Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 25, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952637 | Print ISBN: 9780761923879 | Online ISBN: 9781412952637| Publisher:Sage Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Race and Ethnicity
Domestic and international laws acknowledge the importance of race when recognizing the human rights of individuals and minority groups to equal treatment and protection against forms of racially motivated violence. Prior to World War II, attempts to use the term race in domestic legislation were influenced by biological theories, which assumed an immutable link between phenotypical characteristics and the cultural traits of various populations. As these theories and their underpinning ideologies were discredited, ethnicity , which had been developed as part of the attempt to explain the sociocultural construction of racial differences and to describe the social mechanisms of intergroup interactions, came to be favored over race by some legislatures. Hence, the first British antidiscrimination law, which was enacted in 1962, was called the Race Relations Act, while a similar statute that the Swedish Parliament passed in 1986 was called the Act against Ethnic Discrimination. The body of research on ...