Some of today's most essential social issues are connected with these processes, as borders between the countries and cultures become more and more clear as a result of development of means of communication, technology and business. Nowadays it is impossible to take the newspaper or magazine or to watch the news on TV and not to run against the information concerning the issues of ethnocentrism, racial or national stereotypes, discrimination, etc. These issues spread from the international commercial activity up to the violence and wars caused by racial and ethnic distinctions. The given questions are going to become even more topical in the future when technological progress will unite various cultures of the world more and more tight.
Substantial discussion of these notions is impossible without their preliminary careful definition. Most of differences in opinions arise actually not because of disagreements in the understanding of value or importance of these terms in our daily life, but because of distinctions in definitions.
It should be stated that racial categories are variable and depend on the meanings inserted by contemporaries. According to some scholars, it is wrong to consider the concept of race politically neutral. It always contain, even if just implicitly, the idea of conflict of interests. Omi and Winant (1994, p. 55) state "race is a concept, which signifies and symbolizes social conflicts and interests, by referring to different types of human bodies".
Some sociologists state that the notion of race has always been filled with some socio-cultural meaning, demonstrating an attitude towards 'aliens', expressed through the emphasizing of their most observable physical differences. In other words, sociologists consider that physical marks reflect not the objective reality, but subjective attitude. According to Robert Park (1964, pp. 237-239, 315), a racial mark has become the symbol of the suspense, in the ground of which has laid the sense of self-vulnerability. He writes that a sociologist is interested not in physical distinctions, differentiating one race from another, but in less evident lineaments of inner apprehensions. And physical distinctions are just the symbols of these inner apprehensions. Park claims that historical process in the issue is predetermined by the ideological factors, not by the biological ones. The more important is to realize what people believe in and look for, than to know who they are.
In other words modern sociologists, considering race as an artificial construct and one of means of creation and description the identity, emphasize that race remains to be rather important notion, which determines and legalizes social and political actions of people. At the same time they are sure that race is a product of racism, and not contrariwise. From this point of view groups, which are called racial, turn out to be racialised. It means that social, political, or economical state of these groups is described with the help of racial categories.
A lot of scholars for decades have oppugned against scientific racism, which has tried to ground the idea of racial inequality. They have proved that human capabilities do not depend on the colour of the skin or type of eyes. One of the most outstanding representatives of this stream is Ashley Montague (1952), who from 1940s has insisted that