a person's ethnic background
An ethnicity, is a category of people who identify with each other based on similarities such as common ancestry, language, history, society, culture or nation.
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- I think most people associate race with biology and ethnicity with culture. It's important to stress the culture and language part of it. Ethnicity isn't just a question of affiliation; it's also a question of choice. It's also a question of group membership. And it's usually associated with a geographic region. It's also often confused or conflated with nationality, but that's not the same thing. Today people identify with ethnicity positively because they see themselves as being part of that group. People can't just simply say, "Well, I want to become a member of that race." You either are or are not a member of that race. Whereas, if you wanted to look at ethnicity based on culture, you could learn a language, you can learn customs - there are things that you can learn so that you could belong to that group.
- John Cheng, "RACE - The Power of an Illusion", PBS
- 'Race' and 'ethnicity' are poorly defined terms that serve as flawed surrogates for multiple environmental and genetic factors in disease causation, including ancestral geographic origins, socioeconomic status, education and access to health care.
- Francis S. Collins. "What We Do and Don't Know About 'Race', 'Ethnicity', Genetics, and Health at the Dawn of the Genome Era" (November 2004), Nature Genetics Supplement, vol. 36, no. 11
- Vibrant human diversity is now commonplace in major cities throughout the world. Some celebrate such a mix of human diversity. Others deplore it, preferring that so-called races be separated both geographically and reproductively. Even today, some people retain the once-popular belief that the 'white' race is superior in intellect, health, and other attributes. Although far more people reject the notion of white supremacy today than in the past, its legacy remains, as evidenced by economic stratification, ongoing segregation, and classification by racial categories. Even among those who reject the supposed superiority of a particular ethnicity over any other, the perception of distinct, genetically determined human races often persists.
- Science fiction implies that the knots of terrestrial racism will eventually loosen because Terrans will have to unite against the aliens, androids, or BEMs [Bug-Eyed Monsters] of the galaxy. Under these circumstances, humans become remarkable for their humanity, not their ethnicity. Robert Scholes seems to have this concept in mind when he remarks that science fiction as a form “has been a bit advanced in its treatment of race and race relations. Because of their orientation toward the future, science fiction writers frequently assumed that America’s major problem in this area—black/white relations—would improve or even wither away.“ . . . While Scholes and others conveniently assume that distinctions based on race will become invalid in possible future worlds and that it is therefore unnecessary for a character to have a distinct racial background, their presumed total eradication of distinctions based on color or ethnicity seems doubtful short of the Millenium.
- Sandra Y. Govan, "The Insistent Presence of Black Folk in the Novels of Samuel R. Delany", BlackAmerican Literature Forum 18.2 (1984): p. 44