A dominant group is the group whose interests a system is meant to serve and whose identity it is meant to represent. The system is a form of government where representatives of a particular group hold a number of posts disproportionately large to the percentage of the total population that the particular group represents and uses them to advance the position of their particular group to the detriment of others.
A group is dominant if it possesses a disproportionate share of societal resources, privileges, and power. A dominant group need not be a numerical majority, though it often is.
The minority groups are systematically discriminated against by the state and may face repressions or violations of human rights at the hands of state organs. Generally, the is to secure the most important instruments of state power in the hands of a specific collectivity (the dominant group). All other considerations concerning the distribution of power are ultimately subordinated to this basic intention.
Definition: "A minority group is any group of people who because of their physical or cultural characteristics, are singled out from the others in the society in which they live for differential and unequal treatment, and who therefore regard themselves as objects of collective discrimination." Women often manifest many of the psychological characteristics which have been imputed to self-conscious minority groups. Group self-hatred is a frequent reaction of the minority group member to group affiliation. The minority group member has a tendency to denigrate other members of the group, to accept the dominant group's stereotyped conception of them, and to indulge in "mea culpa" breast-beating.
A dominant minority, also known as 'alien elites' if they are recent immigrants, is a group that has overwhelming political, economic or cultural dominance in a country or region despite representing a small fraction of the overall population (a demographic minority). The term is most commonly used to refer to an ethnic group which is defined along racial, national, religious or cultural lines and that holds a disproportionate amount of power.
When the dominant group constitutes a small minority (20% or less) of the population within the state territory, extreme degrees of institutionalized suppression is probably necessary to sustain the status quo.
The other side of the coin might well be a system of full-fledged democracy (inclusive and competitive in Robert Dahl's terminology) for the privileged population, making up what Pierre van den Berghe (1981) calls "Herrenvolk democracy" (with reference to apartheid South Africa). This is a system which offers democratic participation to the dominant group only.
Demographic majorities may maintain negative stereotypes about personality characteristics of the dominant minority. These stereotypes may occur partially to compensate for status differences between themselves and members of the dominant group. The Guarani have only minority status although they are a majority of the population in Paraguay. The magnitude of the impact of minority dominance probably depends on the level of “background” ethnic antagonism.
The powerful cannot maintain their positions without the cooperation of the less powerful. The dominated are as involved in the use and maintenance of power as the dominant.
Status hierarchies are often determined in secret. Examples include views that non-Christian faiths are inferior or dangerous, or that adherents of those faiths and non-believers are immoral, sinful, or misguided. These stereotyped beliefs on the individual level can also play out in social institutions and are reinforced by broader systemic and unexamined societal/cultural norms that have evolved as part of a nation’s history.
Social institutions—including but not limited to educational, governmental, business, industrial, financial, military, housing, judicial, and religious—often maintain and perpetuate policies that explicitly or implicitly privilege and promote some groups while limiting access, excluding, or rendering invisible other groups based on social identity and social status (Hardiman & Jackson, 1997). Dominant groups remain privileged because they write the rules, and the rules they write enable them to continue to write the rules to thwart challenges to their position.
When the dominant group is married men, for example, the gender pay gap need can be due to the need of themselves as household heads for a "family wage". When millions of women became heads of households, occupation supplanted as the principle for assigning wages. Sex integration to equalize women and men by occupation would be opposed as it is seen as another effort to close the gender pay gap. Hence, some economic policies are aimed at excluding groups from certain professions (as in the US during the pre-civil rights era, in South Africa during the apartheid regime, and in many Southeast Asian countries today). Colleges were closed to women until the late ninteenth century because physicians believed that school attendance endangered women’s health and jeopardized their ability to bear children.
Oppression occurs when the dominant group imposes its cultural norms, values, and perspectives on individuals (Hardiman & Jackson, 1997).
Dominance is maintained by its relative invisibility, and with this invisibility, privilege is not analyzed, scrutinized, or confronted.
Hegemony is the political, economic, ideological, sexual or cultural power exerted by a dominant group over other groups, regardless of the explicit consent of the latter. The strategic use of dominant group identity and its role in the reproduction of group hegemony are a focal issue because the sociological significance of dominant group ethnicity stems from its use in intergroup resource competition. "Dominant group ethnic identity tends to be less visible and less salient as a result of dominant status." Hegemony may refer to the legitimation of the cultural authority of the dominant group, an authority that plays a significant role in social reproduction.
"The type of masculinity the dominant group performs is called hegemonic masculinity.
Edward Said suggests that imperialism involves “the practice, the theory and the attitudes of a dominating metropolitan centre ruling a distant territory’”. Robert Young supports this thinking as he puts forward that imperialism operates from the center, it is a state policy, and is developed for ideological as well as financial reasons.
Cultural imperialism “involves the universalization of a dominant group's experience and culture, and its establishment as the norm”, while those outside the group are viewed as inferior and abnormal. "Cultural imperialism leads to marginalization."
Master suppression techniques
The 'Master suppression techniques' are a framework articulated in the late 1970s by the Norwegian social psychologist Berit Ås to describe five means by which women are subjugated to in Western patriarchical societies. Master suppression techniques are strategies of social crowd manipulation by which a dominant group maintains such a position in a (established or unexposed) hierarchy. They are very prominent in Scandinavian scholarly and public debate, where the expression is also used to refer to types of social manipulation not part of Ås's framework.
Master suppression techniques are sometimes called 'domination techniques'. This is a theory about how a dominant group can use wordless signals and symbols to suppress, intimidate and harass members of a subordinate group.
Insecurity and fear of an unknown future and instability can result in displacement, exclusion, and forced assimilation of the marginalized group into the dominant group. "For the non-dominant group marginalization means renunciation of one's heritage culture as well as the refusal of relationships with the dominant group." "Oppression and marginalization are intertwined." Some social and economic opportunities may be open to marginalized groups because of their similarity to the dominant group. For marginalization, when imposed by the dominant group
it is a form of “exclusion”.
When dominance of particular ecological niches passes from one group of organisms to another, it is rarely because the new dominant group is "superior" to the old and usually because an extinction event eliminates the old dominant group and makes way for the new one.
A reasonable interim estimate would be that a third of the plant species of the world are threatened with extinction. "Tropical forests of all kinds, with their very high concentrations of species, rapidly increasing human populations, rising expectations for living standards, and the globalization of the economy, are under particular threat."
Ecological dominant group
'Ecological dominance' is the degree to which a species is more numerous than its competitors in an ecological community, or makes up more of the biomass. Most ecological communities are defined by their dominant species.
* In heathland the dominant species are characteristically one or more species of heather or related plants.
* In many examples of wet woodland in western Europe, the dominant tree is alder (Alnus glutinosa).
* In temperate bogs, the dominant vegetation is usually species of Sphagnum moss.
* Tidal swamps in the tropics are usually dominated by species of mangrove (Rhizophoraceae)
* Some sea floor communities are dominated by brittle stars.
* Exposed rocky shorelines are dominated by sessile organisms such as barnacles and limpets.