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Patriarchy

From Academic Kids

A patriarch (from Greek: patria means father; arché means rule, beginning, origin) is a male head of an extended family exercising autocratic authority, or, by extension, a member of the ruling class or government of a society controlled by senior men. The word patriarch also denotes certain high-ranking bishops in some hierarchical churches.

Example

Under patriarchy, if a man whose father (and whose father's father, etc.) has died, has two married sons and two married daughters and 15 grandchildren, then any money earned by either of his two sons belongs, not to the individual who earns the money, but to the family, and he, as patriarch of the family, has authority to decide how the money is to be distributed among the family members. He has no similar authority over his married daughters, who are under the authority of the patriarchs of the families into which they have married.

Anthropologists define patriarchy relatively narrowly, as a society in which men are the "dominant element" in public political affairs.

In politics the word patriarchy refers to any form of social power given disproportionately to men.



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