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Race, Ethnicity Key Roles, And Uncertainties Today

946 words - 4 pages

What is race and ethnicity? Despite their common usage, or perhaps because of it, the termsrace and ethnicity are hard to define precisely and explicitly. Typically, the term race has a biological orphysical undertone (but is certainly not so strictly limited). While ethnicity refers broadly to culture andcustom. Both terms are used to group people who have similar experiences and backgrounds togetherinto one category. The Census beauru claims : classification of the population by race reflects commonusage rather than an attempt to define biological stock. Race is a population of humans distinguished insome way from other humans. The most widely used racial categories developed on visible traits( especially skin colour and facial features).Ethnicity is an ethnic group of people who identify with one another, or are so identified byothers, on the basis of boundary that distinguishes them from other groups. The boundaries may take anumber of forms- racial, cultural, linguistic, economic, religious, or political. Because of this boundary,member of an ethnic group are often presumed to be culturally or biologically similar, although notexactly the case.Race and ethnicity are important to our identity because it is in relation to how we are seen byindividuals and how we view ourselves, also that race and ethnicity are central to these processes.Identity is how we see ourselves, and how others see us. Because of this it's quite apparent Race andethnicity are very important in defining our identities.If we take for example a women walking down the street wearing a salwaar kameez and headPagescarf, what might one presume about her. A few things that come to mind are she is Pakistani, Muslim,and Asian. With the presumptions that I just stated dealt with ethnical and racial factors, and you canclearly see how it played a major role in me defining who I thought she was.Another example is a man walking down the street wearing a turban, with a long beard, and akirpan, What would one presume about him? That he's Sikh, Asian and religious. This is anotherexample of how the two factors played key roles. With my examples provided you are able to see howour racial and ethnic backgrounds are reflected in us, shaping who we are, and how others around ussee us.Creating an identity in today's media drenched worlds is not a simple tasks. With a turn of amagazine page or an easy flip of the TV channel there at our disposal is a huge array of potentialidentity replicas.In contemporary society, identity is continuously unstable, it must be selected, constructed andcreated with reference to enviable surrounding media traditions.There are more uncertainties about our identities today because of the vast change over theyears one including the melting pot. Melting pot is a metaphor for the way in which homogeneoussocieties develop, in which the ingredients in the pot ( people of different cultures and religion) arecombined as to lose their discrete identities to some degree,...

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