Defining Racial and Ethnic Groups

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Defining Race and Ethnicity

The term race is defined as a racial group that is socially set apart because of obvious physical differences. Such as hair color, earlobe shapes, the color of one’s skin, the hair texture, and so on for the obvious. On the United States the skin color is another obvious difference the main obvious difference. People in the Unites States have learned informally that skin color is important and hair color is unimportant. Americans have traditionally classified and classify themselves as either Black or White.

There is no in-between state except for people readily identified as Native Americans and Asian Americans. The designation of a racial group emphasizes physical differences as opposed to cultural distinctions. The issue of race and racial differences has been an important one. A minority group is a subordinate group, (subordinate meaning the same thing as minority) whose members have significantly less control or power over their own lives than do the members of a dominate or majority group.

Minority races in the United States include, Blacks, Native Americans or American Indians, Filipinos, Hawaiians, Japanese Americans, Chinese Americans, Arab Americans, and other Asian people. We should not forget that Whites are a race as well. For racial groups the physical distinction and not the cultural difference generally proves to be the barrier to acceptance by the host society.

Ethnic groups are groups set apart from others because of their national origin or distinctive cultural patterns. Ethnic minority groups are differentiated from the dominant groups on the basis of cultural differences such as language, attitudes toward marriage and parenting and food habits. The cultural traits that make groups distinctive usually originate from their homeland or for Jews from a long history of being segregated and prohibited from becoming a part of the host society. Ethnicity continues to be important.

Should race...
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