Dominant group/Association laboratory

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Association hypothesis: dominant group is associated in some way with the original research.

Dominants[edit | edit source]

By definition, dominant as a noun:

  1. "a: a dominant genetic character or factor
    b: any of one or more kinds of organism (as a species) in an ecological association that exerts a controlling influence on the environment and thereby largely determines what other kinds of organisms share in the association"[1]
  2. : "the fifth note of the diatonic scale".[1]

Genera differentia[edit | edit source]

The genera differentia for possible definitions of "dominant group" fall into the following set of orderable pairs:

Genera differentia for "dominant group"[2]
Synonym for "dominant" Category Number Category Title Synonym for "group" Category Number Catgeory Title
“superior” 36 SUPERIORITY "arrangement" 60 ARRANGEMENT
“influential” 171 INFLUENCE "class" 61 CLASSIFICATION
“musical note” 462 HARMONICS "assembly" 74 ASSEMBLAGE
“most important” 670 IMPORTANCE "size" 194 SIZE
“governing” 739 GOVERNMENT "painting", "grouping" 572 ART
"master" 747 MASTER "association", "set" 786 ASSOCIATION
----- --- ------- "sect" 1018 RELIGIONS, CULTS, SECTS

'Orderable' means that any synonym from within the first category can be ordered with any synonym from the second category to form an alternate term for "dominant group"; for example, "superior class", "influential sect", "master assembly", "most important group", and "dominant painting". "Dominant" falls into category 171. "Group" is in category 61. Further, any word which has its most or much more common usage within these categories may also form an alternate term, such as "ruling group", where "ruling" has its most common usage in category 739, or "dominant party", where "party" is in category 74. "Taxon" or "taxa" are like "species" in category 61. "Society" is in category 786 so there is a "dominant society".

"A related, but separate, definition relies on a linguistic identity that differs from that of the dominant society [5]."[3]

The relative synonyms for "dominant group" configured as genera (any two) differentia (any two) could be as many as 2400 depending on the number of words that may be reasonably exact to each genus and differentia. The total number of occurrences of genera (up to two) differentia (up to two) relative synonyms for "dominant group" whether the term occurs in a specific article or not may be on the order of 10 % of the scholarly articles searched by Google scholar, for example. Finding all such occurrences may be less important than understanding the intent of the authors in using the entity as part of any article.

Lexical definitions[edit | edit source]

A lexical definition is usually a dictionary definition and "is either true or false."[4]

A definition of dominant group: "a social group that controls the value system and rewards in a particular society."[5] occurs in Mosby's Medical Dictionary.[5]

From planetary science under the subject of meteors is this use of the term "dominant group": "The dominant group in all cases are stony meteors."[6] The article is entitled, "On the composition of meteors". The phrase "in all cases" refers to various meteor showers experienced here on Earth.

In the article precising definition, there is that "[a] precising definition is a definition that extends the lexical definition of a term for a specific purpose by including additional criteria that narrow down the set of things meeting the definition." The precising definition is usually aimed at the definiens. For Mosby's Medical Dictionary definition of "dominant group" this is "a social group that controls the value system and rewards in a particular society."

An attempt at a precising definition might be "a social group that in all cases are stony meteors". Independent of verb plurality "are" versus "is", the latter "definition" regarding "stony meteors" clearly contradicts the idea of a "social group". This suggests that the 'meteors' definition (if it can be called that) is a stipulative definition: "a type of definition in which a ... currently-existing term is given a specific meaning for the purposes of ... discussion in a given context." Similar to stipulative definitions are "[t]heoretical definitions, used extensively in science" (quote is from the article stipulative definition). From the article on theoretical definitions, such a definition "gives the meaning of a word in terms of the theories of a specific discipline."

For Mosby's Medical Dictionary definition there is the use of "a social group". As a specific discipline this suggests either sociology or psychology. From social psychology is "[o]n our use of the term, a dominant group need not be a numerical majority (although it often will be)."[7] This article is published in the "Journal of Personality and Social Psychology" dated August 2005.

Eight editions of Mosby's Medical Dictionary have occurred, but only the more recent seven (1987 - 2nd to 2009 - 8th) are accessible by either Google scholar or a full web search using Google. Of these, "dominant group" is defined in and additionally occurs within another term's definition in the 8th edition only.

This suggests but does not confirm that the definition in Mosby's Medical Dictionary, 8th edition (2009), is a precising definition of the term as used in 2005, where "a social group that controls the value system and rewards in a particular society."[5] "need not be a numerical majority (although it often will be)."[7]

Within the article, precising definition, it is stated "a precising definition does not [contradict the lexical definition]." That is the case above.

Although the exact wording of some earlier definition of "dominant group" from either sociology or psychology has not been found, it seems likely from chronology that it includes "need not be a numerical majority (although it often will be)."[7] in some meaningful way.

The 'meteors' article, published in 1958, states "stony meteors, i.e. 68 p.c."[6] "among all the 217 meteors"[6]. The abbreviation "p.c." is for "per cent" or "per centage". Here there is commonality between some early sociological or psychological definition of "dominant group" as a majority and as a majority of meteors.

So far in the ongoing timeline and radiance exploration, the earliest sociological use of "dominant group" occurs in the article "Art in a Democracy"[8] from 1923: "It is but natural that when aristocratic ideals should impose themselves upon any polity the art of that polity should reflect the taste, the culture, the ways of life, and the very being of the dominant classes." and “At any rate, here is confirmation of the thesis that art voices the will of the dominant group in society.”

For the earliest discovered psychology article (1930), "a member of [the dominant group] will excel submissive persons in academic endeavors."[9]

Neither of these uses of the term precisely excludes "need not be a numerical majority (although it often will be)."[7], but appear to be additional precising definitions or may be stipulative or theoretical definitions of some other definition.

The use of "dominant group" in the 'meteors' article does not contradict the 'majority' usage of social psychology, but is obviously at odds with "a social group", or at least the "social" portion. Further, the term's use in the 'meteors' article does seem to contradict the earliest uses of "dominant group" in sociology (aristocratic classes, 1923) but not necessarily the earliest in psychology (1930).

In searching titles at url=, the term "majority" has its earliest occurrence in 1672, "psychology" in 1800, "sociology" in 1845, and "dominant group" in 1877. For combinations, "dominant group" + majority, the earliest occurrence is in 1877, "dominant group" + psychology is 1884, "dominant group" + sociology is 1897, "dominant group" + majority + psychology is 1912, and "dominant group" + majority + sociology is 1912. The last two combinations occur in the same article: "Race Psychology: Standpoint and Questionnaire, With Particular Reference to the Immigrant and the Negro"[10] in the American Journal of Sociology. "Dominant group" appears on page 756 and majority appears on 741. "Majority" appears to refer to the majority of Poles in Pozen, Poland, while "dominant group" appears to refer to the majority in the United States relative to immigrants and "the Negro" (minorities). This usage tends to confirm but does not indicate that "dominant group", majority, psychology, and sociology are associated in 1912.

If confirmed from additional sources, the association of these four terms suggests that the more recent usage for non-majority groups may be a precising on this undiscovered earlier definition to possible dominant minority groups. The earlier usage, then, involves a majority.

Synonymous definitions[edit | edit source]

A synonymous definition is a definition “defining a single word [or symbol] by giving another single word [or symbol] which has the same meaning.”[4] But, synonymous definitions have limitations:

  1. “some words have no exact synonyms”[4],
  2. a synonymous definition “cannot be used in the construction of precising or theoretical definitions.”[4], and
  3. no synonym should appear in the definiens of a genus–differentia definition.[4]
Synonyms for "majority"[2]
Synonym Category Number Category Title
“main part” 54 WHOLE
“majorship” 747 MASTER
“maturity” 126 AGE
“plurality” 100 PLURALITY
“superiority” 36 SUPERIORITY

From JSTOR, url=, the earliest occurrence in an article of the above and other words of interest are

Earliest article occurrence of words of interest.
Symbol Year
"dominant" 1672
"group" ~1739
“main part” 1665
"majority" 1672
“majorship” 1880
“maturity” 1665
“plurality” 1673
“superiority” 1669

Synonyms for “dominant” together with their category of most common usage are

Synonyms for "dominant"[2]
Synonym Category Number Category Title
“a superior” 36 SUPERIORITY
“chief” 747 MASTER
“controlling” 739 GOVERNMENT
“influential” 171 INFLUENCE
“most important” 670 IMPORTANCE
“music” 461 MUSIC
“musical note” 462 HARMONICS
“note” 528 ATTENTION
“ruling” 996 LEGALITY

where the categories 36, 171, 462, 670, and 739, and words "note", "music", "chief", "influential", "most important", and "ruling" are actually listed.[2]

The overlap in synonymy between “majority” and “dominant” is categories 36 and 747. Although many of the others could be used in description to construct stipulative definitions.

In Mosby's Medical Dicitionary definition that a dominant group is "a social group that controls the value system and rewards in a particular society."[5] is a synonym for "ruling": "controls", which is a verb form of "controlling". Although this synonym is absent from "need not be a numerical majority (although it often will be)."[7], there is the question of what's defining a "dominant group" when it's not the majority?

Both the current lexical definition and some as yet unfound earlier lexical definition from which the current one may have been precised appear to have problems. Both problems are matters of synonymy. The most common usage of "dominant" and thereby the most likely category to find the closest synonyms to exact synonyms is in category "171. INFLUENCE"[2]. For "majority" this is category "100. PLURALITY"[2]. The further away from exact synonymy the category is, the less exact relatively is the synonymy. This suggests that terms outside category 171 may be okay for lexical definitions as the one in Mosby's Medical Dictionary of "dominant group" using "controls". The same for some earlier unfound lexical definition using "majority", category 100.

This degree of relative synonymy also allows an answer to "what's defining a "dominant group" when it's not the majority?" An answer is in the synonyms for "majority", especially in category 100, but especially not in categories 36 or 747 because of the overlap in relative synonymy. Yet, here again both categories 36 and 747 are relatively away from categories 100 and 171 in meaning. These could be used in precising or theoretical definitions.

With relative synonymy instead of exact synonymy, relative synonyms may be useable in a genus–differentia definition.

This same approach of relative synonymy should be applied to the word "group". Although use within "dominant group" suggests that "group" is a noun, "group" can be used as a verb.

Synonyms for "group"[2] nouns
Synonym Category Number Category Title
“company” 74 ASSEMBLAGE
Synonyms for "group"[2] verbs (group, grouped, grouping)
Synonym Category Number Category Title
“arrange” 60 ARRANGEMENT
“classify” 61 CLASSIFICATION
“assemble” 74 ASSEMBLAGE
“size” 194 SIZE
“painting” (for "grouping") 572 ART

With a two-word term, genus classes (or categories[2]) may consist of three varieties:

  1. category1 + category2,
  2. "dominant" + category2, or
  3. category1 + "group".

Here "category1" refers to any category of relative synonyms for "dominant" (adjective or noun), and "category2" is the same for "group" (noun or verb).

The added possibilities of "group" as a verb suggests usages like "dominantly grouped", with the adverb "dominantly", or "dominant grouping".

These variations in part due to analyzing a two-word term allow additional possibilities to consider in forming genus differentia definitions.

Theoretical impact[edit | edit source]

It may be the case with "dominant group" that its association with three theories of evolution: natural selection, evolutionary progressivism (eugenics), and the modern evolutionary synthesis, has directly precipitated the radiation and diversity of applications of the term.

The discovery of two early occurrences of "dominant group" prior to Darwin's 1859 book Origin of species suggests that Darwin incorporated the term as part of his theory, perhaps to explain it with 'natural selection'.

"The Ants and the Staphylini have been supposed to represent each other in the tropical and temperate zones. In the temperate zone, and especially in our own country, the Staphylini are a dominant group, and the ants a secondary one."[11]

“The fact that a group is egoistic and dominant proves that it is well formed and that it approaches the make-up of a man.”[12]

Hypotheses[edit | edit source]

  1. Although proof of concept for dominant group has succeeded, approximately 22 hypotheses regarding the two-word term may apply.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Philip B. Gove, ed (1963). Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary. Springfield, Massachusetts: G. & C. Merriam Company. pp. 1221. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Peter Mark Roget (1969). Lester V. Berrey. ed. Roget's International Thesaurus, third edition. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company. pp. 1258. 
  3. Mariam Naqshbandi; Stewart B. Harris; James G. Esler; Fred Antwi-Nsiah (October 2008). "Global complication rates of type 2 diabetes in Indigenous peoples: A comprehensive review". Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice 82 (1): 1-17. doi:10.1016/j.diabres.2008.07.017. Retrieved 2011-12-23. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Irving M. Copi (1955). Introduction to Logic. New York: The MacMillan Company. pp. 472. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Farlex (2009). The Free Dictionary by Farlex: Mosby's Medical Dictionary, 8th edition. Elsevier. Retrieved 2011-09-07. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Zd. Ceplecha (1958). "On the composition of meteors". Bulletin of the Astronomical Institutes of Czechoslovakia 9: 154-9. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Eric D. Knowles, Kaiping Peng (August 2005). "White selves: conceptualizing and measuring a dominant-group identity". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 89 (2): 223-41. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.89.2.223. 
  8. Edward G. Cox (April 1923). "Art in a Democracy". The Sewanee Review 31 (2): 187-97. Retrieved 2011-07-26. 
  9. M. E. Broom (October 1930). "A study of a test of ascendence-submission". Journal of Applied Psychology 14 (5): 405-13. doi:10.1037/h0074129. Retrieved 2011-07-26. 
  10. W. I. Thomas (May 1912). "Race Psychology: Standpoint and Questionnaire, With Particular Reference to the Immigrant and the Negro". American Journal of Sociology 17 (6): 725-75. Retrieved 2011-09-28. 
  11. W.E. Shuckard (1840). "XXII.—Monograph of the Dorylidæ, a family of the Hymenoptera Heterogyna". The Annals and Magazine of Natural History Series 1 5 (30): 188-201. doi:10.1080/00222934009496804. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  12. Alexis de Tocqueville (September 2001). Francois Furet and Francoise Melonio. ed. The Old Regime and the Revolution: Notes on the French Revolution and Napoleon, prepared between 1853 and 1857. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. pp. 257. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 

Further reading[edit | edit source]

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