|Trope · Genre|
|Synonyms:||"pack structure", caste system|
|See Also:||BDSM AU, Alpha/Beta/Omega AU, Sentinel and Guide, werewolf|
|Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom|
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The dominance hierarchy is often related to a character's status in their society, and it is frequently related to their role in mating or pairing off. Some fandoms have a canonical hierarchy, for example Blake's 7, which has Alpha & Delta characters, a concept often explored in more detail in fanfiction.
In fanworks or canons with werewolves -- and in some lacking werewolves -- this type of hierarchy may be described as a "pack structure" with (based on outdated notions of lupine behavior and societies subsequently found to be erroneous) an Alpha (wolf or male), who may be paired with an Alpha female or with a non-Alpha, a second-in-command Beta, etc.
Some types of Alternate Universes posit societies where one type of character may have more opportunities or freedom of choice available to them than their counterparts in the dominance hierarchy. For example:
- the roles/status of "Doms" (or "tops") vs. "subs" in certain BDSM AUs
- the roles/status of Alphas, Betas, and Omegas in Alpha/Beta/Omega societies
- the roles/status of Sentinels vs. Guides in Sentinel AU fic, especially Dark Guide and Dark Sentinel
- the Sime~Gen fandom
- See also Hemospectrum and Bloodswap AUs in Homestuck fandom.