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Social Sci LibreTexts

6: Deconstructing Race

  • Page ID
    5604
  • The concept of race is important in many different areas of the discipline including cross-cultural studies, the way we look at ourselves vs. people we feel are different from us and many other areas. Race is not biological but it’s supposed to be a way to classify biological differences by grouping people according to different characteristics that they have. However it’s important to remember that race is not based on genetic features. There is no biological part of race. It is strictly a concept created by humans to try to better understand differences between us.

    • 6.1: Deconstructing Race and Racism
    • 6.2: Human Adaptations
      Humans have biological plasticity, or an ability to adapt biologically to our environment. An adaptation is any variation that can increase one’s biological fitness in a specific environment; more simply it is the successful interaction of a population with its environment. Adaptations may be biological or cultural in nature. Biological adaptations vary in their length of time, anywhere from a few seconds for a reflex to a lifetime for developmental acclimatization or genetics.
    • 6.3: Skin Color and UV Index
      Darker skin is found in indigenous populations nearer to the equator. Lighter skin is found in indigenous populations further from the equator. There is more UV radiation near the equator. The sun’s UV rays can destroy folate levels, which is needed for DNA synthesis
    • 6.4: Ethnicity and Race
    • 6.5: Social Constructions of Race
    • 6.6: Eugenics in the United States

    Thumbnail depicting (from left): a Berber, a Nubian, an Asiatic, and an Egyptian. An 1820 drawing of a relief from the tomb of Seti I. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...tian_races.jpg See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons