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In sociology and in voting theory, a minority is a group that is outnumbered by persons who do not belong to it, often people with different nationality, religion, culture or lifestyle from that of the mainstream in the society.

In recent decades the term minority has taken on a newer meaning: a group with lower social status rather than small numerical scale. For instance, while numerically women are not few, in many societies they are a minority in the newer sense of the word given their inferior social rights compared with men.

A majority is a group that outnumbers its non-members, or, in the newer sense of the word, has a higher social status.

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