respectability politics

[ ri-spek-tuh-bil-i-tee pol-i-tiks ]
/ rɪˌspɛk təˈbɪl ɪ ti ˌpɒl ɪ tɪks /

noun (used with a singular or plural verb)

the set of beliefs holding that conformity to socially acceptable or mainstream standards of appearance and behavior will protect a member of a marginalized or minority group from prejudices and systemic injustices: Black respectability politics perpetuate the fiction of a meritocracy in public education.

Origin of respectability politics

First recorded in 1995–2000
Also called pol·i·tics of re·spect·a·bil·i·ty. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019