term 'race' is often used in a way that purports to identify differences
between human population groups. This usage has been discredited
scientifically. The only legitimate sociological usage is one, which
identifies race as a particular kind of social relationship constructed
in, and through, racist reasoning.
An alternative way of
thinking about human diversity is one, which invokes the concept
of ethnicity. There is no single, universally accepted definition
of ethnicity. Most academic commentators would stress some sort
of cultural distinctiveness as the mark of ethnic grouping.
is more a matter of process by which boundaries are created and
maintained between ethnic groups
Measuring/assessing ethnicity is not simple, consider the following:
would you class as your ethnic group?
is situational. The implication is that people have different ethnic
identities in different situations. Their salience is affected by
such factors as the distribution of desired resources and the objectives
of the people concerned. Thus it is possible to be simultaneously
English, British, and European, stressing these identities more or
less strongly in different aspects of daily life. Similarly, the
same person might identify as Gujerati, Indian, Hindu, East African
Asian, or British depending on situation, immediate objectives, and
the responses and behaviour of others.