The Notion of "Human Races"

by SimDes07 on Septembre 16, 2016 - 3:23pm

The notion of “human races” is a well-known subject that can be discussed and argued a lot. In general, humans tend to subjectively separate themselves in groups, based on variable human traits.


According to Jared Diamond’s article “Race Without Color”, the classification of humans defines our views of other peoples. It stimulates our subconscious differentiation between categories like “us” and “them”, and promotes socioeconomic and political discrimination (Diamond, 1994, para. 5). In other words, human traits that we perceive with our eyes help us to classify humans into different categories, called “races”. The concept of “race” for me appeared when I started working in a warehouse in the industrial park of Boucherville. The other employees of the warehouse were from different countries with different origins and background, kind of human diversity. I worked full time during all the summer. That been said, I had the opportunity to discuss with my colleagues during our work shifts. I had the chance to talk with them about different subjects such as where they came from, their personal background, their future projects and their objectives. To be honest, the first time I saw the group, I said to me that I will work with people of different “races”. At this time, I used the word “races” without knowing the real signification of it. This false opinion was based on visual traits such as skin color, physical appearances and eye shape. As the weeks went by, I slowly realized that these employees and I, even if they were visibly different, shared some common interests. For example, one of the employees that I worked with was born in Algeria and arrived in Quebec when he was ten years old. I had some discussions with him while we were working and I learned that he was also playing in a soccer team during summer, was working because he wanted to buy a new car, and worked week-ends during school for paying his expenses. Hence, my colleague and me can be considered as different “races” because of our physical traits and origins, but we had common interests that make us not as different as others can think at first sight.


In conclusion, it is false to think that humans can be classified into races, because the concept of human “race” is not possible according to science. In fact, I think that we don’t have to see each other as different races, but as a society that shared common interests.





Diamond, J. (2016, Winter). Race Without Color. In A. Nouvet (Ed.), Anthropology 381-101-LA: The Myth of Race and the Reality of Racism. Saint-Lambert, QC: Champlain.


Word count: 407 words

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