Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
John P. Myers
The term minority group has an array of meanings. However, the key element in every definition is the relative lack of power. Traditionally, minority group referred to racial and ethnic groups. Anthropologist Charles Wagley and Marvin Harris identified five defining elements of a minority group in 1964: 1. The group is a subordinate segment within a political unit that receives unequal treatment compared to other groups. 2. It has easily identifiable and devalued physical and/or cultural traits. 3. It has a sense of peoplehood and a feeling of self-consciousness. 4. Membership is by descent; one is born into the group. 5. Marriage occurs within the group, by necessity or The ...