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#1188: Bilingualism: Davis replies to Bellegarde-Smith (fwd)

From: Karen Davis <kdavis@marygrove.edu>

Yes, Patrick, the term "minority" has been extensively used in sociology as
well as in the popular media as a euphemism for "an oppressed group." It is
a term which only makes sense in a nation like the USA of the 1940s, 50s,
and 60s, where a numerical racial/ethnic majority is also the dominant group
in the political economy. It never has made sense in referring to the many
nations where the majority ethnic group is the oppressed or subordinated
group. But the term has been used internationally because of the
universalist bias of Euro-American intellectual conventions--and it's also a
handy term to hide the fact that even in the USA the true ruling elite are
NOT a majority of anything except of those in control of resources (that is,
2% control 50% of the wealth, etc.). What's wrong with using minority &
majority in their correct meaning (most & least, numerically) and using
correct descriptive terms for power relationships like dominant, elite,
oppressed, subordinated, discrimination, etc.?
(also a sociologist & anthropologist)