48] Following this, the White Australia Policy was relaxed in stages: non-European nationals who could demonstrate European descent were admitted (e.g. descendants of European colonizers and settlers from Latin American or Africa), as were autochthonous inhabitants of various nations from the Middle East, most significantly from Lebanon. In 1973, all immigration restrictions based on race and/or geographic origin were officially terminated.


Main article: White Brazilian

Brazil's definition of whiteness is premised on racial mixture rather than hypodescent, producing a range of historical categories for race.

Recent censuses in Brazil are conducted on the basis of self-identification. In the 2000 census, 53% of Brazilians (approximately 93 million people in 2000; around 100 million as of 2006) were white and 39% pardo or multiracial Brazilians. White is applied as a term to people of European descent (including European Jews), and Middle Easterners of all faiths. The census shows a trend of fewer Brazilians of African descent (blacks and pardos) identifying as white people as their social status increases.[49][50] Demographers estimate that of the Brazilians who classify themselves as White, as many as 15 percent have enough of a trace of African ancestry to be considered Black by methods used to classify groups in the United States.[51]


In the results of Statistics Canada's 2001 Canadian Census, white is one category in the population groups data variable, derived from data collected in question 19 (the results of this question are also used to derive the visible minority groups variable).[52]

In the 1995 Employment Equity Act, '"members of visible minorities" means persons, other than Aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour'. In the 2001 Census, persons who marked-in Chinese, South Asian, African, Filipino, Latin American, Southeast Asian, Arab, West Asian, Middle Eastern, Japanese or Korean were included in the visible minority population.[53] A separate census question on "cultural or ethnic origin" (question 17) does not refer to skin color.[54]


Main article: Demographics of Chile

The bulk of the Chilean population features a white and white-mestizo (castizo) composition[55], making up the 95% of the population. A more detailed breakdown classifies 30% of Chileans as white and 65% as either castizo ("white mestizo").Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; invalid names, e.g. too many, According to another recent study estimates that Lizcano (2005), the whites population corresponds to a 52.7% of Chileans.[56]. And from Chile's various waves of immigrants Spanish, Italians, Irish, French, Germans, English, Scots, Croats, and Palestinian communities, the latter being the largest colony of that people outside of the Arab world,[57] [58] [59]. The more notable other groups are the largest ethnic group that makes up the Chilean population are arrived from Spain and Basque regions in the south of France. Estimated to be descendants of Basques in Chile from 10% (1,600,000) to as high as 27% (4,500,000).[60] [61] [62] [63] [64] Another group of immigrants are historically significant, Croatian with 380,000 to 500,000 with the highest number of descendants of Croats.[65][66] They did transform the country culturally, economically and politically.


According to the Norwegian Social Science Data Service, white is a possible answer to ethnic/people group category question. After Norwegians, Sami, Kvens and other Nordics, it is mentioned as white/European. Other categories are Asian, Black/African/Caribbean and "other".[67]

Great Britain and Ireland

Historical white identities

File:Beddoe et al.png

It was common in nineteenth century Britain for the elite to deny whiteness to several groups of people, notably people from Ireland and Wales and the working class of England.Template:Hidden beginJohn Beddoe (top left) claimed that Irish people were more Africanoid than English people (and that English people were more prone to genius). Robert Knox (bottom left) believed that the English were a superior species, and drew sketches such as that bottom right of 'A Celtic groupe; such as may be seen at any time in Marylebone, London'.[68] This chauvinism lead Lord Milner (top right) to comment "I never knew the working classes had such white skins" when he saw English soldiers washing during the Battle of the Somme.[69]Template:Hidden end

Historically in Great Britain and Ireland whiteness may have been associated with social status. Aristocrats may have had less exposure to the sun, and therefore a pale complexion may have been associated with status and wealth. This may be the origin of "blue blood" as a description of royalty, the skin being so lightly pigmented that the blueness of the veins could be clearly seen.[70] The change in the meaning of white that occurred in the colonies (see above) to distinguish Europeans from non-Europeans did not apply to 'home' countries (England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales). Whiteness therefore retained a meaning associated with social status. During the nineteenth century, when the British Empire was at its peak, many of the bourgeoisie and aristocracy developed extremely chauvinistic attitudes to those of lower social rank. Edward Lhuyd discovered that Welsh, Gaelic, Cornish and Breton are all part of the same language family, which he called "Celtic," and were distinct from the Germanic English; this can be seen in context with nineteenth century romantic nationalism. On the other hand the discovery of Anglo-Saxon remains also lead to a belief that the English were descended from a distinct Germanic lineage that was fundamentally (and racially) different to that of the Celts. Early British anthropologists such as John Beddoe and Robert Knox emphasised this distinction, and it was common to find texts that claimed that Welsh, Irish and Scottish people are the descendants of the indigenous more "primitive" inhabitants of the islands, while the English, are the descendants of a more advanced and recent "Germanic" migration. Beddoe especially postulated that the Welsh and Irish people are closer to the Cro-Magnon, whom he also considered Africanoid, and it was common to find references to the swarthyness of the skin of peoples from the west of the islands, by comparison to the more pale skinned and blond English residing in the east. For example Thomas Huxley's "On the Geographical Distribution of the Chief Modifications of Mankind" (1870) described Irish, Scots and Welsh peoples as a mixture of "melanochroi" (melano - dark coloured), and "xanthochroi", while the the English were "xanthochroi" (xanthro - yellow). Just as race reified whiteness in the colonies, so capitalism without social welfare reified whiteness with regards to social class in nineteenth century Britain and Ireland; this social distinction of whiteness became, over time, associated with racial difference. For example George Sims in How the poor live (1883) wrote of "…a dark continent that is within easy reach of the General Post Office… the wild races who inhabit it will, I trust, gain public sympathy as easily as [other] savage tribes"[71] and Count Gobineau in The Inequality of Human Races wrote the following:

Every social order is founded upon three social classes, each of which represents a racial variety: the nobility, a more or less accurate reflection of the conquering race; the bourgeoisie composed of mixed stock coming close to the chief race; and the common people who live in servitude or at least in a very depressed position.[72]

Modern and official use

In the UK, the Office for National Statistics uses the term white as an ethnic category. The terms White British, White Irish and White Other are used. White British includes English, Northern Irish, Scottish, and Welsh peoples. The category White Irish refers to white people from the Republic of Ireland. White Other includes all white people not from the British Isles.[73][74] Socially, in the UK white usually refers only to people of native British and European origin.[75] In 2001 92.2% of the British population identifed themselves as white, and 2006 estimates for England only, state the English population as 88.7% white; however, the face of the UK is dramatically changing as can be seen by the country's 2005 birth records that reveal less than 65% of newborns as white.[76]

United States

See also: White American and Definitions of whiteness in the United States

The current U.S. Census definition includes white "people having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East or North Africa.[77] The U.S. Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation describes white people as "having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa through racial categories used in the UCR Program adopted from the Statistical Policy Handbook (1978) and published by the Office of Federal Statistical Policy and Standards, U.S. Department of Commerce.[78]

The cultural boundaries separating white Americans from other racial or ethnic categories are contested and always changing. According to John Tehranian, among those not considered white at some points in American history have been: the Irish, Germans, Jews, Italians, Spaniards, Hispanics, Slavs, and Greeks.[79] Studies have found that while current parameters officially encompassed Middle Eastern Americans as part of the White American racial category, a lot of Arab Americans from places other than Bilad al-Sham feel they are not white and are not perceived as white by American society."[80]

Professor David R. Roediger of the University of Illinois, suggests that the construction of the white race in the United States was an effort to mentally distance slave owners from slaves.[81] By the 18th century, white had become well established as a racial term. The process of officially being defined as white by law often came about in court disputes over pursuit of citizenship. The Immigration Act of 1790 offered naturalization only to "any alien, being a free white person". In at least 52 cases, people denied the status of white by immigration officials sued in court for status as white people. By 1923, courts had vindicated a "common-knowledge" standard, concluding that "scientific evidence" was incoherent. Legal scholar John Tehranian argues that in reality this was a "performance-based" standard, relating to religious practices, education, intermarriage and a community's role in the United States.[82]

In 1923, the Supreme Court decided in United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind that people of India were not "free white men" entitled to citizenship, despite anthropological evidence in "the extreme northwestern districts of India"[83] there is present the "Caucasian or Aryan race"[83] with an "intermixture of blood"[83] from the "dark skinned Dravidian.

One drop rule


Warren Harding and Barack Obama.Template:Hidden beginHarding may have had enough African American ancestry (one great grandparent) for him to be black under the one drop rule.[84] Conversely Barack Obama has one African parent and one white American parent. Having a white parent is never enough to be considered white, there is no reverse one drop rule. Obama is normally identified as black and identifies himself as African American.[85]Template:Hidden end

Further information: One drop rule

The one drop rule — that a person with any amount of known of African ancestry (however small or invisible) is not white — is is a classification that has been used in the United States.[86] It is a colloquial term for a set of laws passed by 18 states of the USA between 1910 and 1931, many of these laws were passed as a consequence of Plessy v. Ferguson, a Supreme Court decision that upheld the concept of racial segregation by accepting a separate but equal argument. The set of laws was finally declared unconstitutional in 1967, when the Supreme Court ruled on anti-miscegenation laws while hearing Loving v. Virginia, which also found that Virginia's Racial Integrity Act of 1924 was unconstitutional. The one drop rule attempted to create a bifurcated system of either black or white regardless of a person's physical appearance, but sometimes failed as people with African ancestry sometimes passed as "white" as noted above. This contrasts with the more flexible social structures present in Latin America, where there were no clear-cut divisions between various ethnicities.[87].

As a result of centuries of having children with White people, the majority of African Americans have white admixture, and many white people also have African ancestry. Robert P. Stuckert, member of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at The Ohio State University said that the majority of the descendants of African slaves are white.[88] Writer and editor Debra Dickerson questions the legitimacy of the one drop rule, stating that "easily one-third of blacks have white DNA".[89] She argues that in ignoring their white ancestry, African Americans are denying their fully articulated multi-racial identities. The peculiarity of the one drop rule may be illustrated by the case of singer Mariah Carey,[90] who was publicly called "another white girl trying to sing black", but in an interview with Larry King, responded that—despite her physical appearance and the fact that she was raised primarily by her white mother—due to the one drop rule she did not "feel white."[91][92][93]


Main article: Demographics of Uruguay

Uruguayans and Argentines share closely related demographic ties. Different estimates state that Uruguay's population of 3.4 million is composed of 88% to 93% white Uruguayans.[94][95] Uruguay's population is heavily populated by people of European origin mainly Spaniards, followed closely by Italians,[96] including numbers of French, Germans, Irish, British, Swiss, Eastern Europeans, Southern Europeans, Dutch, Belgians, Austrians, Scandinavians, Lebanese, and Armenians which migrated to Uruguay in the late 19th and 20th centuries.[How to reference and link to summary or text]

According to the 2006 National Survey of Homes by the Uruguayan National Institute of Statistics: 94.6% self-identified as having a white background, 9.1% chose Afro/Black ancestry, and 4.5% chose a native American ancestry (people surveyed were allowed to choose more than one option).[97]

See also


  1. According to Alastair Bonnet non-European claims to racial whiteness in Europe and North America have been reduced to a "technicality little favoured outside certain immigration bureaucracies and traditional anthropology." Bonnet, Alastair (2000) White Identities. Pearson Education. ISBN 058235627X
  2. Claims of ancestry exclusively from Europe became important especially in the USA due to anti-miscegenation laws and the one drop rule, where a single "drop" of non-European "blood" excludes that person from whiteness. Nevertheless according to Frank B. Sweet, recent research has shown that a significant minority of white people in the USA do have recent non-European ancestors that they are probably unaware of: "About one-third of White Americans are of between two and twenty percent recent African genetic admixture, as measured by the ancestry-informative markers in their DNA. This comes to about 74 million Americans." Sweet, Frank, B. (2004) "Afro-European Genetic Admixture in the United States" in Backintyme Essays. See also Passing (racial identity)
  3. For example Alastair Bonnet claims that "Nevertheless, a much stronger current of scientific research supported the theory that Europeans were but one expression of a wider racial group (termed, sometimes interchangeably, Caucasian, Aryan and white), a group that included peoples from Asia and North Africa. This tradition established itself as the more scholarly expression of racial whiteness." Bonnet, A (2000) White Identities. Pearson Education. ISBN 058235627X p.18
  4. The Great Human Diasporas by Cavali-Sforza, 1995, pg 119-120 writes “[T]he Caucasoids are mainly fair-skinned peoples, but this group also includes the southern Indians, who live in tropical areas and show signs of a marked darkening in skin pigmentation, although their facial and body traits are Caucasoid rather than African or Australian."[dubious]
  5. Bhopal R, Donaldson L (September 1998). White, European, Western, Caucasian, or what? Inappropriate labeling in research on race, ethnicity, and health. Am J Public Health 88 (9): 1303–7.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 James H. Dee, "Black Odysseus, White Caesar: When Did 'White People' Become 'White'?" The Classical Journal, Vol. 99, No. 2. (December 2003 – January 2004), pp. 162 ff..
  7. Alan Cameron, Black and White: A Note on Ancient Nicknames, The American Journal of Philology, Vol. 119, No. 1 (Spring, 1998), pp. 113-117
  8. Bonnet, Alastair (2000) White Identities: "Nevertheless a much stronger current of scientific research supporters the theory that Europeans were but one expression of a wider racial group (termed sometimes Caucasian, Aryan and white), a group that included peoples from Asia and North Africa... in A Geography of Africa (Lyde 1914) 'The non-European population of Africa belongs mainly to one of two races, the White and the Black' Amongst the whites of African are included 'Arabs and Abysinians... Berbers and Tuaregs, Masai and Somalis'" p. 18
  9. Winthrop D. Jordan, The White Man's Burden, (condensed version of Black Over White), 1974, p. 52.
  10. James Allen (1994). The Invention of the White Race: Racial Oppression and Social Control, Verso. ISBN 086091660X.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Sarah A Tishkoff & Kenneth K Kidd (2004) Implications of biography of human populations for 'race' and medicine Nature Genetics
  12. Painter, Nell Irvin. Yale University. "Why White People are Called Caucasian?" 2003. September 27, 2007. [1]
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Quoted in Blumenbach, Johann. The Anthropological Treatise of Johann Friedrich Blumenbach. London: Longman Green, 1865.
  14. Jack Hitt, “Mighty White of You: Racial Preferences Color America’s Oldest Skulls and Bones,” Harper’s, July 2005, pp. 39-55
  15. Fredrickson, George M. Racism: A Short History, p.57, Princeton University Press (2002), ISBN 0-691-00899-X
  16. Gregory Jay w [Who Invented White People?], 1998.
  17. The concept and measurement of race and their relationship to public health: a review focused on Brazil and the United States by Claudia Travassos and David R. Williams. Cad. Saúde Pública (2004) v.20 n.3. The Perception of “Racial” Traits by Frank W Sweet. Essays on the Color Line and the One-Drop Rule (2004). Backintyme Essays. Sexual preference of paleness in women is a cultural universal, and has been reported from medieval Japan, Aztec Mexico and Moorish Spain, even before there was significant contact with Western ideology: Peter Frost "Fair Women, Dark Men: The Forgotten Roots of Color Prejudice," (2005). Preference of lighter-skinned women by black men is reported both in sub-Saharan Africa and in the black diaspora (Lyang 2006
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 NG, Chaplin G. 2000 The evolution of skin coloration, p. 19.
  19. American Anthropological Association, "The Human Spectrum", Race: Are we so different? website.
  20. John Tehranian, "Performing Whiteness: Naturalization Litigation and the Construction of Racial Identity in America," The Yale Law Journal, Vol. 109, No. 4. (Jan., 2000), p. 827.
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  22. Skin Color Adaptation
  23. Light and the 4 skin color components
  24. The 3 skin layers: epidermis, dermis, subcutaneous fat
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 Why humans and their fur parted ways
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  27. The skin we're in
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  29. Albinism
  30. Rana et al (2000). High Polymorphism at the Human Melanocortin 1 Receptor Locus. Pigment Cell Research 13: 135.
  31. Human skin color diversity is highest in sub-Saharan African populations
  32. 32.0 32.1 Heather L. Norton, Rick A. Kittles, Esteban Parra, Paul McKeigue, Xianyun Mao, Keith Cheng, Victor A. Canfield, Daniel G. Bradley, Brian McEvoy and Mark D. Shriver (December 11, 2006) Genetic Evidence for the Convergent Evolution of Light Skin in Europeans and East Asians Oxford Journals [3]
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  34. Heather L. Norton, Rick A. Kittles, Esteban Parra, Paul McKeigue, Xianyun Mao, Keith Cheng, Victor A. Canfield, Daniel G. Bradley, Brian McEvoy and Mark D. Shriver (December 11, 2006) Genetic Evidence for the Convergent Evolution of Light Skin in Europeans and East Asians Oxford Journals [4]
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  36. SLC24A5, a Putative Cation Exchanger, Affects Pigmentation in Zebrafish and Humans
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  38. Scientists Find A DNA Change That Accounts For White Skin, Washington Post
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  40. BBC NEWS | Programmes | From Our Own Correspondent | Argentina's last Jewish cowboys.
  41. Argentine Demographics.
  42. CIA World Factbook - Argentina.
  43. 90.01.06: South American Immigration: Argentina. URL accessed on 2008-12-01.
  44. 2001 National Census.
  45. Racial Discrimination in Argentina
  46. Blacks in Argentina - officially a few, but maybe a million
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  48. Stephen Castles, "The Australian Model of Immigration and Multiculturalism: Is It Applicable to Europe?," International Migration Review, Vol. 26, No. 2, Special Issue: The New Europe and International Migration. (Summer, 1992), pp. 549-567.
  49. Gregory Rodriguez, "Brazil Separates Into Black and White," LA Times, September 3, 2006. Note that the figures belie the title.
  50. Brazil Separates Into a World of Black and White | The New America Foundation
  51. Blacks in Brazil: the myth and the reality | Ebony | Find Articles at BNET
  52. "Groups" in Statistics Canada, Sample 20001 Census form. Statistics Canada, 2001 Census Visible Minority and Population Group User Guide
  53. Human Resources and Social Development Canada, 2001 Employment Equity Data Report
  54. Census 2001: 2B (Long Form)
  55. CIA - The World Factbook - Chile
  56. Composición Étnica de las Tres Áreas Culturales del Continente Americano al Comienzo del Siglo XXI
  57. descendientes de árabes en porcentajes.
  58. 500,000 descendientes de palestinos en Chile.
  59. immigrants Palestinians in Chile.
  60. Diariovasco.
  61. entrevista al Presidente de la Cámara vasca.
  62. vascos Ainara Madariaga: Autora del estudio "Imaginarios vascos desde Chile La construcción de imaginarios vascos en Chile durante el siglo XX".
  63. Basques au Chili.
  64. Contacto Interlingüístico e intercultural en el mundo hispano.instituto valenciano de lenguas y culturas.Universitat de València Cita: " Un 20% de la población chilena tiene su origen en el País Vasco".
  65. Diaspora Croata.
  66. hrvatski.
  67. Immigrant population
  68. Sykes, B. (2006) Blood of the Isles plate 8.
  69. Bonnet, Alistair (2000) White Identities. p28.
  70. Bonnet, Alistair (2000) White Identities p. 32
  71. Bonnet, Alistair (2000) White Identities p. 31
  72. Bonnet, Alistair (2000) White Identities p. 37
  73. Identity, Ethnicity and Identity, National Statistics online. Retrieved 3 November 2006.
  74. Census 2001 - Ethnicity and religion in England and Wales, Ethnicity and religion. Retrieved 3 November 2001.
  75. Kissoon, Priya. King's College of London. Asylum Seekers: National Problem or National Solution. 2005. November 7, 2006.
  76. 2005 birth records reveal less than 65% of newborns in England and Wales as white
  77. The White Population: 2000, Census 2000 Brief C2KBR/01-4, U.S. Census Bureau, August 2001.
  78. Uniform Crime Reporting Handbook, U.S. Department of Justice. Federal Bureau of Investigation. P. 97 (2004)
  79. John Tehranian, "Performing Whiteness: Naturalization Litigation and the Construction of Racial Identity in America," The Yale Law Journal, Vol. 109, No. 4. (Jan., 2000), pp. 825-827.
  80. Caliber - Sociological Perspectives - 47(4):371 - Abstract
  81. Roediger, Wages of Whiteness, 186; Tony Horwitz, Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War (New York, 1998).
  82. John Tehranian, "Performing Whiteness: Naturalization Litigation and the Construction of Racial Identity in America," The Yale Law Journal, Vol. 109, No. 4. (Jan., 2000), pp. 817-848.
  83. 83.0 83.1 83.2 United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind, Certificate From The Circuit Court Of Appeals For The Ninth Circuit., No. 202. Argued January 11, 12, 1923.—Decided February 19, 1923, United States Reports, v. 261, The Supreme Court, October Term, 1922, 204–215.
  84. Many white Americans are now thought to have some recent African Ancestry. For example see passing and Afro-European Genetic Admixture in the United States
  85. Not without controversy. There are those who see Obama as bi- (or multi-) racial, these people claim that Obama is just as white as he is black. See Behind the Scenes: Is Barack Obama black or biracial? and Obama And The Politics Of Being Biracial
  86. One drop of blood
  87. The triumph of the one drop rule
  88. The African ancestry of the white American population
  89. The End of Blackness by Debra Dickerson.
  90. Carey Cites Bi-Racial Family for Insecurities American Renaissance News
  91. Yahoo questions/answers/ Is Mariah Carey white?
  92. Mariah Carey: 'Not another White girl trying to sing Black.'
  93. Larry King interview with Mariah Carey
  94. Uruguay (07/08)
  95. CIA - The World Factbook - Uruguay
  96. Uruguay - Population
  97. Extended National Household Survey, 2006: Ancestry. (pdf) National Institute of Statistics.


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