The topic of society, science, and ethnicity can often be filled with complexities, but we are here to break them down into bite-sized pieces which you can easily comprehend.
According to the social sciences, ethnicity is often used to distinguish between the majority and minority groups. Once the distinction has been made, sociologists and other experts dig deep and study the relations between the two groups within our society, exploring social topics such as inequalities in things like education, housing, income, etc.
Further discussion will dig even deeper, and the ethnicities are subdivided into further groups by cultural attributes such as country of origin, language, religious practices, etc. Although this is a common misconception, ethnicity is still distinct from a race. Race, on the other hand, is used to distinguish people by their physical appearance, and this genetic component doesn’t correlate with one’s ethnicity. Ethnicity is linked to cultural background, which is re-enforced by cultural customs, as previously mentioned.
There is also a very subjective nature to the topic of ethnicity, such as when viewed under the lens of a different society. Take the example of second-generation Mexican Americans. Although they may be natural born US citizens and tend to share the same religious views as the dominant American majority, they will always be defined ethnically as Mexican Americans. But if these same Mexican Americans were to visit Mexico, especially as first timers, they will be ethnically viewed as Americans, since they speak with an American dialect, and will be very much Americanized in terms of their clothing style, food preferences, musical tastes, etc.
The topic of ethnicity in science and society is becoming ever more important in today’s diverse society, but it can be tough to bring nuance to this complex topic. Therefore, it is important to understand what ethnicity means, how it relates to science and society, and to get involved in more discussions surrounding this issue.