Most people believe that race is a social construct. They claim that it is a socially acquired tradition of behaviors and thoughts that include repetitive ways of feeling, acting and thinking. Majority of the people that hold this belief claim that people are not born with propensities for any race. Instead, they are born with capacity to create and acquire races. Inasmuch as this claim looks truthful, it is incorrect because race refers to noticeable physical characteristics whose origin is genetic. Some of these characteristics include skin color, facial morphology and hair texture. All these physical characteristics are biological in nature as opposed to social in nature because they are influenced by genes. Based on this fact, race is a biological construct as opposed to social construct because it originates from biological aspects rather than social aspects.
Race is a biological construct. Some people that argue that it is a social construct claim that there are no racial genes to define races. Others claim that races are not real biologically (Sesardic 145). As far as biology is concerned in the development of races, these people are ignorant of the fact that biology plays a significant role in natural selection. It determines skin color and other body aspects as a way of adaptation. For example, these people are ignorant of the fact that natural selection plays an important role in the development of dark skin color among the people that live in the tropical latitudes with intense sunlight. Therefore, inasmuch there might be no racial genes to define races, the fact remains that biology plays an important role in the development of the adaptation processes for people that live in different parts of the world, and the different adaptation processes are used to define races. For this reason, insofar as race might be a social construct, it does not exist in the absence of biology.
In most parts of the world, racial groups emerged with time. This is an indication that racial groups were always there, but they were not recognized. Consequently, time in conjunction with social interaction might have played an important role in the realization of race, but they are not the genesis of racial groups. In USA in particular racial groups became widespread in the late 17th century because before then only one major race lived in USA. As a result, it was not possible for Americans to discriminate against one another because their physical appearances were similar. However, with the arrival of African slaves that were black it was possible to identify the difference between Native Americans and African slaves. Social interactions might have contributed to the development of racial groups in USA, but they were not the source of race. Instead, the different genes responsible for distinctive physical appearances between African slaves and Native Americans were responsible for the origin of racial groups in USA, and in other parts of the world (Chrisler and McCreary 160).
Overall, genes play an important role in the development of different races. They particularly influence facial morphology, hair texture and skin colorsthat are used to determine our races. They result to biological subspecies with distinctive anatomical traits. The anatomical traits distinguish people based on where they live and their ancestors. Therefore, race is a biological construct as opposed to a social construct (Sesardic 144).
Chrisler, Joan, and McCreary Donald.Handbook of gender research in psychology. New York: Springer, 2010. Print.
Sesardic, Neven. Race: A social destruction of a biological concept. Biolphilos, 25, 2010. Print.