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race, one of the group of populations regarded as constituting humanity. The differences that have historically determined the classification into races are predominantly physical aspects of appearance that are generally hereditary. Genetically a race may be defined as a group with gene frequencies differing from those of the other groups in the human species (see heredity; genetics; gene), but the genes responsible for the hereditary differences between the traditional races are extremely few when compared with the vast number of genes common to all human beings regardless of the race to which they belong. Many physical anthropologists now believe that, because there is as much genetic variation among the members of any given race as there is between the groups identified as different races, the concept of race is unscientific and unsound and racial categories are arbitrary designations. The term race is inappropriate when applied to national, religious, geographic, linguistic, or ethnic groups, nor can the physical appearances associated with race be equated with mental characteristics, such as intelligence, personality, or character.

All human groups belong to the same species (Homo sapiens) and are mutually fertile. Races arose as a result of mutation, selection, and adaptational changes in human populations. The nature of genetic variation in human beings indicates there has been a common evolution for all races and that racial differentiation occurred relatively late in the history of Homo sapiens. Theories postulating the very early emergence of racial differentiation have been advanced (e.g., C. S. Coon, The Origin of Races, 1962), but they are now scientifically discredited.

Attempts at Classification

To classify humans on the basis of physical traits is difficult, for the coexistence of races through conquests, invasions, migrations, and mass deportations has produced a heterogeneous world population. Nevertheless, by limiting the criteria to such traits as skin pigmentation, color and form of hair, shape of head, stature, and form of nose, most anthropologists historically agreed on the existence of three relatively distinct groups: the Caucasoid, the Mongoloid, and the Negroid.

The Caucasoid, found in Europe, N Africa, and the Middle East to N India, is characterized as pale reddish white to olive brown in skin color, of medium to tall stature, with a long or broad head form. The hair is light blond to dark brown in color, of a fine texture, and straight or wavy. The color of the eyes is light blue to dark brown and the nose bridge is usually high.

The Mongoloid race, including most peoples of E Asia and the indigenous peoples of the Americas, has been described as saffron to yellow or reddish brown in skin color, of medium stature, with a broad head form. The hair is dark, straight, and coarse; body hair is sparse. The eyes are black to dark brown. The epicanthic fold, imparting an almond shape to the eye, is common, and the nose bridge is usually low or medium.

The Negroid race is characterized by brown to brown-black skin, usually a long head form, varying stature, and thick, everted lips. The hair is dark and coarse, usually kinky. The eyes are dark, the nose bridge low, and the nostrils broad. To the Negroid race belong the peoples of Africa south of the Sahara, the Pygmy groups of Indonesia, and the inhabitants of New Guinea and Melanesia.

Each of these broad groups can be divided into subgroups. General agreement is lacking as to the classification of such people as the aborigines of Australia, the Dravidian people of S India, the Polynesians, and the Ainu of N Japan within the traditional three race system. These exceptions highlight the problems associated with attempting to classify humanity into races and also challenge the validity of the notion of race when applied to human beings.

Race Classification and Racism

Attempts have been made to classify humans since the 17th cent., when scholars first began to separate types of flora and fauna. Johann Friedrich Blumenbach was the first to divide humanity according to skin color. In the 19th and early 20th cent., people such as Joseph Arthur Gobineau and Houston Stewart Chamberlain, mainly interested in pressing forward the supposed superiority of their own kind of culture or nationality, began to attribute cultural and psychological values to race. This approach, called racism, culminated in the vicious racial doctrines and anti-Semitism of Nazi Germany and was used to justify slavery and segregation (see integration) in the United States, apartheid in the Republic of South Africa, and European imperialism and colonialism generally.


See R. Benedict, Race: Science and Politics (rev. ed. 1943, repr. 1968); C. Lévi-Strauss, Race and History (1962); M. Mead et al., ed., Science and the Concept of Race (1968); S. M. Garn, ed., Readings on Race (2d ed. 1968) and Human Races (3d ed. 1971); J. C. King, The Biology of Race (1971); L. L. Cavalli-Sforza, The Origin and Differentiation of Human Races (1972); S. J. Gould, The Mismeasure of Man (1981); I. F. Haney Lopez, White by Law: The Legal Construction of Race (1996); A. Montagu, Man's Most Dangerous Myth: The Fallacy of Race (6th ed. 1998); G. M. Frederickson, Racism: A Short History (2002); M. Yudell, Race Unmasked: Biology and Race in the 20th Century (2014).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.


a scientifically discredited term previously used to describe biologically distinct groups of persons who were alleged to have characteristics of an unalterable nature. The concept has been used in the English language since the 16th-century Its meaning has altered several times over the last 400 years in line with changing concepts about the nature of physical and cultural differences and, more importantly the ideological uses of the concept to justify relationships of superiority and exploitation. Banton in Racial Theories (1987) provides a comprehensive account of the different uses of the concept of race.

Social scientists now recognize that ‘race’ is exclusively a socially constructed categorization which specifies rules for identification of a given group. Many writers will not use the term except in inverted commas to distance the use of the word from its historical and biological connotations. It is preferable to refer to ETHNICITY or ETHNIC GROUPS. Despite the discredited nature of the concept of’race’, the idea still exerts a powerful influence in everyday language and ideology. See also RACE RELATIONS, RACISM, ETHNICITY, ETHNIC GROUP.

Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



in biology, an ecologically or sometimes geographically related group of organisms within a species or subspecies.

The members of a race have similar morphological, physiological, and ecological characteristics and are distributed in a region that is part of the range of the species or subspecies. Various races are often found in the same locality, but they are differentiated by their living conditions (ecological race). Thus, many plant species include an alpine race, a xeromorphic race, and a race that requires shade. Among animals, there are seasonal races of crustaceans. Many races of parasites are distinguished by their functional adaptation (specialization) to certain plant or animal hosts (races based on hosts). In ichthyology the term “race” refers to local populations (schools) of fish.

Sometimes, geographic races are regarded as subspecies. The term “race” is also used with reference to breeds of domesticated animals.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

What does it mean when you dream about a race?

Running a race may depict how the dreamer feels about his or her waking life (a hectic “rat race,” perhaps?), possibly indicating the dreamer should slow down or change his or her approach to life.

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.


A distinctive human type possessing characteristic traits that are transmissible by descent.
Descendants of a common ancestor.
An infraspecific taxonomic group of organisms, such as subspecies or microspecies.
A fixed variety or breed.
(design engineering)
Either of the concentric pair of steel rings of a ball bearing or roller bearing.
A channel transporting water to or away from hydraulic machinery, as in a power house.
A rapid current, or a constricted channel in which such a current flows; the term is usually used only in connection with a tidal current, which may be called a tide race.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


1. a rapid current of water, esp one through a narrow channel that has a tidal range greater at one end than the other
2. a channel of a stream, esp one for conducting water to or from a water wheel or other device for utilizing its energy
a. a channel or groove that contains ball bearings or roller bearings or that restrains a sliding component
b. the inner or outer cylindrical ring in a ball bearing or roller bearing
4. Austral a wire tunnel through which footballers pass from the changing room onto a football field
5. another name for slipstream


1. a group of people of common ancestry, distinguished from others by physical characteristics, such as hair type, colour of eyes and skin, stature, etc. Principal races are Caucasoid, Mongoloid, and Negroid
2. the human race human beings collectively
3. a group of animals or plants having common characteristics that distinguish them from other members of the same species, usually forming a geographically isolated group; subspecies


a ginger root


Cape. a cape at the SE extremity of Newfoundland, Canada
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (foldoc.org)


(1) See race condition and RACE encoding.

(2) (Research And Development of Advanced Communications) A European program of telecommunications R&D introduced in 1987. Over the subsequent 10-year period, more than 100 projects were undertaken.

(3) (Random Access Card Equipment) An early magnetic card storage device from RCA that was used with its IBM-compatible Spectra 70 mainframes. The units read and wrote data on a deck of 4x18" cards with a magnetic recording surface. The card was released from the cartridge, passed down a raceway, wrapped around a read/write head and returned. Operating in the late 1960s, the machine jammed frequently, and an operator had to remain nearby to extricate and replace the damaged cards. See CRAM, Data Cell and racetrack memory.
Copyright © 1981-2019 by The Computer Language Company Inc. All Rights reserved. THIS DEFINITION IS FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. All other reproduction is strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher.


Are you competing or running from or to something? In order to have a good understanding of this dream you should consider those factors. If you are simply running, it may be an indication that you need to slow down in your everyday life. If you are competing, you need to consider your competitive drive and realistically look at the current challenges. If you are running in a race and win, your unconscious may be expressing confidence that you may or may not feel in the wakened state. Running in your dreams may also symbolize the energy levels, the strength, or the force that you have to get through life.
Bedside Dream Dictionary by Silvana Amar Copyright © 2007 by Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Bianca Gonzalez (@iamsuperbianca) April 13, 2019 "I grew up loving my brown skin because of beautiful women like Angel Aquino and Tweetie de Leon who proudly flaunted their brown skin.
In addition to producing culturally diverse apps, Brown Skin Games, which is staffed with a team of hipsters, hustlers and hackers, will also recruit and train minority mobile app developers.
- The dark and very dark brown skin which almost never gets burned rarely has cancer.
Somehow, it reminded one of sister Shilpa's constant skin bleaching-- lightening facial hair-- while playing the crusader for brown skin in the Big Brother house.
** JEFFREY, Belinda Brown Skin Blue UQP, 2009 211pp $19.95 pbk ISBN 9780702237133 SCIS 1409456
Those of us with more melanin have dark brown skin (or black as we call it) and "white" people have less melanin.
Susan Taylor's Rx for Brown Skin Bright and Clear Moisturizer for Ache Prone Skin (included in Bright and Clear Regimen Set ($75, sephora.com)
"The ethnic skin care consumer who has brown skin requires products that address the structural and functional differences of their skin.
Slice through the fuzzy brown skin of an egg-sized, 70-calorie kiwifruit to reveal the rich green flesh with tiny, edible black seeds.
When Sandra Laing was born in 1955 to a pro-apartheid Afrikaner couple in South Africa she was registered as a white child--but upon entering a white boarding school, was persecuted by students and teachers because of her brown skin. Her parents believed an interracial union back in their family history was to blame, but neighbors thought Mrs.
When Sandra Laing was born in 1955 to a pro-apartheid Afrikaner couple in South Africa she was registered as a white child-but upon entering a white boarding school, was persecuted by students and teachers because of her brown skin. Her parents believed an interracial union back in their family history was to blame, but neighbors thought Mrs.