Reflection Paper on Race and Ethnicity Clarified

Reflection Paper on Race and Ethnicity Clarified

Reflection paper on race and ethnicity seeks to clarify what race means and what ethnicity entails. It further elaborates on how race and ethnicity are different from each other while at the same time connected to one another. You will get to know their social and political impact.

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reflection paper on race and ethnicity

What comes to mind when you hear terms like race and ethnicity is a social grouping of majority and minority. Such groupings are mostly associated with political and social injustices as well as inequality. However, in this reflection paper on race and ethnicity, you will gain a better understanding of these two terms.

Here is a description of Race and Ethnicity and their positive and negative impacts.

The Definition of Race

A race is a term that was used to group people from the same geographical location and with similar physical characteristics in the 18th century. However, it is still used to this day, and the society identifies you as belonging to a race depending on your physical characteristics. Some of the physical characteristics used to classify people are the color of the skin, color, and texture of their hair, eye color, and other physical features. These features are mostly physical and, to a large extent, cannot be hidden.

You do not get to choose your race, but rather the society simply gives it to you based on your physical appearance. This leaves you with little or no control over the race you belong to. The major races in the world are White, Black, Asian, and Brown.

The Relationship Between Race and Genetics

A race is believed to be a term used by philosophers in the 18th century to group people based on their physical characteristics. However, scientists argue that these characteristics are not based on genes, and there is no substantial evidence to prove they are. Nevertheless, it is believed that race is mostly a social construct rather than a biological one.

The Effects of Race in the Society

The influence of race in society is seen in various ways, and it affects different socioeconomic aspects of the minority race. However, some of the impacts of race can be positive while others are negative

reflection paper on race and ethnicity

Reflection Paper on Race and Ethnicity – The Negative Effects

Reflection paper on race and ethnicity highlights the negative effects of race. It is almost inevitable to mention racism without mentioning the historical injustices associated with it. Although there have been efforts to fight for equality and fairness among all races, just like other injustices like gender discrimination, more still needs to be done.

Racial Inequality and Poverty

Some of the realities that the minority groups have to deal with are extreme poverty levels, poor access to health care, and education. As a result of the lack of education, the crime rate, and violence among the minority groups have increased. The minority also face discrimination from other groups that view them as inferior.

Racial Prejudice

A reflection paper on race and ethnicity can clearly show that over the years, racial prejudice has led to groups like white supremacy. This has encouraged racial prejudice and increased discrimination and hostility towards a particular race. The minority groups are treated differently and mostly unfairly compared to natives or the majority because of the race they are associated with.

Racial Stereotyping

Racial minorities have often endured racial stereotypes due to misconceptions or half-truths and incomplete information. Race perceived to be superior often associate minority groups with negative social behavior or characteristics. This, in most cases, is untrue, and it’s not based on facts or evidence.

Racial Profiling

In reflection paper on race and ethnicity, you can identify racial profiling of minority groups as different treatment from other groups. However, minority groups face greater scrutiny than is necessary, and they have to endure certain racial expressions and statements.

Although there has been great advocacy against racial discrimination, in some countries, the fight against this vice is far from over. The minority race is limited in terms of opportunity, and people are denied privileges and livelihood. Race, in this instance, is not just a physical characteristic but a source of prejudice and discrimination.

Race is more of a perception and has no genetic bearing. Scientists state that human beings are more alike than they are different. However, how human beings perceive each other can lead to how they form their identity.

The impact that race has in society is not only negative but also positive.

Reflection Paper of Race and Ethnicity – The positive Effects

Race has been associated with two groups, majority or minority. However, race can be seen in a more positive light. Here is some of the positivity associated with race

Racial Pride

A feeling of pride, especially among the minority race, can develop a support system among them. Although a group is a minority, a sense of identity and awareness is developed that leads to support of each other.

The Effects of Race on Policies

A reflection paper of race and ethnicity can clearly show that demographic data on race plays a critical role in formulating policies. The government collects this demographic data on different racial groups like Black, White, Hispanic, and many others to enable them to determine the group of people that needs resources. This data is a source of information that helps the government to offer more resources and support where it is needed more.

Although race has mostly been seen from a negative point, it offers a sense of identity and pride and enables the government to formulate policies on civil rights. This data is usually collected in most application forms where you are asked to fill your racial identity.

reflection paper on race and ethnicity

The Definition of Ethnicity

In a reflection paper on race and ethnicity, you can define ethnicity as a group of people who share certain beliefs and habits. An ethnic group shares things like language and religion. They share the same nationality, dressing, and even culture. While the race of a person is physical and it’s given to him or her by society, ethnicity is a choice and can be learned or unlearned.

Reflection Paper of Race and Ethnicity – The Negative and Positive Effects

An ethnic group shares ancestry, and they have adopted a certain way of doing things that they identify with. However, just like race, ethnicity has proven to have its pros and cons, and history has shown this.

Ethnic Violence and Conflict

In any reflection paper on race and ethnicity, ethnic violence, just like racism, stands out to be one of the vices of ethnicity. The Rwanda genocide that was fueled by ethnic violence and lead to mass killing is one of the examples of negative ethnicity. Another instance of ethnic violence is the Holocaust, where there were human rights violations and injustices.

However, ethnicity cuts across racial identities, and on its own, it has some positive impact on those who ascribe to certain beliefs and behaviors.

Ethnicity Promotes A Sense of Belonging and Identity

Although negative ethnicity has caused significant human rights violations, deaths, and untold damages, ethnicity still provides a sense of belonging. People who share similar behavior, religion, dressing, and even nationality feel accepted and have a sense of pride. However, it is worth noting that identity can be different according to nationality. For example, African American or Asian American is a combination of identities.

Benefits of Diversity in Race and Ethnicity

Distinctively, this reflection paper on race and ethnicity has explored both the positive and negative impact of ethnicity. However, you can identify the positive impact that both race and ethnicity contribute to in society today. Here are a few benefits of diversity in the market place

Diversity At Work Place

Reflection paper on race and ethnicity clarifies the benefits of having an ethnic and racially diverse workforce. A diverse ethnic workforce brings on board different social qualities and cultural practices that can be beneficial to an organization.

Research has shown that having a diverse executive workforce can considerably improve a company’s profitability. Companies that operate in various parts of the world stand to benefit by incorporating ethnic diversity in the top role of senior executives. The companies that adopt this model stand to benefit in the following ways:

Diversity Brings New Ideas

People will not always think the same way. However, having people from different cultures can bring a new and fresh perspective on how to solve problems. These people come with innovative and creative ideas that are profitable for your company.

Change of Employee Thinking

Employees in the company learn to be more accepting and tolerant of other people’s cultural practices because of ethnic and racial inclusion. Employees channel their energy and focus on more important matters than ethnic and racial prejudices.

Increased Productivity and Efficiency

Reflection paper on race and ethnicity shows that people from different racial and ethnic origin have different skill sets that can significantly improve productivity.

Networking and Connections

Embracing ethnic diversity is a great way to increase networking that is essential in any business. Ethnically diverse leadership at the executive level can give your business access to new territories like countries or communities. Your business can grow its brand and into new niches and expand in service delivery.

Students Can Learn New Skills

Reflection paper on race and ethnicity in schools, students from the different ethnic background can stimulate other student’s interest to learn new skills.

Reflection Paper on Race and Ethnicity-Negative Impact

The negative impact of a minority, sometimes referred to as nonnatives, can be pointed out. In Schools, for example, minority groups can pose a challenge to parents and teachers. Here are a few examples

Children and Teacher Interaction

In schools minority groups, sometimes face the problem of the language barrier. Most of the teachers in the school are from the majority group. However, they have to invest extra time and work harder to communicate and improve the language of the minority.

Teaching Efficiency Is Reduced

Working with the minority group is an added workload for the teacher, and this can significantly impact the efficiency. However, it is much easier for a teacher to work with the majority than the minority groups because there is no language barrier. This works to the disadvantage of the minority group.

Fear of Diversity

Fear of diversity can cause parents to avoid schools that are predominantly nonnative or minority. However, this can be as a result of racial profiling or stereotypes in some cases. A specific race can be associated with some negative characteristics can cause anxiety. However, this is not always the case although some teachers can also fear teaching predominant nonnatives schools. This can lead to segregation, whether intentional or not.

However, there are some apparent differences between race and ethnicity and how people are grouped in these two terms. Here are the differences

Differences in Race Versus Ethnicity

In reflection paper on race and identity, it is vital to clearly understand the distinctive features of race and identity and how they are connected to each other.

Race Is Based on Biological Features While Ethnicity Is Not

Reflection paper on race and ethnicity clarifies that race is mostly determined by your biological features. However, it has been proven the human race cannot be detected in human genetics. Some of the features used to group individuals into different races are biological, like hair color, eye color, and even skin color.

On the other hand, Ethnicity comes from cultural practices and beliefs like ancestry, religion, dressing, and nationality. It is a way of behavior and a belief system.

reflection paper on race and ethnicity

Race is Physical While Ethnicity is Not

Race is associated with your physical features, like the color of your skin. You have no control over it, and it can easily be seen. It’s the way in which society can easily identify you without you saying anything. Ethnicity, however, is not so obvious. Someone can’t easily tell your religion or what you believe in unless you say it.

Racial Characteristics are Permanent While Ethnicity is Not

The society uses your biological features to place you into a particular group. This group becomes your race. The biological features that you have cannot be changed permanently, or they cannot be changed at all. Some of the features, like skin color, are permanent. This makes your race permanent.

On the other hand, ethnicity is a belief or behavior that can be adopted, learned unlearned, or even ignored. It is not permanent. Some people have abandoned cultural beliefs that have been proven to be damaging, like female genital mutilation among young girls.

This is a harmful cultural practice that is common among African countries. However, governments and human rights activists have come out strongly against such negative cultural practices.

Race Don’t Have Sub Categories While Ethnicity Have

In reflection paper on race and ethnicity, ethnicity can further be divided into subcategories depending on various behaviors and cultural practices. However, race cannot be divided into similar subcategories. A person can belong to one race; however, the same person can have many ethnic associations.

For example, an African American, born in an African country but raised in American. This person can identify culturally with the African country he comes from though he or she is an American citizen.

Similarities Between Race and Ethnicity

Race and ethnicity has particular similar characteristics. Here are some of the characteristics

Ethnicity and Race Has Led To Social Injustices

Race and ethnicity have been used to oppress people through division and discrimination. In reflection paper on race and ethnicity, racism has led to prejudice and discrimination that has promoted various social injustices and inequality. The minority race has been seen as inferior and denied certain privileges.

On the other hand, ethnicity has been used to justify mass killing in various nations and to promote human rights violations. However, it is essential to note that most countries with different ethnic groups live peacefully.

Equal Distribution of Resources Among Races and Ethnicities

Race and ethnicity demographic data has been processed by relevant authorities and government to help provide information. This information has been used by governments to distribute resources and services to the people. The data generated from races and ethnicities evidently shows which group lacks resources and needs it the most. The government can make an informed decision based on the demographic data.


Reflection paper on race and ethnicity clearly shows that race and ethnicity have its pros and cons and needs to be handled with care. Race and ethnicity is a way of understanding human diversity and can be used to promote an even distribution of resources. On the other had, race and ethnicity can be used as a tool of division that encourages prejudice, discrimination, and other social injustices. Race is viewed as a social construct that is hierarchical and promotes inequality. Nevertheless, it is a perception that you do not have any control over. However, ethnicity is a behavior you adopt, and it can cut across racial lines. Ethnic and racial diversity can also be leveraged to boost productivity and increase profits in the market place. Check out Myhomeworkwriters.com the best online essay help service.

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