Is it more than just different variety of genes? Does commonly held idea of beauty and superiority makes a certain group rule and exploit every other group? The answer in certainly no, however, the idea of race and ethnicity is still prevalent in modern world. This paper tries to explore that in what ways, if at all, race and ethnicity still matters.
Race and ethnicity are social constructs that refer to particular social group sharing cultural heritage and ancestry devised by oppressive system of race relations. These constructs are justified by ideology where one group takes advantage over other through domination and defines other groups and itself through that supremacy and possession of some selective and arbitrary physical attributes, such as, skin color(Krieger,2000,36).Racism refers to individual or institutional practices which generate and reinforce the oppressive systems of racial differences and relations (Krieger, 2000, 36).Ethnicity is a social construct that is originally devised to discriminate between the "innately" different groups that allegedly classified as an overall same race (Hobsbawm cited in Krieger, 2002), but now, it refers to the groups allegedly differentiable on the basis on their culture(Haynes and Smedley cited in Krieger, 2002).
When it comes to defining race and ethnicity, Markus (cited in DeAngelis, 2008) refers that it is a dynamic set of ideas and practices which are historically derived and institutionalized. This set of ideas and practices let people identify themselves and others on the basis of common characteristics such as, history, nation, language, customs, ancestry, and physical appearance. However, her theory holds that ethnicity is the perception of a group about itself that ensures the sense of identity and belonging, on the other hand, perceptions associated with race are created and reinforced by those who are outside of that particular group, mostly more dominant than the group