Q:

What are the types of human races?

A:

Quick Answer

Although in the United States people are often asked to self-identify as either white, Hispanic, African American, Asian or Native American, advanced understanding of DNA reduced the amount of races accepted by scientists to three: European, Asian, African. It is argued, however, that even these three races are not accurate classifications of individuals.

Continue Reading
What are the types of human races?
Credit: Scott Cresswell CC-BY 2.0

Full Answer

The disparity of exactly what qualifies as a race lies in the history of race as a social construct. However, the contemporary study of race involves scientific research into the variances of human DNA. Traditionally, people have been racially classified based on their appearance. It was assumed that people with similar physical features shared a common ancestor. Human genome testing, however, has established this is not necessarily true. Scientists point out that the DNA of many Europeans is no more similar to each other than is the DNA of Europeans and Africans. Additionally, the American Anthropological Association asserts that of the three currently accepted races, European and Asian are actually subsets of African, as human beings have inhabited the African continent for the longest amount of time.

Contemporary racial classifications, however, are dictated more by population distribution and by exposure to people of dissimilar heritages to each other. As understanding about the science of race has grown, scientists have begun dropping the term "race" in favor of the less derogatory "human variation."

Learn more about Anthropology

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are the names of the human races?

    A:

    Despite disagreement and controversy surrounding attempts to categorize humans by race, an early system based on geographic origin and physical characteristics names Caucasoids, Negroids, Mongoloids and Australoids as the four major races of humans. Sub-groups exist within each group, although the distinction between classifications is often difficult to determine due to intermingling and migration. There are also cultural sensitivities, stirred by studies that attempt to link racial categories with traits such as intelligence, physical ability or social behavior.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are types of human settlements?

    A:

    Different types of human settlements include hamlets, villages, small towns, large towns, isolated places, cities and conurbations. In some systems, types of human settlements are broken up into urban, suburban and rural; for example, the U.S. Census Bureau divides settlements into urban or rural categories based on precise definitions.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is an Inuit?

    A:

    An Inuit is an indigenous person from the arctic regions of Canada, Greenland or the United States. The term "Inuit" is often considered a more appropriate designation than the more common "Eskimo."

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Where did the Cree Indians live?

    A:

    The Cree Indians lived in parts of Canada and the United States, including the Atlantic coast, Rocky Mountains, and the provinces of Quebec and Saskatchewan. As of May 2015, there are approximately 200,000 Cree living in North America, with more than 135 different bands living in Canada. Cree bands include the James Bay Cree, Plain Cree and Woodland Cree.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore