Co-culture refers to a group of people that are not part of the dominant structure of society, nor do they contribute to this structure. This often includes minorities or ethnic groups.
The study of how the co-culture, or subculture, communicates with the dominant societal structure is known as co-culture theory. The theory dictates that people who are part of the co-culture communicate differently with the dominant culture. This includes working to eliminate stereotypes, trying to pass as a member of the dominant culture, building connections and even avoiding the dominant culture completely. Each of these communication strategies reflects the difference in power between the two groups.