What is Race

When researching what exactly is race, I came up with the answer of  it’s a group of people who share similar and distinct physical characteristics. WhenI asked six different people what race meant to them I received similar answers. Some of the people thought it was associated with the origins of where you’re from. I also had a few people tell me it had to do with the color of your skin, and the physical attributes of your face features. The answers that I received didn’t surprise me at all, I assumed that everyone would say race had to do with the physical attributes of a person (skin color, shape of eyes, or nose, eye color, etc) or the origins of where you are from. To me, I think race has to do with physical characteristics as well. I’ve learned that everyone pretty much thinks the same about race. I also learned that society have taught us what race is, or suppose to be, that’s why most of us think the same about what race is. This assignment has taught me that it could be easy and hard when trying to conduct anthropological research. For example, when asking these people what was race I pretty much received the same answer, which made it easy. However, what if the topic was something that was more harder to give an exact answer to, a question where asking six different people, I would get six different answers. That would make the research a lot more harder and it would be really hard to get one concise result to the question.

3 thoughts on “What is Race

  1. I’m very interested in how the people you interviewed all came up with their answers that were so similar, as I had results that reflected that way; but the people I interviewed stated that race had something to do with your culture. I also enjoyed your comment that most people think the same about race because society has taught us what the concept is and what it’s supposed to be. I support that, and think that the concept of race, no matter where you’re from, is engrained into individuals’ brains at a young age through our families, outside interactions, and observations. What I found when I asked people what they thought race was, that they seemed taken aback and wanted to think about it more. Race is a thing that is and has become engrained in our society that we don’t tend to think about it, since we see it as a mundane thing. As to your anthropological research I think you did a great job, and even if you did receive feedback of different degrees I think it could’ve broadened your results and your mind on what race is.

  2. I think that your definition of what exactly race is, is a good summary of race. I think one thing interesting about race is that the people I interviewed definitely confuse race and ethnicity when discussing the topics. My answers were similar to yours. I think that when identifying race most people think of physical characteristics such as skin color. Overall, race is something that we all subconsciously associate with these types of characteristics. Unfortunately, we also associate races with specific characteristics and that is the problem with simply identifying race as color of skin or something like that. Overall, I think doing an interview is hard as well. However, it allows you to guide your questions and thoughts onto different minded people unlike any other form of learning.

  3. I found your post a little confusing where it related to race just being about a set of physical traits. I understand that many people struggle to answer this question and often give sentiments similar to this, but do you still think this is true based on the class activities? I found the face to racial category matching exercise very difficult because our idea of race as a defined set of characteristics doesn’t always work. Not everyone fits easily into one of the stereotypical race descriptions. I do agree that the ideas we have about race are due to enculturation and that it isn’t necessarily accurate. In your section about research I think it is important to note that when you are doing research it is important to conduct experiments that can give you unanticipated results and not just confirming what you already know. Also, asking a hard question like “what is race” may give you similar results, but it may be the slight differences that teach us the most about the cultural significance of the criteria that people use to define race.

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