Race and Skin Color Essay

Submitted By uticamom87
Words: 477
Pages: 2

Race and Ethnicity
- Social stratification - we are ranked or grouped according to economics - in our society we are also ranked or grouped on the basis of other characteristics - like ethnic background and gender.
- I use the terminology of ethnicity - but more commonly in our society - the division of humans has traditionally been referred to as racial classification.

A. Race
- The concept of race originated at about the same time as European colonization - it provided a way for Europeans to explain the diversity of human populations and it provided the justification for exploiting them.
- Social concepts of race have been extremely important in determining interactions between people from different backgrounds.
- Historically, humans have been categorized using the term race. But the definition of race is not clear. It has been used to stand for a variety of factors, skin color, national origin, or religion.
- We have assumed that it is a valid biological category.

- The concept of race has been used as the single most important character of a person and it has been dependent on a single easily observable trait - skin color. It has been used to identify the intellectual, physical, and moral abilities of people.
- But what does the word race mean?
- How many races of humans are there?
- Race according to Webster¹s dictionary – 1) is a group of individuals that share some biological characteristics and differs from other groups on the basis of these characters
- Webster also defines the word race as a 2) subspecies.
- This second meaning of race is the one that has been most often applied with regard to humans.
- At various times throughout history - nonwhite humans have been referred to as sub-human or as subspecies of humans. Implying that these individuals are so