Racial hegemony is a noun phrase that refers to the dominance, control, or influence exerted by one racial or ethnic group over others within a society, often through the exercise of power, privilege, or cultural authority. It denotes a form of social, political, or economic supremacy in which the interests, values, and norms of the dominant racial group shape societal structures, institutions, and discourses, while marginalizing or subordinating the experiences, identities, and perspectives of minority racial or ethnic groups.

Dominance and Control: Racial hegemony entails the consolidation and maintenance of power and control by a dominant racial group over key institutions, resources, and decision-making processes within society. The dominant group’s influence permeates various spheres of public life, including government, education, media, economy, and culture, shaping the distribution of opportunities, resources, and social rewards in ways that reinforce its own interests and values.

Normalization of Racial Norms and Values: Racial hegemony involves the establishment and perpetuation of cultural norms, values, and ideologies that reflect and reinforce the interests, experiences, and perspectives of the dominant racial group, while marginalizing or erasing those of minority groups. Through mechanisms such as education, media representation, language, and socialization, racial hegemony normalizes the beliefs, behaviors, and identities of the dominant group as the societal standard, further entrenching its dominance and marginalizing alternative viewpoints.

Maintenance of Structural Inequality: Racial hegemony sustains and reproduces structural inequalities and disparities between racial or ethnic groups by legitimizing and rationalizing systems of privilege, oppression, and exclusion. Policies, laws, and institutional practices are often structured to advantage the dominant racial group while disadvantaging minority groups, resulting in unequal access to resources, opportunities, rights, and protections, and perpetuating cycles of poverty, marginalization, and social exclusion.

Resistance and Counter-Hegemonic Struggles: Resistance to racial hegemony encompasses efforts by marginalized racial or ethnic groups, as well as allies and advocates, to challenge, disrupt, or dismantle systems of racial domination and privilege. Counter-hegemonic struggles seek to contest racialized narratives, dismantle oppressive structures, and promote alternative visions of justice, equity, and solidarity that center the experiences, needs, and aspirations of marginalized communities, fostering social transformation and collective liberation.

Intersectionality and Interlocking Systems of Oppression: Racial hegemony intersects with other forms of oppression, such as sexism, classism, ableism, and heterosexism, creating interlocking systems of domination that compound and reinforce each other. Intersectional analyses recognize the complexity of power dynamics and social inequalities, advocating for holistic approaches that address the interconnected nature of oppression and privilege across multiple axes of identity and experience.

Racial hegemony is a noun phrase that denotes the dominance, control, or influence exerted by one racial or ethnic group over others within a society, shaping societal structures, institutions, and discourses to reflect and reinforce the interests, values, and norms of the dominant group while marginalizing or subordinating minority groups. Resistance to racial hegemony involves challenging oppressive structures, promoting alternative narratives, and advocating for justice, equity, and solidarity that center the experiences and needs of marginalized communities. Addressing racial hegemony requires collective efforts to dismantle systems of racial domination and privilege, foster intersectional analyses, and advance inclusive visions of social transformation and liberation.

RACIAL HEGEMONY in a sentence

  • The persistent existence of racial hegemony hinders the realization of true equality and justice in many societies.
  • Scholars and activists work tirelessly to dismantle systems of racial hegemony and promote inclusivity.
  • Discussions about dismantling racial hegemony are essential for fostering a more equitable and diverse society.
  • The effects of racial hegemony are evident in various aspects of life, including education, employment, and representation in media.
  • Efforts to challenge racial hegemony require a comprehensive understanding of historical injustices and their contemporary implications.
  • Advocates emphasize the need to address not only overt discrimination but also the subtle mechanisms of racial hegemony ingrained in institutions.
  • Initiatives promoting diversity and inclusion aim to disrupt the patterns of racial hegemony within organizational structures.
  • Recognizing and confronting racial hegemony is a crucial step toward building a society that embraces the richness of its diversity.


The phrase racial hegemony embarks on a linguistic journey, reflecting the development of concepts related to power, dominance, and racial dynamics. Rooted in Latin and Greek influences, it has evolved into a term that signifies the dominance or leadership of one racial group over others within a particular social, political, or cultural context.

  • Latin and Greek Roots: The term hegemony has its origins in ancient Greek, where “hegemonia” referred to leadership or authority. In Latin, “hegemonia” was adopted from Greek and came to signify dominance or supremacy. The prefix “racial” pertains to race or ethnicity, indicating that the dominance discussed is based on racial identity.
  • Political and Social Theory: The concept of racial hegemony gained prominence within political and social theory, particularly in the works of scholars such as Antonio Gramsci and Frantz Fanon. Gramsci explored the notion of cultural hegemony, where dominant groups maintain power through the imposition of their cultural values and norms on society.
  • Intersectionality: The term racial hegemony is often used in discussions of intersectionality, recognizing that systems of dominance based on race intersect with other forms of oppression, such as class, gender, and sexuality. This perspective highlights the complex and interconnected nature of power dynamics within society.
  • Historical Context: The concept of racial hegemony is deeply intertwined with the history of colonialism, imperialism, and slavery, where dominant racial groups imposed their authority and control over colonized peoples. This historical legacy continues to shape contemporary discussions of race and power.
  • Contemporary Usage: In contemporary discourse, racial hegemony is used to describe the enduring power structures that privilege certain racial groups while marginalizing others. It is often invoked in discussions of systemic racism, white supremacy, and the ongoing struggle for racial justice and equality.

Racial hegemony stands as a term that reflects the complex dynamics of power, identity, and inequality within societies. From its ancient roots to its modern-day applications, the phrase embodies the ongoing dialogue surrounding race, dominance, and resistance in the pursuit of social change and justice.


  • Dominance
  • Supremacy
  • Control
  • Ascendancy
  • Authority
  • Influence
  • Preeminence
  • Mastery


  • Equality
  • Fairness
  • Equity
  • Inclusivity
  • Collaboration
  • Shared power
  • Egalitarianism
  • Justice


  • Subjugation
  • Oppression
  • Discrimination
  • Prejudice
  • Inequality
  • Power imbalance
  • Marginalization
  • Systemic bias

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