What's the difference between ethnicity and race?


Quick Answer

Ethnicity refers to culture, while race refers to biology. Culture includes practices people learn to fit into natural and social environments. Race typically includes skin color, hair color and other inherited physical characteristics. Furthermore, the existence of many overlapping biological variations make defining race anthropologically almost impossible.

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Full Answer

Clothing, foods, holidays, language and religion help define ethnicity in terms of culture. Culture identifies everything about a human that is not genetically passed down by parents. Ethnicity also includes social discourse, which refers to the hierarchies established and controlled by the media, politics, laws and education. Race is a fluid concept as people self-identify as one race or another.

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