(ii) Montagu’s: “A population which differs in the frequency of some gene or genes, which is actually exchanging or capable of exchanging genes across whatever boundaries, separate it from other populations of the species”. (iii) Hooton’s: “Great division of mankind, the members of which, though individually varying are characterized as a group by certain combinations of morphological and metrical features, principally, non-adaptive, which have been derived from their common descent”. The concept of ethnicity may be regarded as a classification device to provide a frame within which the different population groups may systematically be arranged. Mixture of Origins:The skeletal materials belonging to different periods collected from various regions of the world suggest that hybridization among different human populations has been taking place since long past. Even now ethnic mixture is an on going process and as a result groups to admixture. As a matter of fact hybridization is one of the factors for ethnic formation and at the same time it plays role in extinction or absorption of ethnic groups. Therefore, we can say that there was never a pure race of man and at present also there is no pure race. The concept of so called ‘pure’ group is based on wrong facts.
Again we do not have evidence to say that race mixture produces bad results from the biological point of view. Groups and Culture:Man is a social animal possessing culture. The way of life including general behaviour of an individual is determined by three factors. Firstly, his instinct, which is however a part of his biological heritage; secondly, his personal experience and thirdly, what he learns from other members of the same group. The experience so gathered, the knowledge so acquired, can be conveyed from, generation to generation through language.
The sum total of these can thus develop into a ‘culture’. As a member of the society man learns this culture. Therefore, what a man does following the prescribed norm of the society is culture.
The way of life, the general behaviour and the like must have sanction of the society, otherwise it is not considered as a part of the culture of the society. Let us define culture in the words of Ralph Linton. His definition of culture is ‘a configuration of learned behaviour and results of behaviour whose component element are shared and transmitted by the members of a particular society’. Now, let us see if there is any relation between ethnic groups and culture, and if each of the various ethnic groups inclines to develop a peculiar culture of its own.
Today it is an acceptable fact that hereditary physical differences have little to do in bringing about differences in culture between the peoples. As an example, think of the Egyptian civilization which started in the Neolithic age and lasted till the third century of the present era, when Christianity spread over the country. The excavated materials suggest that the Neolithic culture of Egypt is the contribution of the Hermitic people. On the other hand from the beginning of the dynastic epoch, we find entirely different ethnic strains in addition to the earlier one. To Egypt came the Hyssops, the Libyans, the Assyrians and the Persians at different intervals of time and thereby contributed various strains to the population.
Besides, they were in regular intercourse with the neighbouring countries of the Near East. Race and Society:When we say that the cultural elements are shared and transmitted by the members of a particular society, it leads us to another term, that is, society. A society is a group of individuals. The group may be small or large, and the individuals may be related by different ways depending on many factors. The members of the society live in such a way that they share the basic conditions of a common life. They maintain social relations on various planes. One function of the society is to transmit the cultural components of that society. Thus, when culture is transmitted through society, and culture is learnt as a member of the society, therefore, culture can not exist or continue without society, which provides the base.
Thus, culture is a social legacy it is quite distinct from a group, which is a biological legacy.