Patriarchy

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(from Gr. patriarkhes; power of the first fathers). Primitive social organization in which authority is exercised by a male head of family, whose power at times extends even to distant relatives of the same lineage. P. also refers to the period in which this system has prevailed. As distinct from the practice under matriarchy, kinship under this system is determined by the paternal line. This system was reinforced when women were displaced from the sphere of production of goods and their efforts centered on domestic tasks. The change coincided with the passage from adaptive technology to trans formative technology, the use of copper, the division between agriculture and animal husbandry, and specialization in various crafts. In all these tasks the main physical burden has fallen on men, which has led to changes in family forms. Later, p. was replaced by more complex civilization as the bronze age gave way to the iron age and the rise of writing and the State. Nevertheless, the structure of domination by men continues, with discrimination against women in managing and decision-making in work and government. In this sense, present-day society still displays patriarchal features characteristic of pre-civilized times.