Race And Ethnicity Essay

848 words - 4 pages

Through the selected readings it becomes clear that race is not only a social construct but also a value that changes depending on the region in which one inhabits. Despite the lack of scientific support for race as a biological phenomenon, race still results in misfortune for many minorities. This present throughout everyday life in terms of job opportunities, education, and life experiences.
Jeffrey M. Fish’s article “Mixed Blood” gives evidence to race as a social construct rather than a biological entity. The first piece of evidence that insists that race is not biological is the fact that human are a single species. Despite having physical differences, all humans are able to mate with “others… and produce fertile offspring” (Fish 250). This evidence indicates the humans are more biological similar than we let on. Despite many beliefs that humans are separated by physical characteristic, through scientific evidence it is clear that we are one species. While many people point out that certain characteristics are shared by certain groups of people it is important to note that these differences are evolutionary characteristics that allowed our ancestors to survive in varied conditions (Fish 250). A common example of this is the differences in skin color of people indigenous to different parts of the world. A person with roots in Scandanavia, a cold area, is likely to have much lighter skill than a person whose ancestors were from an equatorial African nation. Fish also introduces the psychological factor of people of a particular race believing their race to have more variation. This is an interesting concept because it is heard throughout pop culture and daily life. This article explains the occurrence as being an environmental situation, in which babies more frequently encounter people of their own race as they are developing (Fish 254). This supports race as a social construct because it shows that some of the differences identified as belonging to a particular race are caused by a young child’s lack of exposure to other races, rather than a genetic factor. It is possible that if more children were raised in environments of mixed races, the separate between different racial groups would be diminished. These observations are further supported by the PBS site “Can You Tell Somebody’s Race By Looking At Them?”. This site shows that many characteristics such as skin color, blood type, and fingerprint shape transcend culturally imposed racial groups (“Can You Tell Somebody’s Race By Looking At Them?”). The presence of shared traits between different races is...

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