There are many ways to classify human beings. Thus, they can be classified by nationality, social status, ideology or many other reasons. One of them is the ethnic group we belong to. The physical traits that define a given population are the basic constituent elements of ethnicity.
In addition to physical characteristics (for example, skin color or hair), there are other aspects that are associated with the concept of ethnicity, such as language , customs and religion. However, in the globalized world there is no general criterion to describe each ethnic group, as skin color is not always related to language, religion, territory or traditions.
The concept of ethnicity
Each race creates a sense of belonging and this phenomenon is known as ethnicity. This feeling appears when the population of each ethnic group perceives their differences in relation to the other. The idea of ethnicity is a form of identification, therefore, it refers to how the individual sees himself in front of an ethnic or racial-ethnic group. Although the idea of ethnicity expresses the bonds that unite a community, we must not forget that racial differences have been a fundamental aspect of social conflict. Racism in its various forms, the Jewish holocaust, the persecution of Gypsies or Australian aborigines are some examples that illustrate the tensions deriving from the ethnic factor. ethnicity
ethnicity and race
Both concepts are used in everyday language as synonyms. However, the term race refers to the physical characteristics of individuals, while the idea of ethnicity is equivalent to the cultural dimension of a community. Consequently, a person can be part of a race because of their physical traits, but cannot share the cultural traditions linked to that race. ethnicity
The different ethnic groups on the planet
The classification of ethnic groups has evolved over time, but currently the scientific community is unanimous in stating that there are seven main races:
- – The black race is the origin of all the others and in its vast majority is found on the African continent ;
- – The white or Caucasian race is the majority in Europe, the United States, Canada and Australia;
- – People of Indian race inhabit India and neighboring countries; ethnicity
- – The Arab race originates from North Africa and the Middle East;
- – The American Indian race comes from North America and is the least extended of all;
- – The Latin American race is centered on South and Central America.