ERIC Number: ED194287
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Oct-12
Reference Count: 0
Structural Elements of the Determination of Negative Social Status: Conceptual Reflections on the Notion of Minority Group Status.
Kuvlesky, William P.
A minority group is a social category involving a clearly differentiated subpopulation within a larger collectivity on the basis of some common set of characteristics which are negatively evaluated by the dominant members of the collectivity. The following characteristics are attributed to negative evaluation: (1) members experience pejorative treatment (patterned negative prejudice and social discrimination); (2) members share a common social identity and are sensitized to their common negative status and to patterns of ill treatment; (3) members have evolved leaders and interest organizations which attempt to represent the interests of the category as they interpret them. Most ethnic and racial groups fit this definition as do nonethnic status categories such as "Women" and"Teenagers." Being ranked in terms of negative status directly reduces social honor and produces an impression of reduced social worth. Often, members of minority groups do not demonstrate structured patterns of behavior or orientation toward common goals. It is not unusual for members of minority group organizations to differ in how they perceive the minority group's interest or in the goals they establish for majority-minority group relations. This variability in goals reflects the diversity of interests, views, and aspirations existing among those who are included in the social category. The inability to achieve social solidarity prevents the minority group from breaking the structural chains of negative status. (CM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Humanist Sociology (Louisville, KY, October 9-12, 1980).