When the terminology “race” is being used, it could mean a lot of things depending on the context of its use, who is using it and purpose of its use.
Historically, when used, the term could be a description of “a human population distinguishable from others based on shared biological traits” (Cavalli-Sforza, 2008). This concept of race is rooted in the fact that every human being can be naturally subdivided into biologically distinct groups. However, in recent times, scholars, especially scientists have rejected this definition of race. (Cavalla-Sforza, 2008).The idea that race as a classification of human beings in the line of a common decent is a biological classification of race. This classification is hinged on the claim that “there exist natural, physical divisions among humans that are hereditary, reflected in morphology, and roughly but correctly captured by terms like Black, White, and Asian (or Negroid, Caucasoid, and Mongoloid).
” (Lopez, 1994). Although it is tempting to conclude that race is totally a biological construction, it has been affirmed that there are no clear-cut evidences to prove this.The question here is how do we define a race? Another school of thought that offers a definition of race as a concept is those that believe that race is essentially a social construct. Under this view, race is seen solely as a social concept. Race, in this view is seen as an idea that is specifically used in the society in reference to social class.
As many scientist/sociologists have noticed, race is a terminology that is created by “White Europeans and Americans in order to justify the enslavement of millions of people for profit. (Henry, 2007).The biological significance of race is thus different from the social construction of race in the sense that the biological significance is rooted in naive believe that there exist three distinctive species of humans - Europe, Africa, and the Near East. On the other hand, social construction of race sees the concept as a social term and a reflection of group differences that came from a European/American imagination.