Global majority refers to the collective term used to describe the population of people who belong to racial or ethnic groups that are numerically dominant on a global scale, representing the majority of the world’s population.

What does global majority mean? 

The term includes a wide range of ethnic groups who collectively represent the majority of the world’s population. It recognizes the diversity and significance of non-white populations, emphasizes the significance of these diverse communities in shaping the global landscape, and challenges the notion of “minority” based solely on local demographics.

Criticism against the term

The term has received some backlash for not including cultural minorities in white societies, such as Jews, Romani or Irish minorities. It has also been criticized for using the word “majority” out of context. In a way, it shows that the use of collective terms to describe groups of people that share certain characteristics is complex.

At the same time, the term addresses the systemic inequality that many marginalized communities and historically oppressed groups face. Under the umbrella of “global majority” we find a broad range of cultural, racial, and ethnic minorities, such as people of African, Asian, Indigenous, and Latin American descent.

The difference between global majority and BAME

While there is some overlap between the terms “global majority” and BAME, they are not exactly the same. BAME stands for Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic. It is a term commonly used in the United Kingdom to describe individuals from non-White ethnic backgrounds, and includes people who identify as Black, Asian, or belonging to another minority ethnic group.

The term in the United States and Canada

Even though widely used across North America, the term “global majority” has different connotations and usage in the United States and Canada. 

In the United States, the term is often employed to highlight the collective experiences of ethnically diverse communities, aiming to address systemic inequalities and combat racism

In Canada, on the other hand, the term is being used as an alternative to the legal term “visible minority.” 

Global Majority in the United States

Since the COVID-19 pandemic the term has been used as a powerful tool to address and combat racism in the United States. 

By emphasizing the collective experiences and struggles of ethnically diverse communities, the concept seeks to challenge dominant narratives and dismantle racial hierarchies, promoting inclusivity and mobilizing collective action.

Global Majority in Canada

In some parts of Canada, the term “global majority” is gaining traction as an alternative to the legal term “visible minority”, which refers specifically to an individual who is non-white. The latter faces criticism for perpetuating a racialized segment of the population that stands in contrast with the Caucasian or White population in Canada. 

By emphasizing this global perspective, it challenges the notion of “white” as the default or majority, and acknowledges the richness and diversity of Canadian society.

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