When you choose your race in game there is a only short description of bonus given by that race. Where can I find a full list of bonus/malus of each race playable in Skyrim?
Dunmer (Dark Elf)
Altmer (High Elf)
Bosmer (Wood Elf)
The various races also effect how different people talk to you. Various npc's in the game will make references to your race. This is most apparent in the beginning of the stormcloak questline.
Just to note, there is now a mod that edits the bonuses into the race descriptions, so you can view them directly in the game when choosing your race.
It seems to me that the playstyles fall into 3 different categories: Warrior, Mage, and Assassin the warrior races are Orc, Nord, Redguard and Imperial. The mage races are Altmer, Dunmer and Breton.
The assassin races are Khajiit, Argonian, Bosmer. They each specialize into a certain part of that category like in the assassins the Khajiit is the best for sneaking up behind and slitting their throats, while the Argonian is best at robbing people and the Bosmer is best at sniping from a distance with arrows.
For warriors the Orc is best in armor while the Nord is best at slow strong two handed weapons and Redguards are best at faster weaker one handed weapons.
Altmer is the best all around mage while Dunmer are the best at strong quick magic kills and Breton are best at summoning allies at your assistance.
This is entirely based off of their starting stats and skills. Though in the game if you wanted you could make a Nord do a Altmers job if you truly wanted to.