Dominant group/Religion

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Major denominations and religions of the world. Credit: Neitram.

The major denominations and religions of the world are occasionally characterized with the term dominant group. In the Notes for the map at right is "Regions within a state whose predominant religion is different from the plurality religion of the nation-state are not separately indicated" [bold added], uses predominant religion, which is a relative synonym for dominant group.

“A concern for how socially dominant groups attempt to influence the interests and preferences of subordinate groups and how subordinate groups attempt to resist domination and to achieve autonomy was at the core of Antonio Gramsci’s sociology of religion.”[1]

“[W]hether religious leaders defend the hegemony of dominant social groups or contribute to the creation of an oppositional culture depends on the development of ... the mutually supportive conditions”[1].

Religions[edit | edit source]

Def. "[a] collection of practices, based on beliefs and teachings that are highly valued or sacred"[2], religion number 1, is called a religion.

Def. "[a]ny ongoing spiritual practice one engages in, in order to shape their character or improve traits of their personality"[2] number 3, is called a religion.

Def. "[a]n ideological and traditional heritage"[2] number 4, is called a religion.

Usage notes

same as above

"Generally speaking, certain groups that do not acknowledge the existence of one or more deities, such as Buddhism, are still religious, though some people prefer a definition of religion that discourages non-theistic groups from identifying as religious. Others are in favor of a more inclusive definition of religion that recognizes that everyone has their own set of religious beliefs. Avoid calling religious institutions that should be called churches, religions."[2]

"Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values.[3] Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to explain the origin of life or the universe. They tend to derive morality, ethics, religious laws or a preferred lifestyle from their ideas about the cosmos and human nature."[4]

Dominant group[edit | edit source]

Examples from primary sources are to be used to prove or disprove each hypothesis. These can be collected per subject or in general.

  1. Accident hypothesis: dominant group is an accident of whatever processes are operating.
  2. Artifact hypothesis: dominant group may be an artifact of human endeavor or may have preceded humanity.
  3. Association hypothesis: dominant group is associated in some way with the original research.
  4. Bad group hypothesis: dominant group is the group that engages in discrimination, abuse, punishment, and additional criminal activity against other groups. It often has an unfair advantage and uses it to express monopolistic practices.
  5. Control group hypothesis: there is a control group that can be used to study dominant group.
  6. Entity hypothesis: dominant group is an entity within each field where a primary author of original research uses the term.
  7. Evolution hypothesis: dominant group is a product of evolutionary processes, such groups are the evolutionary process, produce evolutionary processes, or are independent of evolutionary processes.
  8. Identifier hypothesis: dominant group is an identifier used by primary source authors of original research to identify an observation in the process of analysis.
  9. Importance hypothesis: dominant group signifies original research results that usually need to be explained by theory and interpretation of experiments.
  10. Indicator hypothesis: dominant group may be an indicator of something as yet not understood by the primary author of original research.
  11. Influence hypothesis: dominant group is included in a primary source article containing original research to indicate influence or an influential phenomenon.
  12. Interest hypothesis: dominant group is a theoretical entity used by scholarly authors of primary sources for phenomena of interest.
  13. Metadefinition hypothesis: all uses of dominant group by all primary source authors of original research are included in the metadefinition for dominant group.
  14. Null hypothesis: there is no significant or special meaning of dominant group in any sentence or figure caption in any refereed journal article.
  15. Object hypothesis: dominant group is an object within each field where a primary author of original research uses the term.
  16. Obvious hypothesis: the only meaning of dominant group is the one found in Mosby's Medical Dictionary.
  17. Original research hypothesis: dominant group is included in a primary source article by the author to indicate that the article contains original research.
  18. Primordial hypothesis: dominant group is a primordial concept inherent to humans such that every language or other form of communication no matter how old or whether extinct, on the verge of extinction, or not, has at least a synonym for dominant group.
  19. Purpose hypothesis: dominant group is written into articles by authors for a purpose.
  20. Regional hypothesis: dominant group, when it occurs, is only a manifestation of the limitations within a region. Variation of those limitations may result in the loss of a dominant group with the eventual appearance of a new one or none at all.
  21. Source hypothesis: dominant group is a source within each field where a primary author of original research uses the term.
  22. Term hypothesis: dominant group is a significant term that may require a 'rigorous definition' or application and verification of an empirical definition.

Religious experience[edit | edit source]

“[H]ow can we possibly account for the religious experience that is profoundly antipathetic to the dominant group consciousness”.[5]

"The wish to belong and have prestige and recognition in the dominant group and the desire to show empirically demonstrable and measurable results are motivations that few can totally resist."[6]

"For each case, the no-shows are the dominant group, ranging from 54–56 percent in the United States and Anglophone Canada to 74 percent in Quebec."[7]

"Since the morality of the sect and that of the dominant group are not only different but antithetical-what is acceptable to the latter is taboo to the former-the repudiation of the sectarian morality means the acquisition of the morality of the dominant group. There seems to be a differential rate of acculturation in religion, although the data do not admit of many generalizations."[8]

Relative synonyms[edit | edit source]

The relative synonyms of dominant group can be composed from the following set of orderable pairs:

Genera differentia for "dominant group"[9]
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".

Dominant religions[edit | edit source]

The phrase “die Dominanten Religionen von ganz Europa”[10] occurs in 1726.

Dominant society[edit | edit source]

"They were extended toward a privileged representative of the dominant society who was usually (not always) visibly accompanied by a person the group had long accepted into their midst."[11]

Ethnicity[edit | edit source]

"Under the benevolent gaze of the majority group which has grown accustomed to religious differentiation within itself, a religion-based ethnic group (provided it has the financial resources) can then continue to provide its members with materials for their ethnic system construction and development."[12]

Assimilation[edit | edit source]

"The standard US theory of assimilation is based on an osmotic image of one-way pressure and absorption. Anglo-Americans need to learn from the Hispanic experience of mixing or mestizaje, to comprehend bridging. "It is the traditionally dominant group that will have to have the greater humility to face itself openly and admit that it has much to receive, much to learn, from the groups that it has previously considered inferior""[11].

"Millett (1979:183) has suggested that as immigrants settle in the New World at least four forms of religious adaptation usuaUy occur: (1) secular assimilation (the abandonment of religion); (2) religious assimilation (the integration of immigrants into the existing religious institutions of the dominant group); (3) linguistic diversification (the organization of ethnic language congregations sponsored by the indigenous churches of the dominant group, ie, native-oriented minority churches); and (4) new formal organizations (the establishment by the immigrants of their own religious traditions in the New World, ie, foreign-oriented minority churches)."[13]

New religions[edit | edit source]

"For example, within each tradition there are those groups that dominate and control it (churches), those that dissent but within acceptable limits (sects), and those that diverge beyond those limits (new religions). From the perspective of the dominant group(s) within any given tradition, some groups are seen to differ to such an extent that they can no longer be recognized as fellow believers."[14]

Ancient Scandinavian religion[edit | edit source]

"[T]he counterpart of the Roman Mars was found in the god Tiw, ... In the same way the Roman Mercurius, Jupiter, and Venus were identified with the Germanic gods called by the English Wóden, Thunor, and Fríg"[15].

"The larger and dominant group was the Aesir—the word means “gods”—who dwelled in Asgard and whose leader was Odin."[16]

"Despite his association with the giants, Odin was regarded as the head of the Aesir, the dominant group of Norse gods."[17]

Atheisms[edit | edit source]

“The single exception is the case of Baptist parentage. But this again checks the previously observed item of distribution in the United States where we found the South was far behind in its quota. Baptists are probably the dominant group in this region.”[18]

Buddhism[edit | edit source]

Dhamek Stupa in Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh, India, built by King Ashoka, where Buddha gave his first sermon. Credit: R. M. Calamar.

Def. the "religion and philosophy founded by the Nepalese teacher Gautama Buddha"[19] is called Buddhism.

"The principal nationality was the Han people.1 This dominant group numbers more than 1 billion people. ... Does this, along with other factors, explain the success of Buddhism, a foreign religion in China? Likewise, a subordinate group threatened by a dominant group may find great help and new strength in the religion of some nonthreatening group."[20]

Christianity[edit | edit source]

Christianity became the dominant religion of Western Civilization when the Roman Empire converted to Christianity. Credit: Sébastien Bertrand.

Def. an "Abrahamic religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ and various scholars who wrote the Christian Bible"[21] is called Christianity.

Notation: Woman's Christian Temperance Union is abbreviated WCTU.[22]

Notation: let the symbol CCM stand for "Contemporary Christian music".

"As the dominant group, Christians enjoy a variety of privileges, much like Whites and men do in the United States (McIntosh, 1998)."[23]

"Since Repeal, the WCTU has ceased to represent dominant social classes, and its doctrine has become the expression of moral indignation toward upper-middle-class life."[22]

"The activities of the WCTU in the pre-Prohibition era appear to be the actions of a socially dominant group, essentially satisfied with the major outlines of the social structure."[22]

“Through such tactics they propose to wring economic and political justice from the dominant group by striking at its most sensitive spot, its markets, and by shaming its Christian conscience.”[24]

"Most Christian "believers" tend to echo the cultural prejudices and worldviews of the dominant group in their country, with only a minority revealing any real transformation of attitudes or consciousness."[25]

“Avant garde artists are not the dominant group in terms of record sales and religious radio airplay, but they command a significant following among Christian youth.”[26] "In challenging these basic premises of the dominant group's hegemony, CCM provides a space for potentially overcoming that dominance."[26]

"[T]he boundary between court and aristocracy long survives the disappearance of the boundary between Christianity and paganism; in the sixth century, the falls of two great patricians, good Christians both - Boëthius in Italy and Mummolus of Bordeaux in Gaul - are accompanied by charges of sorcery.26"[27]

Confucianism[edit | edit source]

The Dacheng Hall is the main hall of the Temple of Confucius in Qufu. Credit: Gisling.

"Confucianism is a Chinese ethical and philosophical system developed from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius .... The core of Confucianism is humanism,[28] the belief that human beings are teachable, improvable and perfectible through personal and communal endeavour especially including self-cultivation and self-creation."[29] "[H]umanist philosophies such as Confucianism ... do not share a belief in divine law and do not exalt faithfulness to a higher law as a manifestation of divine will"[28].

"Historical exactness matters less than the current social structure of Kangnung, which identifies the dominant group's cultural identity as primarily Confucian."[30]

Hinduism[edit | edit source]

Sacred Mount Kailash in Tibet is regarded as the spiritual abode of Lord Shiva. Credit: Heringf.

Def. a "religion, philosophy and culture native to India, characterized by the belief in reincarnation and a supreme oneness personified in many forms and natures"[31] is called Hinduism.

"Communalism in the Indian sense therefore is a consciousness which draws on a supposed religious identity and uses this as the basis for an ideology."[32] “In the multiplicity of communalisms prevalent in India today, the major one obviously is Hindu communalism since it involves the largest numbers and asserts itself as the dominant group.”[32]

Islam[edit | edit source]

The Kaaba, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, is the center of Islam. Muslims from all over the world gather there to pray in unity. Credit: Medineli.

Def. a "monotheistic Abrahamic religion followed by Muslims that is based on the teachings of Muhammad and the Qur'an"[33] is called Islam.

"Islam was reinforcing the brotherhood among the slaves and acted as a pacifier, as it justified slavery and facilitated the control of a dominant group"[34].

"The Fulani (here un-Hausaised) were the locally dominant group, and Christianity served not only to impart Western literacy to the Bachama and others but to define and protect their cultural identity against the Fulani (which was in fact a continuation of pre-colonial struggles)."[35]

"A continuous history of religious aggravation now stretches back over thirty years or more - both Kukah and Enwerem identify the Islamisation campaigns in the early 1960s conducted by Sir Ahmadu Bello, Sardauna of Sokoto, Premier of Northern Nigeria and leader of the NPC, the dominant party at independence, as a key early moment - but its roots lie further back, in the way in which the British incorporated the Sokoto Caliphate into the vast plural polity which they created in Nigeria. They enabled its Hausa-Fulani ruling class, whose charter was the jihadist Islam of Sheikh Usman dan Fodio (d. 1817), to maintain its political power and social hegemony"[35]. [Bold dominant group relative synonyms added.]

Judaism[edit | edit source]

"The Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism."[36] Credit: אסף.צ.

Def. an "Abrahamic religion tracing its origin to the Hebrew people of the ancient Middle East, as documented in their religious writings, the Tanakh"[37] is called Judaism.

"In Israel, Moroccans also form an out-group on the basis of national, linguistic and socio-economic dimensions, but they have one very important characteristic in common with the dominant group: they are Jews coming into a Jewish society. Because Moroccan Israelis and the Israeli majority group share this important element of Jewish culture (Judaism), we expect that these two groups show basic acceptance towards each other which may facilitate both assimilation and integration."[38]

Hypotheses[edit | edit source]

  1. A dominant group should never originate from a religion.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Dwight B. Billings (July 1990). "Religion as opposition: A Gramscian analysis". American Journal of Sociology 96 (1): 1-31. Retrieved 2011-07-21. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "religion, In: Wiktionary". San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. January 13, 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-14.
  3. While religion is difficult to define, one standard model of religion, used in religious studies courses, was proposed by Clifford Geertz, who simply called it a "cultural system" (Clifford Geertz, Religion as a Cultural System, 1973). A critique of Geertz's model by Talal Asad categorized religion as "an anthropological category." (Talal Asad, The Construction of Religion as an Anthropological Category, 1982.)
  4. "Religion, In: Wikipedia". San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. May 21, 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  5. Arthur Clinton Watson (April 1916). "The Logic of Religion: Concluded". The American Journal of Theology 20 (2): 244-65. Retrieved 2011-07-26. 
  6. Alexander B. Cairns; James E. Hunter (Winter 1984). "Hermeneutics in a Medical Center". Journal of Religion and Health 23 (4): 330-8. doi:10.1007/BF00991392. Retrieved 2012-02-25. 
  7. Eric M. Uslaner (June 2002). "Religion and civic engagement in Canada and the United States". Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 41 (2): 239-54. doi:10.1111/1468-5906.00114. Retrieved 2012-05-29. 
  8. Melford E. Spiro (December 1955). "The acculturation of American ethnic groups". American Anthropologist 57 (6): 1240-52. doi:10.1525/aa.1955.57.6.02a00140. Retrieved 2012-05-29. 
  9. Peter Mark Roget (1969). Lester V. Berrey and Gorton Carruth. ed. Roget's International Thesaurus, third edition. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company. pp. 1258. 
  10. Johann Jacob Scheuchzer; Anton L. Keller; Moritz Anton Cappeller (1726). Lucerna Lucens Alethophili: "Eines Catholischen Priesters Schreiben An Aretophilum Seinen lieben Freund und Mit-Capitularen”. Frenstadt. pp. 128. Retrieved 2012-04-10. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 R. Stephen Warner (Autumn 1997). "Religion, boundaries, and bridges". Sociology of Religion 58 (3): 217-38. Retrieved 2012-05-29. 
  12. J Smolicz (1981). "Core values and cultural identity". Ethnic and Racial Studies 4 (1): 75-90. doi:10.1080/01419870.1981.9993325. Retrieved 2012-05-29. 
  13. Mark R. Mullins (Fall 1988). "The organizational dilemmas of ethnic churches: A case study of Japanese Buddhism in Canada". Sociology of Religion 49 (3): 217-33. doi:10.2307/3711586. Retrieved 2012-05-29. 
  14. J. Gordon Melton (July 2004). "Perspective: Toward a Definition of “New Religion”". Nova Religio 8 (1): 73-87. doi:10.1525/nr.2004.8.1.73. Retrieved 2012-05-29. 
  15. William Alexander Craigie (1906). The Religion of Ancient Scandinavia. Haymarket, Edinburgh: Archibald Constable & Co. Ltd. pp. 71. Retrieved 2013-03-09. 
  16. Tony Allan (2011). Exploring the Life, Myth, and Art of the Vikings. pp. 144. Retrieved 2013-03-09. 
  17. Andrew Campbell (January 1, 2005). Marshall Cavendish Corporation. ed. Odin, In: Gods, Goddesses, And Mythology. pp. 1024-31. ISBN 0761475591. Retrieved 2013-03-09. 
  18. Vetter, G. B.; Green, M. (July 1932). "Personality and group factors in the making of atheists". The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology 27 (2): 179-94. doi:10.1037/h0075273. Retrieved 2011-07-26. 
  19. "Buddhism, In: Wiktionary". San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 28 February 2015. Retrieved 2015-03-07.
  20. Ralph R. Covell (2001). Stephen Uhalley, Jr. and Xiaoxin Wu. ed. Christianity and China's Minority Nationalities-Faith and Unbelief, In: China and Christianity: Burdened Past, Hopeful Future. Armonk, New York: M. E. Sharpe, Inc.. pp. 271-82. ISBN 0-7656-0661-5. Retrieved 2012-05-29. 
  21. "Christianity, In: Wiktionary". San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 26 January 2015. Retrieved 2015-03-07.
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 Joseph R. Gusfield (November 1955). "Social structure and moral reform: A study of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union". American Journal of Sociology 61 (3): 221-32. Retrieved 2011-12-21. 
  23. Lewis Z. Schlosser (January 2003). "Christian privilege: Breaking a sacred taboo". Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development 31 (1): 44-51. Retrieved 2011-12-21. 
  24. Ralph J. Bunche (July 1935). "A critical analysis of the tactics and programs of minority groups". The Journal of Negro Education 4 (3): 308-20. Retrieved 2011-07-26. 
  25. Phillip Aspinall (June 9, 2011). "'The Lord is my shepherd'". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2012-01-02.
  26. 26.0 26.1 Jay R. Howard (Summer 1992). "Contemporary Christian music: Where rock meets religion". The Journal of Popular Culture 26 (1): 123-30. doi:10.1111/j.0022-3840.1992.00123.x. Retrieved 2011-12-02. 
  27. Peter Brown (1970). Mary Douglas. ed. Sorcery, Demons, and the Rise of Christianity from Late Antiquity into the Middle Ages, In: Witchcraft Confessions And Accusations. London: Routledge. pp. 17-46. ISBN 041533070X. Retrieved 2013-03-09. 
  28. 28.0 28.1 Mark Juergensmeyer (2005). Religion in global civil society. Oxford University Press. p. 70. ISBN 978-0-19-518835-6. 
  29. "Confucianism, In: Wikipedia". San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. May 12, 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  30. Sunny Jeong; Carla Almeida. Santos (July 2004). "Cultural politics and contested place identity". Annals of Tourism Research 31 (3): 640-56. doi:10.1016/j.annals.2004.01.004. Retrieved 2012-05-29. 
  31. "Hinduism, In: Wiktionary". San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 28 February 2015. Retrieved 2015-03-07.
  32. 32.0 32.1 Romila Thapar (1989). "Imagined Religious Communities? Ancient History and the Modern Search for a Hindu Identity". Modern Asian Studies 23 (2): 209-31. doi:10.1017/S0026749X00001049. 
  33. "Islam, In: Wiktionary". San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 11 October 2014. Retrieved 2015-03-07.
  34. Nik Petek (January 2011). "The East African Diaspora: The Problem with Slaves". Issues (15): 105. Retrieved 2011-08-29. 
  35. 35.0 35.1 J. D. Y. Peel (October 1996). "The politicisation of religion in Nigeria: three studies". Africa 66 (4): 607-11. doi:10.2307/1160939. Retrieved 2012-05-29. 
  36. "Judaism, In: Wikipedia". San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. May 12, 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  37. "Judaism, In: Wiktionary". San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 20 November 2014. Retrieved 2015-03-07.
  38. Jan Pieter Van Oudenhoven (August 1, 1998). "Integration and assimilation of Moroccan immigrants in Israel and the Netherlands". International Journal of Intercultural Relations 22 (1): 293-307. doi:10.1016/S0147-1767(98)00009-1. Retrieved 2012-05-29. 

Further reading[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

{{Dominant group}}