It civilization is something which is acquired by

It is this erroneous use of race which has obliged us to discuss it in social anthropology. Thus, when we talk of race, we talk about physical anthropology, and when we talk about racism, racial prejudices, biases and discrimina­tion, we talk about social anthropology.

This can be further explained by an example. When we say that Caucasians or whites have wavy texture of hair, narrow head, fair skin colour and a tall stature, we are explaining the group by its racial char­acteristics. But when we say that the whites or Caucasians are the only civilized people in the world, it is a prejudicial statement.

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There are Negros who are perhaps better civilized than the Caucasians. Obvi­ously, civilization is something which is acquired by a group through its achievements. In short, racial characteristics, such as, texture of hair, cephalic index, length and breadth of nose, eye colour, skin col­our, etc., are acquired by birth.

But socio-cultural characteristics, occupational achievement, poverty or affluence are attained by adap­tation. Thus, physical characteristics are hereditary; ethnic and social characteristics are acquired or achieved. Social anthropology analyzes the acquired characteristics.