U. S Census Bureau (2006) states that the word race is used to identify people according to the race to which they are closely related to by blood. Before, people have been grouped in races depending on their biological linkage and similarities; since people of a given race poses unique biological features. Definition of race along genetic lines have been dismissed in the recent passed as it has been found that very minimal genetic variation exists in humans; the only significant one being sex. Recently, it has been established that the use of the word race as an identification factor of people across the globe is a sociopolitical conception but not scientific or anthropological. Race can also be defined in terms of the national origination of different groups of people.
According to the United States Census Bureau, there are various races in the United States that include: the whites, the blacks or African Americans, American Indian and Alaska Native, Asian and finally the Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander. This was reached at based on people color in combination with the nations of origin
On the other hand, ethnicity refers to cultural practices and/or physical characters that are unique to a certain group of people making them distinct from others groups in the same country e.g. in the United States of America, there a number of ethnic groups that include: Latinos, European Americans, American Indians, Latinos, Chinese and f8inally African Americans (O’Neal, 2006).
Schaefer (2006) Ethnic groups are characterized by specific cultural practices that are only associated with them. The most common culture in an ethnic group is language. The new entrants into a given country adopt the ethnicity simply by learning the language among other traditional practices.
O’Neal (2006) The United States of America consists of people of different races and ethnicity. Due to this fact, it is important for the American citizens to properly understand them in order to be able to comprehend and appreciate the racial and ethnic diversity in the united state of American and of other countries across the globe.
In addition, people get to understand the race and ethnic group they belong to. This has far reaching impact on political, social, economic, and psychological orientation among other human traits. People’s knowledge of their races and ethnicity becomes handy during national census. This data is important to the government determining different groups in its population. Through this, the United States government is able to roll out programs to protect the special interests of each group. Some of these groups turn out as minority and affirmative action is needed to ensure equal social and economic status across different races and ethnicities (U. S Census Bureau, 2006).
In conclusion, the term race is used to group people according to their country of origin and some how determined by shared genetic traits. Ethnicity on the hand is used to categorize people according to their different cultural orientation that mainly include language. These two concepts are important in enabling people to understand and appreciate the various races and ethnic groups in the United States.
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