We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Pigmentocracy?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
CulturalWorld.org is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At CulturalWorld.org, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A pigmentocracy is a type of social hierarchy which is based on human skin color. Pigmentocracies tend to override distinctions of class, gender, religion, and ethnic origin, with members of the society using skin color as the most important parameter for judging other members of society. Some nations have pigmentocracies to this day, although all members of their societies may not be entirely aware of it.

One of the classic examples of a pigmentocracy is a colonized nation. When nations are colonized, the colonists are often of a different color, making it easy for members of society to distinguish between colonists and natives. Since natives were typically looked down upon as lesser human beings, a pigmentocracy emerged in many colonies, with colonists having more rights and respect, while natives were forbidden to enter certain areas, not allowed to vote, and subjected to other abridgments of their rights.

The idea of pigmentocracy goes back for centuries; in Egyptian art, for example, people of distinctly different skin color can be identified, and skin color is often linked with social rank. In some cases, pigmentocracies became quite complex: in South Africa, for example, black Africans were at the bottom rung of the social ladder, while workers from the Indian subcontinent enjoyed a better social status, and whites remained on top.

Most modern pigmentocracies are not as explicit as historical examples, because many societies are concerned about racism, and many people actively work to break down barriers between races. In many nations, people of all colors can be seen working at all levels of government, and socially prominent individuals come in a range of hues. However, even in these areas, the lower classes are often disproportionately representative of a particular skin color; in the United States, for example, many members of the lower classes are black or Latino.

The signs of an explicit pigmentocracy are generally very easy to recognize. Nations with active pigmentocracies, for example, often have legislation which is based on skin color, and discriminatory practices based on skin color prevail, ranging from signs forbidding entrance to particular locations to denial of basic goods and services. People of undesirable skin color may also find themselves discriminated against at the borders, and in dealings with law enforcement and the legal system.

CulturalWorld.org is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a CulturalWorld.org researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Related Articles

Discussion Comments
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
CulturalWorld.org, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

CulturalWorld.org, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.