Anthropology of Color

Interdisciplinary multilevel modeling

Robert E. MacLaury | University of Pennsylvania
ORCID logoGalina V. Paramei | Technische Universität Darmstadt
Don Dedrick | University of Guelph
ISBN 9789027232434 | EUR 130.00 | USD 195.00
e-Book Open Access
ISBN 9789027291707
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The field of color categorization has always been intrinsically multi- and inter-disciplinary, since its beginnings in the nineteenth century. The main contribution of this book is to foster a new level of integration among different approaches to the anthropological study of color. The editors have put great effort into bringing together research from anthropology, linguistics, psychology, semiotics, and a variety of other fields, by promoting the exploration of the different but interacting and complementary ways in which these various perspectives model the domain of color experience. By so doing, they significantly promote the emergence of a coherent field of the anthropology of color.

As of February 2018, this e-book is freely available, thanks to the support of libraries working with Knowledge Unlatched.

[Not in series, 137] 2007.  xx, 485 pp.
Publishing status: Available

For any use beyond this license, please contact the publisher at [email protected].

Table of Contents
“Nobody can tell where Rob MacLaury’s inquisitive mind would have led him in years to come in his passionate quest for an anthropology of color. But this collection is certainly a testament to what he had set out to accomplish. Galina Paramei and Don Dedrick are to be commended for seeing it through to publication and making it available to an interdisciplinary and international public that will no doubt benefit from it and further advance this complex and fascinating field.”
“This is an important volume for the breadth of collected papers it presents which share the focus of culture and perceptual color experience. The volume's contents span several disciplines and will appeal to readers of anthropology, linguistics, psychology, socio-cultural studies, and semiotics. Some of its articles present analyses of phenomena from languages and dialects that are quickly disappearing from the world; whereas others catalog more esoteric or ancient features of studied languages – quite possibly presenting the first thorough accounting of such features in an English language volume. The collected information contained in this volume is essential for understanding universal features in color perception and cognition as distinct from the culturally relative factors inherent in the phenomena.”
“This collection of 26 original essays on color categorization is remarkable for its breadth: from individual perception and cognition to social construction, from the evolution of color terms in Greek, Coptic, and Japanese to the uses of color terms in fashion and the semiosis of Swedish car color names. Along with the work of established researchers in the field, we encounter gratifyingly many new voices and new perspectives from 14 countries and several disciplines. Here there is much to learn, to argue, and to ponder.”
“Reflecting the multidisciplinary nature of the field, Anthropology of Color brings together a mixture of field summaries, tutorials and introductions to specialist areas, including anthropology, psychology, linguistics, design, philosophy etc. It also includes work from Eastern Europe which will be new to most readers from Western Europe and North America. Paramei and Dedrick have worked wonders bringing together a collection on this scale as well as both contributing excellent chapters. The book will become an essential addition to the personal libraries of workers in this very broad area and a mandatory acquisition for academic libraries. It will function as a handbook for the area, selected chapters will be used to guide new researchers and final year students, and even the curious general reader will find it tantalising.”
“Discussions of colour cognition must be grounded in empirical evidence about how people actually use colour words. This volume contains such evidence, drawn from a range of language families and aspects of culture, and a variety of contemporary and historical sources. I was impressed by the multifaceted nature of colour research, and of colour language itself – its multiplicity of cultural associations and cultural expressions.”
“[...] an impressively diverse collection and a testimony of what (forgive the pun) a colorful field color categorization is.”
“[...] a fascinating and challenging collection of papers. The book is essential reading for researchers in the field of color naming and could also be captivating reading for those new to the area.”
Cited by

Cited by 34 other publications

Albertazzi, Liliana & Roberto Poli
2014. Multi-leveled objects: color as a case study. Frontiers in Psychology 5 DOI logo
An, Hyosun, Kyo Young Lee, Yerim Choi & Minjung Park
2023. Conceptual framework of hybrid style in fashion image datasets for machine learning. Fashion and Textiles 10:1 DOI logo
Angelini, Anna
2017. Translating colors in antiquity: the semantics of κόκκινος in the Septuagint. Semitica et Classica 10  pp. 49 ff. DOI logo
Anishchanka, Alena V., Dirk Speelman & Dirk Geeraerts
2015. Usage-related variation in the referential range ofbluein marketing context. Functions of Language 22:1  pp. 20 ff. DOI logo
Borg, Alexander
2014. Towards a historical and cultural atlas of colour terms in the Near East. In Colour Studies,  pp. 31 ff. DOI logo
Gamper, Markus & Michael Schönhuth
2020. Visual network research (VNR) – a theoretical and methodological appraisal of an evolving field. Visual Studies 35:4  pp. 374 ff. DOI logo
Grandison, Alexandra, Ian R.L. Davies & Paul T. Sowden
2014. The evolution of GRUE. In Colour Studies,  pp. 53 ff. DOI logo
Hacking, Ian
2010. Lloyd, Daston, Nurture, and 'Style'. Interdisciplinary Science Reviews 35:3-4  pp. 231 ff. DOI logo
Kalda, Anu & Mari Uusküla
2019. The Role of Context in Translating Colour Metaphors: An Experiment on English into Estonian Translation. Open Linguistics 5:1  pp. 690 ff. DOI logo
Laughlin, Charles D. & Johannes H.N. Loubser
2010. Neurognosis, the Development of Neural Models, and the Study of the Ancient Mind. Time and Mind 3:2  pp. 135 ff. DOI logo
Lesnevskaya, Ekaterina
Loitšenko, Olga
MacLaury, Robert E.
2005. So-Called Brightness in Color Ethnography: Potentials for LCD Technology in Fieldwork and Categorization Research. Cross-Cultural Research 39:2  pp. 205 ff. DOI logo
Marutschke, Daniel Moritz
2023. 2023 IEEE 13th International Workshop on Computational Intelligence and Applications (IWCIA),  pp. 57 ff. DOI logo
Miller-Naudé, Cynthia L. & Jacobus A. Naudé
2020. Textual interrelationships involving the Septuagint translations of the precious stones in the breastpiece of the high priest. HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies 76:4 DOI logo
Ocelák, Radek
2016. “Categorical Perception” and Linguistic Categorization of Color. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 7:1  pp. 55 ff. DOI logo
Ogarkova, Anna & Philippe Borgeaud
2009. (Un)common denominators in research on emotion language: a postscript. Social Science Information 48:3  pp. 523 ff. DOI logo
Oja, Vilja
2014. The motivational analysis of some Finnic colour terms. In Colour Studies,  pp. 93 ff. DOI logo
Osorio, Daniel
2017. Bogushevskaya, V., & Colla, E. (Eds.). Thinking Colours: Perception, Translation and Representation. Perception 46:10  pp. 1203 ff. DOI logo
Prusak, Błażej & Muhammad Mushafiq
2023. Colour Symbolism in Finance. Financial Internet Quarterly 19:4  pp. 49 ff. DOI logo
Rakhilina, Ekaterina & Tatiana Reznikova
2022. Chapter 1. Introduction. In The Typology of Physical Qualities [Typological Studies in Language, 133],  pp. 1 ff. DOI logo
Stanlaw, James
2010. Language, contact, and vantages: fifteen hundred years of Japanese color terms. Language Sciences 32:2  pp. 196 ff. DOI logo
Stanlaw, James
2020. Color and Color Nomenclature. In The International Encyclopedia of Linguistic Anthropology,  pp. 1 ff. DOI logo
Stern, Julio Michael
2022. Color-Coded Epistemic Modes in a Jungian Hexagon of Opposition. In The Exoteric Square of Opposition [Studies in Universal Logic, ],  pp. 303 ff. DOI logo
Stern, Julio Michael
2023. Dynamic Oppositional Symmetries for Color, Jungian and Kantian Categories. Logica Universalis DOI logo
Surov, Ilya A.
2022. Quantum core affect. Color-emotion structure of semantic atom. Frontiers in Psychology 13 DOI logo
Surrallés, Alexandre
2016. On contrastive perception and ineffability: assessing sensory experience without colour terms in an Amazonian society. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 22:4  pp. 962 ff. DOI logo
Uusküla, Mari & David L. Bimler
2020. When does “bright” mean “prototypical”? Color-term modifiers in eight European languages, examined with color-survey data. Journal of the Optical Society of America A 37:5  pp. A305 ff. DOI logo
Vorobyova, Mariya, Fabio Biffoli, Walter Giurlani, Stefano Mauro Martinuzzi, Maximilian Linser, Andrea Caneschi & Massimo Innocenti
2023. PVD for Decorative Applications: A Review. Materials 16:14  pp. 4919 ff. DOI logo
Witzel, Christoph
2019. Misconceptions About Colour Categories. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 10:3  pp. 499 ff. DOI logo
Wulff, Helena
2013. ways of Seeing ireland's green. The Senses and Society 8:2  pp. 233 ff. DOI logo
[no author supplied]
2008. Books Received. Current Anthropology 49:3  pp. 534 ff. DOI logo
[no author supplied]
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This list is based on CrossRef data as of 20 may 2024. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.


Main BIC Subject

JHM: Anthropology

Main BISAC Subject

SOC002000: SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General
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ONIX 2.1
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U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2007026159 | Marc record