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I have tried to look it up but most definitions usually don't make the difference crystal-clear. Many results on Google give overlapping definitions.

What my understanding is is that race is rooted in distinct biological traits while ethnicity is rooted in shared historical culture, etc

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  • 2
    And see Race (human categorization): "A race is a categorization of humans based on shared physical or social qualities into groups generally viewed as distinct within a given society. While partly based on physical similarities within groups, race does not have an inherent physical or biological meaning." Feb 17, 2023 at 17:17
  • 3
    Not really a question for this SE. "“Race” is usually associated with biology and linked with physical characteristics such as skin color or hair texture. “Ethnicity” is linked with cultural expression and identification. However, both are social constructs used to categorize and characterize seemingly distinct populations." National Geographic
    – Conifold
    Feb 17, 2023 at 18:26
  • 3
    As the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy has two relevant articles to the question Race and Critical Philosophy of Race it's absolutely a question for SE. I'll take a stab in a moment.
    – J D
    Feb 17, 2023 at 21:46
  • 3
    I don't agree that race is a biological concept and I also don't agree that ethnicity is a cultural concept. Feb 18, 2023 at 12:15
  • 5
    I'm pretty sure "race" is a leftover from old biological theories that have been disproven a long time ago.
    – Stef
    Feb 18, 2023 at 12:49

11 Answers 11

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Alright, first from Race (SEP):

The concept of race has historically signified the division of humanity into a small number of groups based upon five criteria: (1) Races reflect some type of biological foundation, be it Aristotelian essences or modern genes; (2) This biological foundation generates discrete racial groupings, such that all and only all members of one race share a set of biological characteristics that are not shared by members of other races; (3) This biological foundation is inherited from generation to generation, allowing observers to identify an individual’s race through her ancestry or genealogy; (4) Genealogical investigation should identify each race’s geographic origin, typically in Africa, Europe, Asia, or North and South America; and (5) This inherited racial biological foundation manifests itself primarily in physical phenotypes, such as skin color, eye shape, hair texture, and bone structure, and perhaps also behavioral phenotypes, such as intelligence or delinquency.

Let's see if we can't convert that into some basic thoughts. First, both race and ethnicity are important to understand because they are subject to in-group-out-group social dynamics. In the US, for instance, Christian nationalists tend to be racists and advocate racist policies. But this problem isn't new. Hunter-gatherer societies could and continue to be a brutal when dealing with outsiders. (See the death of John Allen Chau for an example.) So, identifying who is fer ya, and who is agin ya is a very important skill when a state does not possess a monopoly on violence. When clans, tribes, or other groups of people have disagreements, they can often escalate into armed conflict, such as was the case with the Hatfields and the McCoys.

But real differences between people tend to be much deeper than skin-color; it's important to understand then, that the difference between races and ethnic groups is one largely of biology versus culture in categorizing people. Services like Ancestry.com make money by offering customers into the insights of the genetic origins, and therefore are in the business of exploring race as well as offering insights into past cultures populated by race. Unlike race, ethnicity is much more flexible because it covers cultural features such as a language and religion. Let's flesh out an example using myself to show the distinction.

Some would say I am Caucasian. Curiously, that property is often found on forms that are race conscious, and yet, at the top of the article:

The Caucasian race (also Caucasoid[a] or Europid, Europoid)2 is an obsolete racial classification of human beings based on a now-disproven theory of biological race.36 The Caucasian race was historically regarded as a biological taxon which, depending on which of the historical race classifications was being used, usually included ancient and modern populations from all or parts of Europe, Western Asia, Central Asia, South Asia, North Africa, and the Horn of Africa.

And yet it is still heard on occasion as a term which persists as a general synonym for white people, which is used more frequently here in the US. And yet, despite the fact that I have biological differences that make me white (lighter skin color, for instance), in no way does the term 'white person' fully describe me or my culture. In fact, my genes indicate that my ancestors are from England, Germany, Norway, Greece, Italy, and the Tartas Mountains. Well, if you've ever been to those parts of Europe, you'll note that there are tremendous differences in religion, language, and politics, not only between the countries, but within countries. For instance, my grandfather who is "Italian" grew up speaking Veneto. And curiously, I have no genes that are shared with most Italians. In the Italian Alps, there are villages of German speakers, and the Venetians themselves may originally be of Slavic descent. In fact, there's a movement afoot by the Liga Veneta to break away from Italy, and I know for a fact that many Venetians would be happy to be rid of the South, like Sicily and Calabria.

So, am I of Italian descent? Booooooooooo?!? It's hard to say. The Veneto language died with my grandfather in my family, his wife's family hailed from Pireaus, I grew up in Chicagoland, and was raised neither Catholic nor Greek Orthodox but Protestant. So, while I'm a "white person" of European ancestry, we Americans tend to just accept mutt as an ethnic designation if we've been here and are surrounded by immigrants, but aren't immigrants ourselves.

What do philosophers geared to the social sciences say about this? That largely falls under the domain of critical theories that explore race (SEP). Here in the US, there's a movement afoot to outlaw such speech and education in the State of Florida by conservative politicians as subversive, anti-American acts. Moderates and progressives find such legislation distasteful. And the political campaign has gone after critical race theory in elementary education, even though it clearly not taught at the elementary level. Most recently, these politicians have attacked AP African-American pedagogy put out by a prominent educational corporation ostensibly because it's woke propaganda, but much more tenably because it undermines the whitewashing of US history. The State of Texas has endorsed textbooks of US history that virtually eliminate the discussion of slavery from the learning material by rebranding chattel slaves as "workers".

Philosophically, what is of interest to the philosophy of language and mind is that both race and ethnicity are a form of categorization, and there is a lot of philosophical debate still about what goes on when people categorize and use language to represent those categories. For instance, there have been have been long discussions over essentialism (SEP), natural kinds (SEP), and definitions (SEP). Some linguists and cogntive scientists have followed Wittgenstein and challenged traditional notions of categorization and put forth more contemporary theories, such as prototype theory. Biologists now deal with clades based on genotype rather than phenotype. And science and philosophy continue to move our theories forward.

So what is the difference between race and ethnicity? Race is the claim that my whiteness somehow identifies me based on genes, skin-color, and other physical features, whereas ethnicity is a broader notion that reflects my language, religion, and politics, for instance. Ultimately, at best, my race and ethnicity are general descriptions and shouldn't be used to draw inferences about me as a human being, and at worst is a tool for scientific racism or vicious identity politics. Obviously, as an aspiring critical thinker, I try to be cognizant of the damage labeling causes as per labeling theory.

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    Good answer. Some thoughts: I recall reading that when a prominent African man was interviewed, he said, "There are no black people in Africa." Instead, he pointed to the 40 or so cultural groups there. All humans descend from a group of about 10,000 people in Africa, so we are all African. All people have matrilineal descent back to only 6 women. Those are all of our great ... grandmothers. All blue eyed people have ancestry back through one individual. And so on. Race is incoherent and problematic.
    – Scott Rowe
    Feb 18, 2023 at 1:08
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Historically, the concept of "race" is fluid. These days we may look at "race" as including "white", "black", "south asian", "southeast asian", etc.

In examining some old U.S. Census records where race was one of the data points collected I was surprised to see one entry of "Armenian".

In the 19th century in England you would hear references to "the Welsh race" or "the Irish race" or "the Scottish race", all of which would now be thought of as being part of the "White race".

Are the people of east Africa (e.g., Ethiopia and Somalia) the same "race" as the people of Atlantic coastal Africa? Most modern Americans would probably say "yes". I suspect, though, that if you were to go to those parts of Africa and ask the locals that question, you would get a very different answer.

So what "race" any person is depends a great deal on who is forming the opinion and why.

As the matter of ethnicity. as others have said, that's a matter of family, culture, and language. In some cases (as described above referring to "the Irish race") there is no difference.

If you base race on phenotype (sorry, not "plain English"), that is to say observable physical traits, then race and ethnicity aren't the same.

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  • The farther away people are, the more similar they appear, I guess. The less difference we perceive, the more we tend to generalize.
    – Scott Rowe
    Feb 19, 2023 at 23:29
  • You don't deal with differentiating ethnicity.
    – CriglCragl
    Feb 22, 2023 at 17:59
  • what do you mean @CriglCragl ? i think this is a fairly good/nuanced answer, but what do i know?
    – user64727
    Feb 22, 2023 at 19:53
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Bear in mind that words mean what people take them to mean, so any definition of a word is necessarily fuzzy to a degree. Given that disclaimer, I would say that for most people, in plain language, race is a label used to categorised people based on certain inherited biological characteristics, whereas ethnicity is a way to characterise people based on characteristics that need not be biological or inherited. Two points follow from that definition: you can choose to change your ethnicity, but you can't change your race; and there is a degree of correlation between racial groupings and ethnic groupings. That said, given that words mean what people take them to mean, I am sure it won't be long before it becomes more common for people to decide they are free to identify with being a particular race, so that race is claimed as a self-selected label in the same way as people can now decide their own gender.

If I might take the liberty to add a personal opinion, I think that racial labelling is a form of bigotry, and the sooner human society advances to the point at which we no longer consider racial distinctions, the better.

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  • "before it becomes more common for people to decide they are free to identify with being a particular race" What evidence do you have for that. The clear trend is to say race is an outdated term. What references or evidence do have for any of what you've said? You state your opinion this labelling is bigotry, but don't give reasons.
    – CriglCragl
    Feb 22, 2023 at 17:55
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+25

I personally cannot think of a better explanation than the one offered by SEP entry Race versus Ethnicity (bold mine, [..] means the entry provides examples, which I have omitted for brevity):

Stephen Cornell and Douglas Hartmann (1998) provide a helpful discussion of the differences between the concepts of race and ethnicity. Relying on social constructivism, they define race as “a human group defined by itself or others as distinct by virtue of perceived common physical characteristics that are held to be inherent…Determining which characteristics constitute the race…is a choice human beings make. Neither markers nor categories are predetermined by any biological factors” [..]. Ethnicity, conversely, is defined as a sense of common ancestry based on cultural attachments, past linguistic heritage, religious affiliations, claimed kinship, or some physical traits [..] Racial identities are typically thought of as encompassing multiple ethnic identities [..]

Cornell and Hartmann outline five additional characteristics that distinguish race from ethnicity: racial identity is typically externally imposed by outsiders [..] race is a result of early globalization [..] race typically involves power relations, from the basic power to define the race of others to the more expansive power to deprive certain racial groups of social, economic, or political benefits; racial identities are typically hierarchical, with certain races being perceived as superior to others; and racial identity is perceived as inherent, something individuals are born with.[..]

Race and ethnicity differ strongly in the level of agency that individuals exercise in choosing their identity. Individuals rarely have any choice over their racial identity, due to the immediate visual impact of the physical traits associated with race. Individuals are thought to exercise more choice over ethnic identification, since the physical differences between ethnic groups are typically less striking, and since individuals can choose whether or not to express the cultural practices associated with ethnicity. [..]

The main citation is Cornell, S. and Hartmann, D., 1998, Ethnicity and Race: Making Identities in a Changing World, Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press.

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  • thanks for this!
    – user64727
    Feb 22, 2023 at 20:16
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    I joined this community specifically to up-vote this. Since the questioner asked for the answer in plain english: As a geneticist, I've always taught that the difference between race and ethnicity is that society imposes race on you, where as you choose your ethnicity. Neither has any real basis in biology, but race is based on perceived (but not real) biological differences, where as ethnicity does not even claim to be based on biology. Nonetheless both are real in that people labeled as different races or ethnicities will have different experiences of life. Feb 23, 2023 at 17:17
  • @IanSudbery I'm glad you liked it :)
    – user64708
    Feb 23, 2023 at 17:33
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It is interesting to note that all East Asian populations except the Ainu from the Northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, have both neanderthal and denisovan heritage. See Deep History of East Asian Populations Revealed Through Genetic Analysis of the Ainu. Denisovan heritage is focused on South East Asia, Australasia, and South America:

world map of denisovan alleles From Long stretches of Neanderthal and Denisovan DNA helped Homo sapiens adapt. There are gaps, in the Middle East, and Central Europe.

All Europeans but only some African populations have neanderthal heritage. world map of neanderthal allele distributiin From Sex with Neanderthals Gave Humans Immunity Boost

The low but stable percentages of these hetitages, is thought to indicate smaller populations of these other hominids, that to some extent interbred and fused with larger homo sapiens populations. It's thought this was primarily because of genes that provided resistence to endemic regional diseases, like flu and hepatitus. These genes are thought to have impacted covid outcomes: How Our Neanderthal Genes Affect the COVID-19 Mortality.

The other persistent impacts of neanderthal genes are thought to have been more translucent skin for better vitamin D synthesis, and paler eyes better suited to low light (a mutation shared with huskies, interestingly), that much more important during the Ice Age. And denisovan genes are thought to have been critical to altitude tolerance needed to cross the Tibetan Plateau, with the coastal route blocked by disease burden and the Straits of Malacca - the Ainu show humans had arrived in East Asia via Siberia, but the Toba Catastrophe is thought to have emptied a large area of East Asia, as well as pushed homo sapiens towards trade and religious behaviour that let them return from near extinction, and spread further than any previous hominid. Apart from these small 2-3% inputs from other hominids, humans are remarkably homogenous, with far less variation across our entire species, than just within some specific breeds of dog - this is thought to be a result of a long population bottleneck following the Toba Catastrophe, where the homo sapiens population certainly dropped below 10,000 individuals, maybe below 1,000.

You can draw a kind of Venn Diagram in relation to regions and these hominid inhetitances, that account for broad regional differences in appearance. But this then makes clearer two problems. One; race has historically been used to mean something far more specific than these broad groups, like being in the autocthonic group by male line to be able to be considered for Ancient Athenian Citizenship, or lineage to the patriarchs for Jews - colonisations and other migrations like for work made that way of thinking unworkable. Two; there are far bigger differences between some black African peoples, than between some black African peoples and white European groups. This is also confounded, by a near perfect correlation between skin albedo of indigenous groups and humidity, suggesting given time any human group in a humid environment will develop dark skin. We have cultural baggage about regional differences, but genetic evidence is overturning a lot of that, and is far more to be preferred.

Race is an archaic concept, which used to mean ethnic group, but now means skin colour and/or broad regional features, but as above those features and especially skin colour are seriously flawed proxies for lineage - and as well as humidity adaptation you can add, in many emigrant populations dark skinned people have European genes and light skinned people have non-European hetitage, just not visibly. In academia, race is considered a socio-cultural term that is not well matched to the world ie is not a scientific term when applied to humans, and a term generally best avoided full stop there, in a scientific context. Specific lineage is the scientific term. Of course the ideas people have about race continue to influence societies, but studying that is where the term belongs.

Ethnicity has always been a more flexible term than race, being from Greek ethnikos "of or for a nation", and being about identifying with a group through manners and customs, with typically implications of some degree of geographic determination, and usually some extent of endogemy, at least in the past (eg formal conversion to a shared religion is still required by many faiths for marriage, in some areas like India or Northern Ireland threats of violence may persist towards inter-ethnic/faith marriages).

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  • I think first answering the question and then giving a background for understanding coupled with headers would improve the structure and readibility of the answer. You have a lot of reading to do before coming to the point here ;)
    – Philip Klöcking
    Feb 22, 2023 at 17:18
  • 3
    lol While Philip's criticism is true, you are a man after my own heart, sir.
    – J D
    Feb 22, 2023 at 17:22
  • A "term that is not well matched to the world" - great phrase! It needs to be applied to almost every 'term' currently in use.
    – Scott Rowe
    Feb 23, 2023 at 11:17
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    "[T]he answer to the question whether races exist in humans is clear and unambiguous: no." -Alan R. Templeton, an American geneticist and statistician at Washington University, where he is Rebstock emeritus professor of biology. He is known for his work demonstrating the degree of genetic diversity among humans, and the biological unreality of human races.
    – CriglCragl
    Feb 23, 2023 at 12:47
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Race is a biological category. It is a name for a huge collection of thousands of genetic differences that different groups of humans have. Racial traits are easily observable, except when a person has parents of different races.

Ethnicity is not a biological category, it is a socio-cultural concept, it basically means a population that speaks one language, lived in one area for a few centuries and which also has some unifying factors like culture, customs, traditions, literature etc.

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  • So getting adopted can't change your race but could change your ethnicity? Feb 17, 2023 at 21:39
  • yes, you can change ethnicities. To give you and example, Einstein moved to the US late in life, but he learnt the language, got citizenship etc., and that is why they sometimes describe him as a German-American physicist. Feb 17, 2023 at 21:44
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    Cool, that means when people give me crap for loving Star Trek I can complain that they're committing an ethnic hate crime. ; ) Feb 17, 2023 at 21:48
  • A question: if there are thousands of genetic characteristics involved in race, wouldn't that mean there are thousands of races? Hard to keep up.
    – Scott Rowe
    Feb 18, 2023 at 1:10
  • 3
    @DennisKozevnikoff For as many alleles there are that are race-linked, there are many more that span races, or belong to only a subset of a racial group. The identification of racial categories with certain genetic variations is a post-hoc classification: it doesn't justify the choice of racial categories. We define racial categories based largely on phenotypical facial features, but you could just as well define it based on things like congenital red-green colour-blindness, polydactyly, and haemophilia, and it would have just as much basis in genetics.
    – wizzwizz4
    Feb 18, 2023 at 18:46
1

Race is simply a way to divide people into groups, often based on physical characteristics, e.g. Black people, Asian people, White people. That is race however, the way one culturally identifies is ethnicity. For example, if a person follows Chinese traditions and learnt that from their family, they are ethnically Chinese.

Race is a physical characteristic. (broad) Ethnicity is how one culturally identifies. (narrow)

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  • Your answer could be improved with additional supporting information. Please edit to add further details, such as citations or documentation, so that others can confirm that your answer is correct. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center.
    – user64708
    Feb 22, 2023 at 14:43
  • Being ethnically Chinese-American say, is an imposed category based on appearance, regardless of following traditions. I don't think you've engaged with the issues.
    – CriglCragl
    Feb 22, 2023 at 17:58
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The difference is in usage:

  • The term 'race' has generally been used as an evaluative classification, implying deep, biologically-rooted characteristics that make one class of people intrinsically superior or inferior.
  • The term 'ethnicity' has generally been used in a non-evaluative capacity, suggesting differences in worldview, cultural practices, or societal norms which entail diversity but can be bridged.

The concept of race produces nothing good — e.g., oppression, colonialism, slavery, genocide... — because racialized others are inevitably seen as inferior and dangerous. Racialized others are considered as animals, to be used where profitable and disposed of where inconvenient. The concept of ethnicity is enriching, providing opportunities for trade in difference: new and interesting foods, clothing, luxuries, stories, philosophies...

Race and ethnicity are often blurred by people with xenophobic tendencies, who see all difference as intrinsically bad and inferior. This is particularly true with respect to religion, since many people treat religion as an absolute: an ingrained personal characteristic more than a cultural regularity.

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  • So basically, 'race' is just 'fear' with one changed letter.
    – Scott Rowe
    Feb 23, 2023 at 11:22
  • @ScottRowe: Well, yeah, if you believe in the Power of Anagrams... Feb 23, 2023 at 20:41
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What my understanding is is that race is rooted in distinct biological traits while ethnicity is rooted in shared historical culture etc

Yes and no. Apparently the origin of the word race are pretty nebulous, maybe "radix" (root), raza (head or origin), generatio (kind, fashion species), ratio (essence) and more or different translations of these words. Needless to say it's used as classification or part of a larger taxonomy.

On the other hand ethnicity seems to originate from the Greek term for nation, tribe or people.

So both are categorizations and classifications of people where the second is explicitly socio-cultural while the former is broader.

The problem is that race as categorization apparently originated way before modern science:

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/evolution-before-darwin/#SpecPermChanAnti

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/race/

So to say it's a biological category doesn't quite cut it either. These categorizations happened before the discovery of genes and evolution and so limited to visual differences, morphological differences and also differences in behavior. Some of which are sorta biological others are cultural.

So they are demarcation lines between human beings that are from a biological point of view largely nonsense. Originally race was also used in place of species, while nowadays it has been downgraded to subspecies or even more insignificant and useless than that.

The thing is you can draw demarcation lines anywhere you want, height, size, eye-color, form of body parts, skin color, hair color, length or shape of genitals you name it. The question is does this yield any meaningful information or do you just draw lines for the sake of drawing lines.

So while biologically of little use, the significance of these distinctions was culturally vastly overstated, leading to racism. The idea that "race" is the most important thing in the world and not just an arbitrary feature but the determining reason for all features and behaviors of a person. You can probably compare it to something like astrology, where your astronomical signs are sorta kinda based on astronomy, but also not really and where that determines your entire life if you believe it and turns out to be utter bullshit if actually investigated.

And when race is understood as biological, deterministic and responsible for all sorts of traits and when race is detectable only by visual differences and differences in behavior. You kinda end up with a large overlap between ethnicity and race. Because tribes that stick together for generations at the same place tend to adept visually, morphological and in terms of behavior to that.

So while largely cultural a tribe can also have a biological component to it. Yet conversely biological similarity does not mean people get along with each other and form tribes. There can be social cohesion among biologically very different people and social tension between very biologically very similar people and vice versa.

For example the definition of nations, the modern form of tribes, is usually about shared language, values and constitutions but membership is often largely passed down by ancestry. Naturalization processes are becoming more common but most new members of a country are still largely produced by birth to residents. And in fact some versions of "nationalism" use "ethnicity" and "cultural" as placeholders for "race". That is a meaningfully difference in behavior that is assigned at birth and deterministic (unalterable).

So for example when the Nazis persecuted Jewish people they saw Jewishness not as a religious denomination or an expression of culture or even an ethnicity but as a race. Even an atheist, anti-zionist person adopted by non-Jewish people, but born to Jewish parents would have been a "Jew". So ethnicity would be a place in a pseudo-biological taxonomy.

Also while ethnicity can lead to "biological" similarity. The opposite can also be true. Like if a society has been subject to racism and race based discrimination, the discriminated and the discriminators can also form social groups so that you have an overlap of biology and cultural traits that doesn't originate from biology but culture, though where biology might be an indicator for culture.

There's also the distinction between power. Like first of all the power to make the categories. Like intuitively one might assume that science is neutral and just describes it how it is, but it's actually an expression of power to draw lines based on your own discretion and priorities and have others to sort themselves in that spectrum. So while ethnic groups could independently identify themselves as group, racial groups could only do so by altering the taxonomy which is dependent on the dominant group making it.

So TL;DR the major difference is probably that the "biological" claim of race makes it something that is innate and unalterable, while due to culture origin, ethnicity can at least in theory be something changeable. So I'd say that is the biggest difference between them.

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  • People love to draw lines. They really need to take some classes though, especially art history!
    – Scott Rowe
    Feb 23, 2023 at 11:21
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In plain Eng it is impossible for now.

Because the word race natural mean was censored after WW2. And modern meaning "race" is not same as it historical etymology meaning, cuz "racism".

What was race, that is simple definition of humans distinction by... the color of the skin: black, white, red, yellow and Australian(but not Australian white people, but aboriginal. Why it is happened? When European sailors came to other countries they ll saw different between the humans. This distinctions in that mind was connected to the continents. There was 3 distinctions - white-european from Europe, black-negros from Africa, and yellow-chinese/hindus/arabian - Asia. Race was an Eng word that mean run from that side(continent). I think association with continent land was the main, but the second was the color of skin. Then America was discovered - and was founded the forth race of red-skin people - indians. Indians.. heh.. That was a mistake by Columbus, he thought that he came to India. That is why we have indias in America and hindus in India. But look little back, maybe, Indian's people was senses as 4 race before america discovery. The problem, that people not had the Internet and Wiki, and thay needed another not accurate distinction of friend / foe. And it is strange for me why arabian are not associated historically with any race-skin-color.

One more strange thing needed to say: all continents have names began from A-letter - Asia, Africa, America(both), Australia. What is wrong with Europe? Have you remembered about Atlantis?

European people interpret own race as Atlantis running. The last continent fallow this logic is Antarctic.

Okey, that is a lyric. We have last country of round earth - Globus - Australian with... green color.

This color race symbolic is on Olimpic emblem, also all the continents represented on UN emblem, but without color cuz it got only after WW2(1947).

Race theory for now is relation to Genetic same as Alchemy relation to Chemistry. But it was strong even in 19-20 century. Blavatsky(she was Rus Empire but she moved to London), and she wrote that(something): In America(north A - the USA) nowadays a new one race is being born - 6 race, that will be content of best attributes of human nature. Evgenik theory, you know, how to get hybrid with all best kinds/attributes from one or several types of humans. But this theory was crushed cuz WW2 and Jews genocide and else. And main that the Genetic sad that it is not work this way. But this ideas is steal alive and find a development of the transhumanism - the modern variant of the race theory. Homo sapience will distincted to sapience(type) and homo deus(type) by Harari.

Also you can read about race of wiki, but it is not the race, it is metanarrative term that has possibility to change it's mean soon.

This is simple about the race. About Ethnicity i ll write later.

Edit. Ethnos.

Ethnos is different to individuum stance concept. One man can't have ethnos, it is similar to german Folk or russian Народ/народность, it is attribute not belong to the one person, but to the group. Group has ethnicity.

That is why the theory of ethnos genesis - ethnology was developed by Russian-Soviet, German, Chinese anthropology/sociology science. Main question of culture/ethnology are different. Culture:"who are they and where they should to go?", ethnology:"where are we(they) from? and what shall we be?". Ethnos is pre-exist to nation. Tradition culture(tradition culture is no same as any other culture, main noun is the tradition, not a culture) used for describing ethnos being: language and literature, all kind modes of life of the ethnic group - housekeeping(house building), feed getting, cloths, family structure, tribe-clan structure... Ethnos describing is about an autonomic "society" - folk, out of republic or global human laws. Folk is free inside itself already...

When an ethnic group integrates in the state/republic laws/freedom structure it is call nation. Nation it is integrated part, connected to external laws/rules, but the group inner stance is ethnic. Ethnic traditions are integrated to law of most west states, that are consist of several nations. Russia and China primarily, India should too, but i don't know ( India have also cast primary structure and maybe it realize it structure from another mechanisms).

E usually needs it own land(*) to have it specific traditions, when E coming off its motherland it lose their roots, and become a nation. When you meet chinese in a city you don't know what part of China they come, but China is not homogenous nation. You may only say - it is chinese, and you hit in race definition. Race definition is depleted concept of ethnos, when you tear an individuum off it roots.

Ofc West scientists, anthropologies, study the tribes inside it natural being, but they have no intent to integrate any tribe with saving it inner structure to the stat structure. Maybe they must free them from thier natural being, to take control of another country's wealth, by the law ofc, but not ethnos law, democracy one. That is why all West influences ends atomisation into rootless individuum for any ethnic structures - divide et impera.

One of the main reason why Stalin made deportation of ethnic groups from the boarders of USSR was ethnic division and mixing. In Eng wiki it called "Population transfer in the Soviet Union", but it wasn't population, it was ethnos dispersion in SU logic.

Ethnic problem is very actually because migrants - people that lose their roots, their ethnicity, but thay still have culture, language, nation, but who are they?

Korea - is the one ethnos, it has shared history, but different the ideology/govt make different nations - South one, and North one. As it longer as more differents in language, but still same kimchi.

So, the race is belong to differences of individuums - body, gens, intellect abilities, human types(racism, evgenik, transhumanism). Race west meaning - when characteristics of one person is applying to the group, and possible to say: he is dog, cat, black, white, dragon, human...

But race east meaning is not so categorized, in Russia still possible to call black-skin person (afro-looking) - негр, this is usually ok and nothing abuse meaning, because in Rus or SU wasn't ever race harassment from govt side (repressions in Rus/China/SU wasn't ever based on the race, nation, or ethnic, but on society or class status, hehe). Lenin was that man who created "nations" inside one state. Racelogy - is an academic discipline in Rus, without any racism moments.

The ethnos is an art of the folk being, individual(not individuum) mind based on language, literature, history, traditions, self-determination and self-roots with ethnic group(real one, not elfs). Something before the culture or nation. Ethnos is not an answer, it is a question: who are they, why thay have this arts?

*The hard question is about nomadic ethnoses, that haven't homeland and migrates all time on huge areas like "mongols", "jews", gypsies... Nikolay Gumilev tried to learn the genesis of Khazars - semi-normadic Turkic(Turkic language) folk. Also he create mystery theory about why folks are appear and disappear - theory of the passionarity("why we be?"-question). This theory is not accepted by the academic society, but his history and ethnology(about Caspian folks) writings are very highly appreciated.

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  • A ramble, but informative. We can do a lot more with chemistry than we ever tried to accomplish with alchemy, and we can do a lot more with genetics than race could ever do. (don't get me started about ethnicity, culture etc)
    – Scott Rowe
    Feb 18, 2023 at 12:41
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    pure narrative is always a rambling, but you always able to read the wiki ))) Feb 18, 2023 at 12:50
  • "Race was an Eng word that mean run from that side(continent). I think association with continent land was the main" What? What does that mean. Some of the most brutal racism historically was by white people against other white people, the focus on skin colour is a product of the slave trade. See 'Sorry, but the Irish were always ‘white’ (and so were Italians, Jews and so on)' washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2017/03/22/…
    – CriglCragl
    Feb 22, 2023 at 18:03
  • @CriglCragl it is my incomplete what is race, if you don't like it you can cut it, it is ok. But race is unfocused noun, because it was discredited. So, it is ok that all ethnical and culture conflicts in second part of 20Th century called racism (and belong to race problem). Race it is not belong to a culture or a country, as "Irish, Italians, Jews, Poles, Arabs"(what? Arabs?). Jews, Irish, maybe Poles - are ethnic, but there are some problems, that they are leave their native place and lose their housekeeping. Arabs... where they from? from Arabian subcontinent or from Morocco? Feb 22, 2023 at 21:18
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Race refers to a person's physical characteristics such as skin color, facial features, and hair texture. It is often used to categorize people into groups based on these physical traits, such as Black, White, Asian, or Native American.

Ethnicity, on the other hand, is based on a person's cultural or national background, including their traditions, language, beliefs, and customs. Ethnicity is often associated with shared ancestry, history, or geography, such as being Hispanic/Latino, Irish, Nigerian, or Chinese.

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    – user64708
    Feb 24, 2023 at 9:13

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