Hyper or Hypo Descent – Mixed Races/ the Theory

Hyper or Hypo Descent – Mixed Races/ the Theory

Thru war and migration patterns, people have been moving about and breeding within and outside of their ethnic groups. Which has led to a state of many people having genetic history from more than one ethnicity.

Whether they “pass” among the dominant social group or not, often determines how they are treated by those in power. Esp in times when their primary ethnic group is at war with the primary group of that place.

And when there are issues such as slavery of the lower power group, this can determine if you are now considered a chattel, or commodity, rather than a person. And can determine if you are given basic human rights, such as owning property, freedom of movement, and voting.
Men often get more status than women as well. But that can be swayed by how masculine they are perceived to be by the primary power group.Which is not by their own culture’s standards, but those of the one in power. Which may be led in brute strength, leadership, or intellectual opportunities.
And women are more treasured by how compliant they are to those in power. not necessarily standards held within their own group. But how their efforts support the causes of the group in power.

The group in power is looking for ways to assimilate or separate the lesser power groups. So they sort them by whatever bias works for their aims. And the easiest ones are appearance and behaviour.

And a blood mix where the woman is the lower ethnic group is more readily favoured.

Racism is systemic. We as individuals do get advantages since it exists. But one person rarely has enough power or influence to carry out a war or riot, to truly assimilate or separate someone who doesn’t meet the goals of our biases. One person can rape or murder someone they feel is lesser in status than they are. But that rarely makes others around them feel that unsafe. If it’s a once happening event. If it’s a pattern of behaviour, it may have more effect, depending how safe the group feels.

And that would depend on what their relationship is with those in power, how assimilated they are, as well as their appearance and status.

Often this is all down to how much of the lesser ethnc group they have in their “blood”. Such as the “one drop rule” in the American south. and Metis status in the Canadian “Indian” act. To what degree does this person belong to the villified group?

……. sources for more reading

First, individual racism involves those individuals who hold racist beliefs. Here racist ideas often overlap with such concepts as prejudice, xenophobia, bigotry, and intolerance. But the key distinguishing feature of individual racism is that the group differences are viewed as innate and unchangeable. If assimilation or conversion is viewed as possible, then intolerance is involved but not racism. Second, situational racism occurs when racist behavior is shaped by the social context. This occurs when face-to-face situations are patterned, based on racist beliefs, to place one group in an inferior position in intergroup interaction. This occurs, for example, when one racial group in a situation possesses most of the resources that emphasize the status differences between the groups. Finally, third, structural and cultural racism results when a society’s institutions are shaped by racist beliefs and results in group discrimination. Indeed, racism’s effects can invade virtually all of a society’s institutions. Thus, racism differentiates human beings from one another by presumed “races,” and this leads to unequal access to resources and opportunities as well as to other forms of inequality such as gender-, ethnic-, and class-based inequity. Much of the research on racism has focused on anti-black racism in the United States; but non-American references with other racist targets are included.
Thomas Pettigrew

Marxism and the concept of racism


Feminist sociologist Patricia Hill Collins (1990) developed intersection theory, which suggests we cannot separate the effects of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and other attributes.
Lumen Learning


the definition of hypo and hyper descent where mixed race children and people are linked to either the more dominant or lower status group by image.


cultural entrenchment of America’s traditional racial hierarchy, which assigns the highest status to whites, followed by Asians, with Latinos and blacks at the bottom.
Harvard Gazette


This research establishes that the use of hypodescent extends to minority as well as majority perceivers but also shows that the beliefs associated with the use of hypodescent differ as a function of perceiver social status. In doing so, we broaden the social scientific understanding of hypodescent, showing how it can be an inclusionary rather than exclusionary phenomenon.

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