Colonial Theory: Race & Gender Hierarchy = Hypodescent
The ordering of people along a hierarchy of color, is prevalent in almost every society today, solidified by nation-state structures of power and form. In the ordering of color, the term for the ordering of people from the top that is lightest in color (white), and gradually lower to the darkest color (black) as lowest, is called Hypodescent.
The ordering of people from black at the top, to lightest/whitest at the bottom of the hierarchy in society, is called Hyperdescent. This system is rare today.
In colonial nation-building (which continues today), the practice of hierarchies of hypodescent, is made “natural” and therefore normal and everyday, through science and its notions of racial hiearchies based on such things as intelligence and physical prowess. The issue today, in postcolonial and postmodern and post-structural thought, is that “intelligence,” for instance, is based on certain assumptions of rationality based mostly on white, northern European thought and hierarchies of reality, spirituality, with the power of defining as it won wars and amassed territories to dominate southern Europeans and what would be considered Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean, Africa, and Central Asia today, obscuring those local traditions of thought and replacing/dominating with their particular notions of “natural” and “normal,” destroying egalitarian societies and cultural forms and thinking in its path.
The hierarchies of color, to be sure, have been globalized and internalized by citizens almost everywhere. However, there is always resistance. Resistance also grows today.
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