Majoria and Minoria

From Community Narrations

Aims of the practice and description of participants

This exercise is designed to help participants understand the feelings associated with relationships where there is a power imbalance

Resources, Materials needed

- 2 different colour pieces of ribbon or string to identify the two groups
- Old newspapers
- Blu-tack
- Coloured paper
- Pens
- Sticky tape and scissors


60-90 minutes

Step-by-step - what has to be done?

NOTE: There should be at least two facilitators to ensure this activity is carried out properly: one facilitator to guide and join each group.
1. Divide participants into two groups and get them to make arm bands for themselves. The Minorians will wear one colour arm bands; Majorians will wear another colour arm band.
2. Separate the two groups into two different rooms or spaces where they cannot hear or see each other’s scenarios. 3. Give the Minorian group the newspaper, string, and blu-tack.
4. Provide the Majorian group with the more luxurious material such as scissors, coloured paper, sticky tape, pens and paper. 5. Give each group their scenario handout. (See the annex of this resource for the Minoria/Majoria handouts).
6. Don’t let the groups hear each other’s scenario until the debriefing following the exercise.
7. Let the scenarios play out according to the instructions on each of the group’s handouts.
8. After the exercise, debrief the participants while they are still in their roles and still wearing their arm bands so they can discuss the experience from their viewpoint.

Suggested discussion questions:
- How easy was it for you to take on your role in the exercise?
- What were your reactions when you entered the other culture?
- What did you think when the ‘experts’ arrived in your culture, especially since they came earlier than expected?
- Did the participants in the other group react as you had anticipated they would?
- What were your expectations for yourself and your culture?
- What were your expectations of the other culture?
- How did you feel at different stages during the exercise?

Conduct a ‘de-robing ceremony’: ask all participants to take off their arm bands and throw them away (Moving participants out of the roles they have played is essential to end any resentment or hostility which may have developed from the simulation). After the de-robing ceremony, ask the participants how it feels to step out of their roles and view the exercise from another perspective.

Learning Outcomes - which skills are addressed?

Some points that need to be emphasised are: it is often difficult to receive help gracefully if that help is given on someone else’s terms. Even though they may have needed technical assistance, the Minorian group probably wanted to maintain pride in their accomplishments; on the other hand, the Majorians may have felt rejected and not appreciated since they came with a genuine interest in helping. They may also have felt they had a right to see the material they brought was properly used and not wasted. In the end, each side needs to develop an understanding of how the other feels about the project. Essentially, this exercise is aimed at showing people the importance of seeing an issue from a totally different point of view. This exercise is also about power. For example, it can be used to develop an understanding of resource distribution and equity within our society. It’s also a good exercise to use if people do not have a direct understanding of what it means to be part of a minority group

How do you check the outcomes are reached?

Group reflection on the process and the emotions.

Further Links/Readings