Social dominance theory addresses the question of why all large human societies with economic surplus are structured as group-based hierarchies. Social dominance theory integrates ideas from a broad variety of social science theories, including authoritarian personality theory, social identitytheory, realistic group conflict theory, Marxism, feminism, evolutionary psychology, elite theory, social representations, symbolic racism theory, and others. Social dominance theory is a multilevel theory, explaining how processes within individuals, such as prejudice and stereotyping, interface with practices of groups and institutions. Further, social dominance theory considers how cultural ideologies organize patterns of behavior to structure group-based power in societies. This entry provides an overview.

Structure of Group-Dominance Societies

Whether their government is theocratic, democratic, monarchical, or communist, societies have a three-part, group-based structure, with adults dominating children, ...

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