Defining Terms: Race, Ethnicity, Prejudice, and Stereotypes

Topics: Race and Ethnicity, Black people, Racism Pages: 2 (373 words) Published: October 22, 2013

Defining Terms
By: Tamekua Lipkins

Race is defined as a group that is socially set apart because of obvious physical differences, such as skin, eye and hair color or texture and even bone structure. Physical characteristics of Caucasians are lighter shin with a thin nose and lips; their hair is usually straight or has a slight wavy. While African American usually has darker skin, thick and curly hair and fuller nose and lips.

Ethnicity is a group that is set apart from others because of its national origin or distinctive cultural pattern. Ethnicity also factors in ancestry and belief such as religion. A great example to demonstrate how ethnicity is different from race is how an African American culture is dramatically different from an African from Africa. I am a Black American Christian who can not relate to any of the culture that originated in Africa including their traditions and language.

Prejudice is a negative attitude toward an entire category of people, such as a racial or ethnic minority. Discrimination is the denial of opportunities and equal rights to individuals and groups because of the prejudice or for others arbitrary. The biggest difference between the two is that prejudice involves attitudes, thoughts and beliefs with no action. Whereas, discrimination involve behavior that exclude members of a group from certain rights, opportunities or privileges. Back when segregation was permitted whites were prejudice against black therefore, did not allow blacks to attend the same school as they attended. Not allowing blacks to attend certain schools was a form of discrimination.

Stereotypes are an unreliable, exaggerated generalization about all members of a group that do not take individual differences into account. This is when someone assume or judge someone based on their lack of knowledge, race and ethnicity in an over-generalized manner....
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