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Difference Between Race and Ethnicity: What are the main differences between race and ethnicity?

What is the difference between race and ethnicity? The difference between race and ethnicity is that one is organic and biological while the other is societal, folk, or ethnic. Both the terms are divergent but are akin and thus are frequently used in place of each other. How is Race different from Ethnicity?

There are a few facts about each of the associated terms that make them different from each other. For example, While race is connected to you organically like by birth or genetics, ethnicity is embraced or acquired. Let’s find out some more differentiating facts between Race and Ethnicity in this article. Coming up further in this section we have for you a table listing the differences in easy-to-understand terms and the definition of both the terms individually. So, let’s see!

How to Define a Race

Race can be defined as a conception used to denote or indicate distinct individuals. As per social science theory, there may not be any inherent similarity for this race distinction, the term is mostly used to categorize groups of individuals or tribes on the basis of their phenotypical attributes, outward appearances or looks, or even the color of their skin. To make it clearer, you can consider these two examples:

We differentiate people belonging to eastern countries as Whites, so basically people who have their natives or origins in Europe, North Africa, or the Middle East are often referred to as Whites. Or, you can consider the example of Asians. So’ Asians are basically people who are originally or belong to people of these places- Southeast Asia, India, Japan, China, Malaysia, etc.

How to Define Ethnicity

While Ethnicity can be defined as identifying groups on the basis of their common interests, attributes, rituals, customs, dialect, art forms, clothes, cuisines, language, or even religious interests. Ethnicity is something you can acquire or adopt or it can also come to you inherently or by force of the society you belong to. Consider these examples for a better understanding:

The term Jewish is basically for people who belong to or preach the Judaism religion or speak the Yiddish or Hebrew language.

Or, you can consider the ethnicity  African-American. Now, these are individuals who are categorized differently by this ethnicity in the US and Canada. These two different groups of people were moved to different continents involuntarily or coercively. They have connected and formed this new ethnicity or culture with their inclination toward music, spirituality, food, and entertainment. So, we diffrentiate the Africans here as African -American by ethnicity and Black by Race.

Difference Between Race and Ethnicity

Let’s understand some easy to understand quick facts about Race and Ethnicity with this table:

Differences Race Ethnicity
Basis Taxonomy or genetic classification or scientific classification Ethnic Identity or, Cultural Personality
Appearance Race is based on physical appearance Ethnicity is more of the kind of clothing or attire or fashion people carry.
Who can join Race can’t be acquired You can join a different ethnicity if you have common attributes or interests with that
Usage The race is a restricted or a narrower term While Ethnicity is a broader term as it also includes some attributes of the race too