Dominant minority

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A dominant minority, also called elite dominance is a minority group that has overwhelming political, economic, or cultural dominance in a country, despite representing a small fraction of the overall population (a demographic minority). Dominant minorities are also known as alien elites if they are recent immigrants.

The term is most commonly used to refer to an ethnic group which is defined along racial, national, religious, cultural or tribal lines and that holds a disproportionate amount of power.

A notable example is South Africa during the apartheid regime, where White South Africans, or Afrikaners more specifically, wielded predominant control of the country, despite never composing more than 22 per cent of the population.[citation needed] African American-descended nationals in Liberia, White Zimbabweans in Rhodesia, Sunni Arabs in Ba'athist Iraq, the Alawite minority in Syria (since 1970 under the rule of the Alawite Assad family), and the Tutsi in Rwanda since the 1990s have also been cited as current or recent examples.[citation needed]

In Brazil, despite the majority of its population being racial African-Brazilians or pardos, those groups nevertheless live impoverished, have a high illiteracy rate, more likely to be murdered,[1] and are most likely to live in favelas (a Brazilian Portuguese slang for a slum). In contrast, the white population in the country has easier access to better education, job opportunities, and a higher wage.[2][3] White Brazilians are better represented than other races in Brazil, including black people.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Nugent, Ciara; Thaís, Regina (16 December 2020). "How Black Brazilians Are Looking to a Slavery-Era Form of Resistance to Fight Racial Injustice Today". Time. Retrieved 4 July 2022.
  2. ^ Cucolo, Eduardo (14 November 2019). "Whites Earn 74% More than Blacks in Brazil". Folha de S.Paulo. Retrieved 4 July 2022.
  3. ^ Telles, Edward. "Racial Discrimination and Miscegenation: The Experience in Brazil". UN Chronicle. United Nations. Non-whites are major victims of human rights abuses, including widespread police violence. On average, black and brown (mulatto or mixed race) Brazilians earn half of the income of the white population. Most notably, the middle class and the elite are almost entirely white, so Brazil's well-known melting pot only exists among the working class and the poor. Non-white Brazilians were rarely found in the country's top universities, until affirmative action began in 2001.
  4. ^ "Apenas 17,8% dos parlamentares no Congresso são negros" [Only 17.8% of congressmen are black]. O Globo (in Brazilian Portuguese). 21 November 2019. Retrieved 4 July 2022.


  • Barzilai, Gad. Communities and Law: Politics and Cultures of Legal Identities (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2003). ISBN 978-0-472-03079-8
  • Gibson, Richard. African Liberation Movements: Contemporary Struggles against White Minority Rule (Institute of Race Relations: Oxford University Press, London, 1972). ISBN 0-19-218402-4
  • Russell, Margo and Martin. Afrikaners of the Kalahari: White Minority in a Black State ( Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1979). ISBN 0-521-21897-7
  • Johnson, Howard and Watson, Karl (eds.). The White Minority in the Caribbean (Wiener Publishing, Princeton, NJ, 1998). ISBN 976-8123-10-9, ISBN 1-55876-161-6
  • Chua, Amy. World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability (Doubleday, New York, 2003). ISBN 0-385-50302-4
  • Haviland, William. Cultural Anthropology. (Vermont: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College Publishers, 1993). p. 250-252. ISBN 0-15-508550-6.