/pay"tree ahr'kee/, n., pl. patriarchies.
1. a form of social organization in which the father is the supreme authority in the family, clan, or tribe and descent is reckoned in the male line, with the children belonging to the father's clan or tribe.
2. a society, community, or country based on this social organization.
[1555-65; < Gk patriarchía. See PATRIARCH, -Y3]

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▪ social system
      hypothetical social system in which the father or a male elder has absolute authority over the family group; by extension, one or more men (as in a council) exert absolute authority over the community as a whole. Building on the theories of biological evolution developed by Charles Darwin (Darwin, Charles), many 19th-century scholars sought to form a theory of unilinear cultural evolution. This hypothesis, now discredited, suggested that human social organization “evolved” through a series of stages: animalistic sexual promiscuity was followed by matriarchy, which was in turn followed by patriarchy.

      The consensus among modern anthropologists (anthropology) and sociologists (sociology) is that while power is often preferentially bestowed on one sex or the other, patriarchy is not the cultural universal it was once thought to be. However, some scholars continue to use the term in the general sense for descriptive, analytical, and pedagogical purposes.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Patriarchy — Pa tri*arch y, n. [Gr. patriarchi a.] 1. The jurisdiction of a patriarch; patriarchship. Brerewood. [1913 Webster] 2. Government by a patriarch; patriarchism. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • patriarchy — (n.) 1560s, in ecclesiastical sense, from Gk. patriarchia, from patriarches (see PATRIARCH (Cf. patriarch)). Meaning system of society or government by fathers or elder males of the community first recorded 1630s …   Etymology dictionary

  • patriarchy — ► NOUN (pl. patriarchies) 1) a form of social organization in which the father or eldest male is the head of the family and descent is reckoned through the male line. 2) a system of society in which men hold most or all of the power …   English terms dictionary

  • patriarchy — [pā′trēär΄kē] n. pl. patriarchies [Gr patriarchia: see PATRIARCH] 1. a form of social organization in which the father or the eldest male is recognized as the head of the family or tribe, descent and kinship being traced through the male line 2.… …   English World dictionary

  • Patriarchy — For other uses, see Patriarchy (disambiguation). Part of the Politics series Basic forms of government …   Wikipedia

  • patriarchy — [[t]pe͟ɪtriɑː(r)ki[/t]] patriarchies 1) N UNCOUNT Patriarchy is a system in which men have all or most of the power and importance in a society or group. The main cause of women s and children s oppression is patriarchy. 2) N COUNT A patriarchy… …   English dictionary

  • patriarchy — UK [ˈpeɪtrɪˌɑː(r)kɪ] / US [ˈpeɪtrɪˌɑrkɪ] noun [countable/uncountable] Word forms patriarchy : singular patriarchy plural patriarchies 1) a society, system, or organization in which men have all or most of the power and influence See: matriarchy… …   English dictionary

  • patriarchy — noun (plural chies) Date: 1632 1. social organization marked by the supremacy of the father in the clan or family, the legal dependence of wives and children, and the reckoning of descent and inheritance in the male line; broadly control by men… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Patriarchy (anthropology) — Patriarchy (from Greek: patria meaning father and arché meaning rule) is the anthropological term used to define the condition where male members of a society tend to predominate in positions of power; with the more powerful the position, the… …   Wikipedia

  • Patriarchy in feminism — Patriarchy is an important concept in feminism. Although the narrowest definition of patriarchy is father rule , this leaves out the far reaching social consequences of the way of thinking that underlies this social practice. Patriarchy is most… …   Wikipedia

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