Sociology Index

MAJORITY GROUP

The European Commission says that there is an economic majority in favour of software patents. This is what they concluded from a consultation in 2000. In sociology the term majority does not refer to a numerical majority. Rather, it refers to the group that has power. Many writers suggest and use the terms subordinate group" and "dominant group rather than minority Group" and majority group.

In sociology the term minority is not necessarily a numerical minority. Minority may include any group that is subnormal with respect to a dominant group in terms of social status, education, employment, wealth and political power.

In South Africa, the Blacks were the majority numerically, but a minority in terms of power. All this of course began to change with the inclusion of Blacks in the electoral process and the election of Nelson Mandela.

A qualified majority (QM) is the number of votes required in the Council for a decision to be adopted when issues are being debated on the basis of Article 205(2) of the EC Treaty.

At the 1996 Intergovernmental Conference, which led to the adoption of the Amsterdam Treaty, the idea of a reinforced qualified majority was brought up both by a large number of national delegations and by the European Commission.

The Treaty of Nice 2001, which set out to reform the operation of the Community institutions in the run-up to enlargement, redefines the qualified majority in terms of a double or even triple majority. Maintaining the present system of weighting of votes could produce a qualified majority representing only a minority of the population of the European Union. For this reason, the Member States with the highest populations wanted to see a reweighting or double majority system which would ensure that a majority in the Council represented a majority not only of Member States but also of the population of the Union.

Moral Majority

Falwell, a television evangelist who founded the Moral Majority in 1979, became the face of the religious right in the 1980s. He later founded the conservative Liberty University, which began as Lynchburg Baptist College in 1971, and served as its chancellor. The Moral Majority's stated mission was to reverse the politicization of immorality in our society. In the 1980s, Falwell's group claimed 6.5 million members, raising $69 million for conservative politicians and helping to elect Ronald Reagan president in 1980. Falwell dissolved the Moral Majority in 1989, saying that its political aims had been achieved.