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Fluctuation of Race and Skin Tone Defined by Region Essay  

Updated August 9, 2022

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Fluctuation of Race and Skin Tone Defined by Region Essay   essay

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While race can be defined across a plethora of factors; bone structure, facial features, and of course, skin color, among those of the same race some may appear to have fluctuating skin tones, a crowd of individuals all of the same race and nationality may not be of the same skin tone. This may cause confusion in some cases in understanding the differences between race of individuals of the same nationality, and the accuracy of defining a single race to a single nationality. Examples of this can be shown across the globe, and statistics are commonly used to find average skin tone of a certain nationality depending on the level of race purity in the parents.

Italy – in opposition to common European standards; A majority of the Italian mainland and offshore territories lie closer to the Mediterranean sea and Africa than they do Nordic countries such as Sweden or Norway, as shown in the diagram above. Because of this, those of pure Italian descent are commonly defined as of “Mediterranean race” instead of the common European “Caucasian” which would be used to describe more northern European countries defined by the alpine mountain region and the Nordic culture surrounding the Baltic sea.

It is commonly known amongst genealogists and european historians that a man that descends from pure italian heritage may more closely resemble a northern african man more-so than a european, this is due to the fact that the nation of italy stands much closer to the tropic of cancer and the equator, lines generally shown on the globe to be tied directly with average temperature of the region, which is tied directly to average evolutionary skin tone of region, than its european counterparts, as seen below: The mediterranean race as a whole; Since before 300 BCE, the argument in difference between nordic or northern europeans and mediterranean or southern europeans has existed, among scientific, philosophical, and artistic communities, it has been a general consensus that the difference between these two subraces is too great to ignore when looking into the culture of the two peoples.

Aristotle once said that “Greeks are the ideal people, because of their medium skin tone compared to the pale northerners” and the romans commonly considered celts and Germanic people to be “red haired barbarians” these cultural and physical differences cannot be ignored when studying race in Europe as a whole. The scientific community has not considered race discussion of importance in debate until the mid to late 19th century, English biologist Thomas Henry Huxley defined race into 4 sub-categories; Xanthochroic, meaning “fair whites” or “northern whites”, Mongoloid, meaning Asian, Australioid, from the Australian aboriginals, and Negroid, those from African decent. Though, Huxley later defined a 5th category of race, as a subdivision from the Xanthochroi race, known as Melanochroi, meaning “dark white” this was to specify those of darker or “olive” skin tone, such as northern Africans, Turks, Spaniards, and of course, southern and central Italians.

This is because as cross breeding among Germanic “Xanthochroics” and northern African “Negroids” spiked in these areas across the 19th century, new sub-races of those with mixed fair skin had to be named to accommodate them. The Fitzpatrick scale of human skin tone; American dermatologist Thomas B. Fitzpatrick created a scale that classifies schema for human skin color when exposed to Ultraviolet light, the results are as follows: It is generally considered that in European cases, (citing the Distribution of European Races diagram above) that those in central to southern Italy range from III-V on this scale, while those in northern Germany or Nordic countries can range from I-II, in some cases III. when compared to images of an average Italian or Nordic man, this difference can be clearly shown. Historical significance; From AD 827 – AD 902, a group of Muslim ethnicity, previously called the “ Amazighs”, now called the “moors”, originating from north Africa and the southern Iberian peninsula, operated the slow but eventual invasion and conquest of most of modern-day southern Italy, to later settle there.

A majority of modern pure blooded Italians have family ties directly from these north African “moors” concluding that a majority of Italians have north African heritage. They brought with them enslaved Africans and barbarians to settle the land around Sicily. Italy continued to see mass migration from northern Africa later when the roman empire fell, when Germans migrated to northernmost Italy, and Africans migrated to central and southern Italy. Later, during the 20th century in the “race superiority” boom of the two world wars, many northern Europeans considered perfect Nordic qualities to be the ethnically superior race, those of bright skin, blue eyes, and fair hair. This ideology was then contrasted by newly growing southern European superiority, as nationalism rose in Spain and Italy in the 20th century, so did pride in the olive skin tone they possessed, breaking away from the norm of praising Nordic features.

Though due to the similar ideologies in governmental structure, the agreement in importance of fascism, war focused economies, and racially pure nation-states, many nationalist southern European nations allied with northern nationalist European nations in order to beat the “common enemy” of communism and democracy in the world”, only to later plan to destroy each other after the wars had ended. the methodology of race distribution research in California and Europe Citing back to the Fitzpatrick scale, those of the same nationality can scientifically range from any 3 points of skin tone, this is almost always due to difference in parent’s skin tone, which is adopted genetically, creating babies of mixed race and nationality. As skin tone originated from geographical location during evolutionary periods of human development, skin tone is now changed more commonly from parents of different races, or race mixing.

A Negroid father and Caucasian mother would produce a brown or olive child, due to the mix of genetic pigment in the skin, and in some cases, extreme or extremely lacking exposure to the sun for the span of one’s life. Above is an example of a single south-African family, and it’s extended members, it can be seen that skin tone ranges from dark brown to a very light olive tone, this is due to changes in region, interracial couples being introduced to the family, and other genetic differences in offspring including mutation in the melanin levels. This change is apparent in every ethnicity, nationality, and race. Demographics of California; Due to the racial climate of the United States being a unique “melting pot” of differing ethnicities, nationalities, and backgrounds, it’s unique shape giving it close proximity to Mexico and northern U.S. States such as Oregon, and an estimated Californian population of 39.497 million, there is bound to be a high number of different races in the same region of California at any given time.

The racial makeup of California is as follows: 39.15% Hispanic – 37.20% White – 14.37% Asian – 5.47% Black or African – 3.67% other/mixed. As California has a rare status in America of having a higher Hispanic population than white population (second state to achieve it, beaten only by Hawaii whose population was non-white to begin with) the range of Hispanic individuals varies greatly. Mexican Americans are the dominating Latino race in California, creating a majority population in notable areas such as Los Angeles and the San Joaquin valley, while other types of Latinos such as Spanish, Portuguese, or Spanish dominated pacific islanders live across the state predominantly in areas such as Frezno and the San Francisco Bay Area. When viewing an extended Mexican American family, some key patterns are to be pointed out. It is common for skin tone to gradually appear lighter as more and more generations live in southern and especially northern California as opposed to Mexico, this is due to the fact that California is further from the equator than Mexico, giving the state less exposure to the sun as generations progress, and allowing for newer generations to mix race with American and lighter skinned individuals. Skin tone along generations can also darken if newer generation individuals decide to form interracial bonds with those of a darker skin tone, such an African American.

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