Race is not a simple matter of skin color, but a socially constructed category

The issues of race and skin color relation have been always rather versatile and much argued about. This is important however to define the complete and real meaning of the notion “ race”, as we strongly believe that it can not be seen only as some biological feature of a person or group of individuals, rather as a phenomenon caused by social construction.

This is evident, that the color of the skin as well as some other factors in human appearance were grouped and united under certain classification of races. However the physical differences of various populations are inseparable from the cultural differences of these groups. This means, that biological and cultural characteristics taken together are able to serve as full characteristics of a certain race. Skin color in reality is just one of numerous biological differences between populations all over the world. Skin color is influenced by concrete genetic components, which have impact upon the level of pigmentation of individual’s skin. This is clear, that this element can not be compared to the sophisticated combination of environmental characteristics, which affect directly an individual or a group of persons. One of the most reliable definitions of the notion of race seems to be the following: “a “race” as a vast group of people loosely bound together by historically contingent, socially significant elements of their morphology and/or ancestry” (Banton, 12).

We have also to take into consideration the cases, when people of different biological races ”“ for example a white man and an Asian woman ”“ get married and give birth to children. Belonging to a certain race of their children thus can not be characterized simply by their skin color, disregarding either it is white or yellow, but will be first of all defined by the social traditions these children are raised in.

Overall, we can conclude, that the notion of race has to embrace all social and cultural characteristics, not simply the color of skin or any other purely biological factor.

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