A minority group is a sociological category within a demographic, the term refers to a category that is differentiated and defined by the social majority, that is, those who hold the majority of positions of social power in a society. The differentiation between majority and minority can based on one or more observable human characteristics including for example, ethnicity, race, gender wealth, health or sexual orientation.
Sociologist Louis wirth defined a minority group as "a group of people, because of their physical or cultural characteristics are singled out from the others in the society in which they live for deferential and unequal treatment, and who therefore, regard themselves as object of collective discrimination". Minority group in a society can be categorized into many category such as:-
- Racial or ethnic minorities – Every society contains ethnic minorities and linguistic minorities. Their life style, language, culture and origin can differ from the majority. The minority status is conditioned not only by clearly numerical relations but also by question of political power. Such as Blacks in South Africa under apartheid.
- Gender and sexuality minorities - In most of the societies including India men and women are considered equal still some people perceive status of women as a 'subordinate' group has laid some to equate them with minority. The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are also considered as sexual minorities.
Person belonging to religions minorities have a faith which is different from that hold by the majority.
Most countries including India have, religious minorities for example Islam, Christianity,
Jainism, Sikhism considered as minority group in India.