Cultural Dominance vs. Sub-Dominance

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Cultural Dominance vs. Sub-Dominance

Every society has a dominant culture and a sub-dominant culture. The dominant culture largely sets the agenda in terms of aesthetic values, arts and entertainment, educational achievement, and even the norms of speaking and writing. These divisions can have tribal, linguistic, geographical or racial manifestations to name a few. In the U.S. one historical paradigm has been racial and within that paradigm, the dominant culture has been White. There are many sub-dominant cultures like African Americans, Latinos, and women (each of which can be further sub-divided). The dominant culture views its own ways as simply “normal” and not “cultural” but people in sub-dominant cultures have to learn both their own culture and the dominant culture while constantly confronting the notion that their sub-dominant expressions are “other.” Those in the dominant culture are not necessarily evil or malicious in their ways and those in the sub-dominant culture are in no way inferior. Yet the dynamics between the two groups remain, no matter who occupies which position, and these factors must be understood for greater harmony between people groups.

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