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Racial hierarchy

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Title: Racial hierarchy  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: WikiProject Sociology/Cleanup listing, Ancient Egyptian race controversy, Hierarchy, Social inequality, Stereotypes of East Asians in the United States
Collection: Hierarchy, Racism, Social Inequality
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Racial hierarchy

A racial hierarchy is a system of stratification that focuses on the belief that some racial groups are either superior or inferior to other racial groups.[1] The groups perceived to have the most power and authority are at the top of the racial hierarchy, while the groups perceived to be inferior are at the bottom.

United States

As it pertains to the United States, racial hierarchy refers to ranking of different races/ethnic groups, based on physical and perceived characteristics that have been perpetuated through legal and political policy, providing unfair advantages for some races and/or hindering the advancement of others.

Further reading

  • (2009) Rethinking the Color Line: Readings in Race and Ethnicity, 4/e. Charles A. Gallagher ISBN 0-07-340427-6
  • (2004) From Jim Crow to racial hegemony: Evolving explanations of racial hierarchy, by Steven J. Gold. Ethnic and Racial Studies Vol. 27 No. 6 November 2004 pp. 951–968.
Discusses the nature of the racial hierarchy in the USA, contrasts the (black/white) bipolar model vs more complex ranking systems.


  1. ^ Racial Hierarchy, DOI : 10.1111/b.9781405124331.2007.x
  1. The War Relocation Authority and The Incarceration of Japanese-American During World War II: 1942, Harry S. Truman Library & Museum.
  2. Gordon, Linda, and Gary Okihiro. Persons of Japanese Ancestry. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2006.
  3. The Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed 2009-05-29.
  4. Herbert J. Gans. "The Possibility of a New Racial Hierarchy in the Twenty-first-century United States," in the Cultural Territories of Race: Black and White Boundaries, edited by Michele Lamont, pp. 371–79, 386-90. Copyright 1999 by the University of Chicago Press.
  5. Johnson, Allan G.. The Blackwell Dictionary of Sociology: A User's Guide to Sociological Language. Malden: Blackwell Pub, 2000.
  6. Jacques, Martin. "The Global Hierarchy of Race." Common Dreams | News & Views. 13 Nov. 2008 .
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