The key difference between race and ethnicity is that race is related with the biological variations of the mankind while ethnicity is related with the cultural and traditional variations of the mankind. Therefore, unlike race, ethnicity is affiliated with the culture and traditions.
One of the main differences between race and ethnicity is that race is unitary. It is important to understand that a person can belong to one race only. Although he belongs to just one race, he can still have multiple ethnic connections.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Race
3. What is Ethnicity
4. Side by Side Comparison – Race vs Ethnicity in Tabular Form
What is Race?
Race is indicative of the heritage to which you belong, or your biological linkage. Therefore, it can be defined as one unit structure related with biological variations of the mankind. It has nothing to do with your location or scholarship. It is very important to know that you can never alter your race. A race is more or less a biological subspecies.
A race thus indicates a population that has anatomical resemblance among its members. It is often seen that race and ethnicity are interchangeably used. It may not be right to do so. Racial classification has certainly to do with morphological features. For example, the skin color, the facial structure and other biological features are associated with the aspect of the race. Race is unitary in character. At the same time, race is socially imposed.
What is Ethnicity?
Ethnicity is belonging to a social group that has common national or cultural identity. Known as a mass noun by the Oxford dictionary, the definition, ” The fact or state of belonging to a social group that has a common national or cultural tradition,” further explains the word. Ethnicity, in fact, tells about where you are from. It suggests the tradition and customs that belong to the region you are from.
Ethnicity is the term for the culture of people in a given geographic region, including their language, heritage, religion and customs. To be a member of an ethnic group is to conform to some or all of those practices. Although one’s ethnicity was easily found many years ago, it has been becoming increasingly difficult of late to establish one’s ethnicity by taking into consideration one’s features alone. Unlike race, one can alter one’s ethnicity. As a result, there is a number of ethnic groups in the world. Therefore, you cannot describe your color by ethnicity, although many people tend to bias their speculations of someone’s ethnicity based on that person’s skin color.
Furthermore, the skin color is associated with race and not with ethnicity. Ethnicity has nothing to do with morphological features. Ethnicity is not unitary in character. Moreover, ethnicity is not socially imposed. There are situations when race and ethnicity overlaps. For example an African-French person would probably consider himself a member of the African or European (significantly French) race, but, if he doesn’t engage in any of the practices or customs of his ancestors, he will not identify himself with the ethnicity but will chose either one or even a third identity. Therefore, One can alter one’s ethnicity but not race.
What is the Difference Between Race and Ethnicity?
Race vs Ethnicity
|Race refers to one unit structure related with biological variations of the mankind.||Ethnicity refers to a social group that has a common national or cultural tradition.|
|A race is a biological subspecies of the mankind.||Ethnicity is a cultural and traditional sub group of the mankind.|
|Race is unitary in character.||Ethnicity is not unitary in character.|
|Race has everything to do with morphological features.||Ethnicity has nothing to do with morphological features but has everything to do with cultural aspects of the communities.|
Summary – Race vs Ethnicity
Race and ethnicity have been a problem creating factor in the past and even remains so today, it is necessary to identify the difference between race and ethnicity. The difference between race and ethnicity is that race is related with the biological variations of the mankind while ethnicity is related with the cultural and traditional variations of the mankind.
1.’Ethnic Groups in the World’By Undress 006 – Own work, (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
Carl Cooke says
Race is a socially constructed category. It has no basis in biological reality and has no meaning independent of its social definitions.