Forget race as an identifier.
I'm thinking of using only culture and occupation as identifiers for characters.
Barbarian - You have grown up among who distrust civilisation
Fey - You have grown up among those who are inhuman
Military - You have grown up according to strict training and discipline
Nomad - You have grown up in many places, never for long in any one place
Rural - You have grown up in the farmlands
Slave - You have grown up under the ownership of another
Urban - You have grown up in the city
Apprentice - You've earnt to make things
Courtier - You've learnt the arts of diplomacy
Merchant - You know the value of things and how to trade
Rogue - You've learnt to work outside the law
Scholar - You have knowledge about obscure topics
Student - You're on the path to becoming a mage
Wanderer - You know abut the spaces between civilised lands
Warrior - You know how to hit things
A character is basically an intersection between these two, and many characters might have a blend of cultures and/or a blend of occupations... but if they choose a mix of options they'll sacrifice specialisation for diversity.
The occupations are starting points for a characters journey, and they may end up in all sorts of strange places depending on where their path leads them.
That's where my head is at...