The dominant culture is the culture of the dominant social grouping. It is not necessarily the culture of the majority (though it often is) but rather the culture of those who have the resources, assets, and means by which to control the cultural mileaux of a society. The dominant social groupings sphere of influence affects language, fashion, norms, values, behaving, and thinking.
Dominant cultures always contain scripts and programs which support the economic and political interests of the dominant social groupings, and ensure uninterrupted operation of The System. For example, in western societies the dominant cultures emphasize hard work and achievement (i.e., wage slavery), respect for property owners, and individual responsibility for the manifestation of individual reality. These cultural/ideological prescriptions ensure people accept wage slavery and, more importantly for those who benefit from the exploitation and callous disregard for human life, dignity, and right, blame themselves when they are unable to find an acceptable niche within which to jack themselves into The System.
Dominant cultures are generally imposed on individuals. They are imposed as part of the socialization process by parents, teachers, and the media. The implicit violence of the dominant cultural is explicitly expressed during periods of colonial expansion. For example, in Canada and in North America, European colonizers engaged in a violent and brutal suppression of traditional native cultures culture. Efforts of European colonizers extended to the theft of children from their parents, forced relocations, and the imposition of systems of apartheid designed to decimate the physical units of native dwellers.
Counter Cultures can be seen as attempts to resist the imposition of the values, scripts, and programs of the dominant culture. Counter cultures though often initially revolutionary in intent are often absorbed into the Dominant Culture. The history of musical forms of resistance is a particularly interesting example of the ability of the dominant culture to absorb cultural alternatives.