Even though race is often confused with something having to do with biology it is not, instead race is a cultural construction. People commonly use biology to try and determine the race of another person by using physical characteristics and skin color to put them in a racial classification. Assigning race based on physical characteristics is problematic since traits vary independently they are not inherited as some sort of genetic package based on the race a person is. Therefore using biological concepts to explain race is problematic since society is the one who defines what race is and because those definitions change race is a cultural construct.
Scholars and others argue that the term “race” should not be used because there is no biological basis for the concept of race. Geneticists have determined that code for physical traits (the key distinguishing characteristic for “race”) are inherited independently of one another. Any attempts there have been to define race based on genes are futile, because there is no set of genes that everyone within the “race” has. Scholars argue that race is a social construction. Divisions have been constructed by society. Society tries to put people into different groups, it makes it easier to define people as “other”
The English term ‘race’ is believed to originate from the Spanish word raza, which means ‘breed’ or ‘stock’ (Race). People use race to define other groups, this separation of groups is based largely on physical features. Features like skin color and hair don’t affect the fundamental biology of human variation (Hotz). Race is truly only skin deep, there are no true biological separations between two ‘racial’ groups. Scientifically speaking, there is more variation between single local groups than there is between two large, global groups; the human variation is constantly altering (Lewontin). The majority of today’s anthropologists agree that race is a form of social categorization, not the separation of groups based on biological
I used to think that race was a social construct more of a biological reality until I read all these articles. They changed my perspective and I have come to realize different things. My opinion is now divided into two; I am in that middle point where I can see both ways of the argument as valid and reasonable and agree with both. First, I will explain why I think it is a biological reality, then, I will explain why it can also be a social construct, and lastly how have these debates shaped the views about the nature of ethnicity and consequently defined ethnic identity. We have to avoid viewing either explanation with a negative meaning. The negative history that comes attached to the word “race” is what I think makes us be defensive whenever we hear it and close ourselves up to any reasonable answer we might have to the question, is it a biological reality or a social construct?
Race, such a subjective matter that most classify solely on observable traits based on traditional race concepts. However race exists in humans through cultural and biological concepts. In other words, race is based on its scientific meaning, which is taken from its visual and genetic signs of human variety. “After all it is an idea with a measurable past, identifiable present, and uncertain future”. St. A SHORT HISTORY OF THE RACE CONCEPT Michael Yudell, PhD, MPH. Through observing the human genome project that explores human molecular selves, skin color variation, and lastly race/human variation as a whole, a clear picture of race can be scientifically explained.
Many people believe that race is still known around the world to this day. But, scientifically it does not. I read an article and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) stated that all humans around the world belong to the same species. Race is not real, it is just a myth. People who are involved in research on human variation would agree that race does not exist. Even though biological races does not exist to mankind, race is still considered to be around because of racism. People define race by many things. The three that are well known are skin color, ethnic background, and sociopolitical construct. Even though race does not exist, racism does and it is shown a lot around the world. I’m not much of a person who defines race
Race is not an element of human biology (like breathing oxygen or reproducing sexually); nor is it even an idea (like the speed of light or the value of π) that can be plausibly imagined to live an external life of its own. Race is not an idea but an ideology. It came into existence at a discernable historical moment for rationality understandable historical reasons and is subject to change for similar reasons (101).
If you would have asked me, "Do you believe race is biological or that is was socially constructed?", I would have responded with the same examples you may commonly receive from scientist or anthropologist; that race is in fact biological and deeply rooted and shared from generation to generation by DNA. However, through analyzing Pearson 's, Chapter 11 Race & Ethnicity we discover various examples in which history has built the shelves in which everyone is neatly categorized for its convenience even if not entirely in truth.
The concept of race dates back to recent human history. Race is an integral part of life for individuals residing in the United States. However, this concept of “race”, that many Americans believe to be true, has no biological backing; it is merely a social construct. Looking at genetics, and even evolution it becomes clear that race is not real. But, even though race is not real, it can have very real consequences (such as racism). So in this sense race becomes a very real thing, as it affects millions of people living today. Race, biologically is not a real thing, but due to its impact, socially and culturally, it has become real.
The “AAA Statement on Race” explains “...that human populations are not unambiguous, clearly demarcated, biologically distinct groups.” Our population is a melting pot of skin colors, hair textures, and facial features, yet these distinctions seem to separate us in the wrong way. These groups can give us vital medical information, such as races that are prone to heart disease, but we instead manipulate these groups to create deficient stereotypes. (Boyd and Silk: 388) Moreover, a certain number of races does not exist because every human is unique, therefore these stereotypes are just fabricated from our culture. There is more difference within groups than between groups. (Boyd and Silk: 389) Accordingly, this diversity should be respected instead of putting people against each other. “The differences between races are due to biological heritage.” (Boyd and Silk: 388) Just because we are similar in race does not mean we are the same type of people and fall into the same stereotypes. If there is more diversity within groups, dividing race into three or four groups is not accurate
Whether or not we claim that race is a socially constructed or a legitimate area of scientific inquiry, it all comes down to the primary idea that we all belong to the human race, regardless of skin color, facial features, height, weight, or any other specific physical characteristics. It is truly unforgiving that many individuals all across the United States have evolved with the mentality of this social and political category of race which has been deeply rooted in our brains, surprisingly, without in actuality realizing that everybody in the entire world is closely related to one another. Nonetheless, sociologists and gender scholars, such as Dr. Dorothy Roberts and W.E.B Du Bois, argue that race is a social and political concept and does
Sociologists say race is a social construct, which is the way society can view a group, and their perception of the group. Race is a big example of this, as people could have the same genetic make-up, but be different races. Two people can have the same eye color, and even common DNA through blood. If two brothers had kids, one with someone of Asian descent, and the other brother having a child with someone of Native American descent, the kids who are cousins, are made up of different races. Race is more socially agreed upon, than being of a biological nature. A prime example of this, is most people will same someone is Asian, but they can be descendent of ant country in Asia, while being categorized as Asian. When we look at people from Europe,
The PBS series “Race: The Power of an Illusion” effectively works to expose race as a social construct and deconstructs the false notions that race is a biological marker. The series first discusses that all human beings originated from Africa but dispersed about 70,000 years ago to various places in the world. As a result of this migration, people were spread to different locations throughout the world with different environmental conditions that affected their physical traits. It was many years after the migration in which people began to display these new physical traits such as slanted eyes, fair skin, and differing hair textures. While the series notes the physical changes that occurred during the migration it also emphasizes that race while it may seem apparent in skin color and other physical features has no real biological basis.
The meaning, significance, and definition of race have been debated for centuries. Historical race concepts have varied across time and cultures, creating scientific, social, and political controversy. Of course, today’s definition varies from the scientific racism of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that justified slavery and later, Jim Crow laws in the early twentieth. It is also different from the genetic inferiority argument that was present at the wake of the civil rights movement. However, despite the constantly shifting concepts, there seems to be one constant that has provided a foundation for ideas towards race: race is a matter of visually observable attributes such as skin color, facial features, and other self-evident
Scholars say that the term race should not be used because it does not have any basis in scientific fact and really has no use today. According to the AAA’s statement on race, there is 94% variance in genes of individuals within one “racial” group. Race has its basis in colonization, when trying to conjure reasons why some groups of people, i.e. Native Americans and Africans, had lower places in society than the white people. That’s why the groups of “races” are so broad and meaningless today. The concept of race is just used to spread prejudice and give so called “scientific reasons” to discriminate against another group. The term