Is Race Real? "If people define situations as real, they are real in their consequences." W.I. Thomas Most people believe that different races exist. In fact, they do NOT Scientists can come to no agreement except for the fact that there are more variations within "racial" groups than between "racial" groups. From a sociological perspective - physical differences are irrelevant. What matters is the beliefs that people attach to these differences. For example: People vary along many biological traits but we don't attach social meaning to things like red hair. Socially constructed categories are no less "real" than biological categories. Sometimes they may be codified into law. In Biology race refers to an inbreeding population that develops distinctive physical characteristics that are hereditary. Such a population therefore has a sheared genetic heritage. The traits with which people are classified are arbitrary. Human groups have exchanged their genes through mating to such an extent that any attempt to identify "pure" races is bound to be fruitless (Alland, 1973; Dobzhansky, 1962; Gould, 1981) Different types of people exist, but they are not a set of distinct populations based on biological differences. Race is a social concept that varies from ne society to another, depending on how the people of that society feel about the importance of certain physical characteristics. Sociologists define RACE as a category of people whose common physical characteristics are believed to make them socially distinct.