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What is "race"? Show more Show less
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Race is one way humans classify one another. Yet, views of how humans are classified differ between person-to-person and even country-to-country. The debate of "what race is" has important - and dangerous - implications across society and between individuals.

Race is a biological reality Show more Show less

Humans are different from each other - physically, culturally, linguistically, psychologically. Proponents of race as a biological reality view differences as anchored in genetic differences at a group level. Racial groups have key characteristics that make them unique and different from others.
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Physiological features categorize people into races

Outward appearance and ancestry - which are biological and unchangeable - define a person's race.
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The Argument

Societies have racially categorized people by physiological features since antiquity.[1] Today, in countries like Brazil, the US, the UK, people often identify one another's race based on skin color. Identification based on skin color is easy for US Americans to do because of the migration and colonization history of North America. The idea that outward physical appearance determines one's race is also prevalent in South Africa and the UK.[2] The idea that physiological features, such as skin color, determine race is woven into societies and taught to children at an early age.[3] [4] One study has shown that children as young as 3 months old in the US begin to racially categorize people. [4]

Counter arguments


[P1] Races are defined by outward appearance or other physiological features.

Rejecting the premises

People may categorize someone as a certain race by outward appearance, but that person may not identify with that race (e.g. golfer Tiger Woods)




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This page was last edited on Monday, 26 Oct 2020 at 20:59 UTC

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