The BIG Thinkers
... oppressive owning class of bourgeoisie, Socialist and Marxist feminists
apply a gendered analysis to the world and conclude that a system of
deliberate ‘profit’ from oppression exists which is maintained by
patriarchy. For them, patriarchy is oppressive in the same way as the
bourgeoisie. They belie ...
A Mundurucú Myth - University of Essex
... Edmund Leach, ‘If myths do not mean what they appear to mean, how do they come to mean
anything at all?’
Lévi-Strauss, the French anthropologist, revolutionised the way anthropologists understood myths.
he borrowed his structural analysis from Saussurean linguistics. He looked at the elements of a
A matriarchy is a social organizational form in which the mother or oldest female heads the family. Descent and relationship are determined through the female line. It is also government or rule by a woman or women. While those definitions apply in general English, definitions specific to the disciplines of anthropology and feminism differ in some respects.Most anthropologists hold that there are no known societies that are unambiguously matriarchal, but some authors believe that exceptions are possible, some of them in the past. Matriarchies may also be confused with matrilineal, matrilocal, and matrifocal societies. A few people consider any non-patriarchal system to be matriarchal, thus including genderally equalitarian systems, but most academics exclude them from matriarchies strictly defined.In 19th century Western scholarship, the hypothesis of matriarchy representing an early stage of human development—now mostly lost in prehistory, with the exception of some so-called primitive societies—enjoyed popularity. The hypothesis survived into the 20th century and was notably advanced in the context of second-wave feminism. This hypothesis, however, suffered criticism by some authors, including Camille Paglia and Cynthia Eller, and remains as a largely unsolved question to this day, although most scholars agree there were no completely matriarchal societies. Some older myths describe matriarchies. Several modern feminists have advocated for matriarchy now or in the future and it has appeared in feminist fiction. In several theologies, matriarchy has been seen as a negative force.