DEFINITIONS: Race, Ethnicity, Culture, Cultural
Diversity, Cultural Awareness, Cultural Competence
Time: 15 minutes
The name of this course is Child Welfare Practice in a Multi-Cultural Environment.
we continue talking about culture, let's define the words we'll use today.
This can be done as a discussion and brainstorming activity in which participants share
their understanding of the terms, or to save time, the trainer may simply provide the
Some of these terms will be review from
Framework for Child Welfare
Practice in California
A race is a biological subspecies or variety of a species, consisting of a more or less distinct
population with anatomical traits that distinguish it clearly from other races. But this
biologist's definition does not fit the reality of human genetic variation today. We are an
extremely homogenous species, biologically. As a matter of fact, all humans today are 99.9%
genetically identical, and most of the variation that does occur is in the difference between
males and females and our unique personal traits.
Even our closest relatives, the chimpanzees
have 2-3 times more genetic variation than people. Orangutans have 8-10 times more
variation. It is now clear that our human "races" are primarily social creations, not biological
realities. The commonly held belief in the existence of human biological races is based on the
assumption that anatomical traits, such as skin color and specific facial characteristics, cluster