Race vs. Ethnicity

Topics: Ethnic group, Race and Ethnicity, Race and ethnicity in the United States Census Pages: 2 (411 words) Published: November 2, 2014
Race vs. Ethnicity
If we were to go out on the streets today and ask “what is the difference between race and ethnicity?”, most people would probably answer “I don’t know” or “ They are the same thing”. One of the most confused concepts of defining one another is the distinguishing of race and ethnicity. In the past, people either thought one was the other or there was simply no difference. Labeling people in the world is often done without proper knowledge and can lead to making a false accusation or offending someone. Race is associated with one’s biological ancestors, such as your physical appearance. While ethnicity is the identity with people who share similar cultural tradition.

Ethnicity and race are different in many ways but are still often confused by many people today. For one thing ethnicity deals with one’s cultural background while race deals with a more genetic background. Geographers study where and why of ethnicity and its locations. Geographers also study where and why people of different races live where they are. Another difference between the two is that ethnicity isn't as easy to tell by just looking at someone. But if you looked at someone to determine their race you could just tell by their skin color. Say you put a Caucasian male from Canada, Germany, America, and Ireland together in a line; it would be very difficult to distinguish which one from which. But you can easily determine that all the males are Caucasian. Ethnic groups typically seek to define themselves by their language, traditions, and religion; while race is usually defined by skin color. Defining people through race usually leads to prejudice and racism, the belief of one’s race is of superiority than all the others. It is preferred by most people to be identified through their ethnicity, since it represents their culture and doesn't have the potential to be offensive.

In conclusion, race and ethnicity are distinctly different yet are confused among most people of...
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