Dominant minority

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For other uses, see Minority (disambiguation).

A dominant minority 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 or cultural lines and that holds a disproportionate amount of power. A notable example is South Africa before 1994, where White South Africans – or Afrikaners more specifically – wielded predominant control of the country despite never composing more than 20% of the population. African American-descended nationals in Liberia, 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.




See also[edit]



  • 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.