Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Becoming YellowA Short History of Racial Thinking$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Michael Keevak

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691140315

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691140315.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of
date: 13 December 2017

Nineteenth-Century Anthropology and the Measurement of “Mongolian” Skin Color

Nineteenth-Century Anthropology and the Measurement of “Mongolian” Skin Color

Chapter:
(p.70) Chapter 3 Nineteenth-Century Anthropology and the Measurement of “Mongolian” Skin Color
Source:
Becoming Yellow
Author(s):

Michael Keevak

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691140315.003.0004

This chapter examines how the “yellow race” became an important focus in nineteenth-century anthropology. More specifically, it considers how the whole notion of skin tone had become inextricably linked to scientifically validated prejudices and normative claims about higher and lower forms of human culture. The chapter first discusses why the term “Mongolian” was selected to represent the people of the Far East and compares it to “Tartar” before exploring how the new field of anthropology became preoccupied with the idea of anatomical quantification, and especially the measurement of skin color using an instrument known as the color top. It shows that the desire to find yellowness in East Asians was so ingrained in the Western imagination that some anthropologists tried to prove that their skin really was yellow.

Keywords:   yellow race, anthropology, Mongolian, Far East, Tartar, anatomical quantification, skin color, color top, yellowness, East Asians

University Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .