Neither actions nor circumstances alone create groups, for our actions depend on how we interpret circumstances, and circumstances, ultimately, are the products of human actions. Ethnic and racial identities are created, elaborated, and recreated in the interaction between the two. A constructionist approach also assumes that the mutability of identity does not deprive it of power. The power of ethnicity and race lies in the significance we attach to them, both to our own racial or ethnic identities and to the identities of others.
— Stephen Cornell and Douglas Hartmann, Ethnicity and Race: making Identities in a Changing World