Originally Posted by anantksundaram
Elaborate? (I think there's still a high enough -- but certainly not perfect -- correlation between race and culture).
Sure. Race is defined as each of the major divisions of humankind but we are all very much indentical genetically. We're all Homo sapiens sapiens
being used for subspecies to differentiate from Neanderthal (Homo sapiens neanderthalensis
) which is genetically close enough to have allowed for crossbreeding).
We made these artificial divides based on physical characteristics. This is the basis for racism. We don't separate people as different races based on being left or right-handed, or having free or attached earlobes. We do it on mostly color and other features that we have deemed distinct as a way of showing they are not like 'us', whatever that may be.
At one point in the not too distant past this really did have a huge bearing on the likelihood of the culture we came from which would also likely lead to other stereotypes that were likely true. These assumptions no longer hold true in a world that is connected by machines that can move people and data so quickly. You can't look at someone who looks a certain way and assume they are have a certain culture. Location is still very important as nurture plays a primary role in how we see the world and what we find comfortable but our culture is almost completely irrelevant to the nature of our physical characteristics that only vary as a way to adapting to the variety of environments this planet has to offer.
We see more variety within a single "race' than we see within a syntype
across all "races." I know a girl in Brazil. Her parentage is 100% Japanese. Her parents were born in Brasil and they are also 100% Japanese. She is 2nd generation Brasilian speaks, only Portuguese and English, and so her culture is Brasilian and American (by the nature of the US being such a powerful source of media and entertainment). There are surely cultural aspects she has that originate from her parents and her grandparents but that dwarfed by the other cultural influences in her life. She doesn't identify with the Japanese culture because she is not Japanese, she is only a recent decedent of Japanese.
I don't see how her being of Japanese decent means that her nature would naturally be aligned with Japanese culture. It seems to me the environment plays a huge role in how we shape our culture. The term environment also includes technology since it exists within the environment.
Just on this forum alone I interact with people from all over the world and what I assume are different ethnic backgrounds, cultures and religions. I can't imagine anything more wonderful than a world that gets increasingly more connected.
PS: I find it interesting that I can go to anywhere in the United States and be able to speak the same language and dialect but I traveling in the UK I find this to be much more difficult over a much smaller area.