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Re-thinking ‘Matriarchy’ in Modern Matriarchal Studies using two examples: The Khasi and the Mosuo

Re-thinking ‘Matriarchy’ in Modern Matriarchal Studies using two examples: The Khasi and the Mosuo The new field of modern Matriarchal Studies calls non-patriarchal societies ‘matriarchal.’ Traditional research on matriarchy is laden with unclear definitions and excessive emotionality. Lacking a clear scientific definition of ‘matriarchy,’ the term has been misunderstood as ‘rule by women,’ provoking a lasting, ideologically distorted prejudice against it. Modern matriarchal studies reorients the field with precise definitions, an explicit methodology, and a theoretical framework (Introduction). This article argues for the importance of retaining the term ‘matriarchy’ and using a new and adequate structural definition of matriarchal societies to understand their deep structure. My argument derives inductively from my cross-cultural research on existing indigenous societies, emphasizing their economic, social, political, and cultural features. Matriarchies will be shown to be gender-egalitarian and consensus-based societies, actively promoting peace and sustainablity by various well-conceived guidelines (Part 1). A brief description of two such societies follows: the Khasi of Northeastern India and the Mosuo of Southwestern China. The focus is not on their ethnographic similarities and differences, but on what makes them ‘matriarchies’ and how the definition can embrace a certain variety, deepening our understanding of these societies (Part 2). Concluding remarks summarize the preceding discussion and highlight the political relevance of this topic. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Asian Journal of Women's Studies Taylor & Francis

Re-thinking ‘Matriarchy’ in Modern Matriarchal Studies using two examples: The Khasi and the Mosuo

Asian Journal of Women's Studies , Volume 24 (1): 25 – Jan 2, 2018

Re-thinking ‘Matriarchy’ in Modern Matriarchal Studies using two examples: The Khasi and the Mosuo

Asian Journal of Women's Studies , Volume 24 (1): 25 – Jan 2, 2018

Abstract

The new field of modern Matriarchal Studies calls non-patriarchal societies ‘matriarchal.’ Traditional research on matriarchy is laden with unclear definitions and excessive emotionality. Lacking a clear scientific definition of ‘matriarchy,’ the term has been misunderstood as ‘rule by women,’ provoking a lasting, ideologically distorted prejudice against it. Modern matriarchal studies reorients the field with precise definitions, an explicit methodology, and a theoretical framework (Introduction). This article argues for the importance of retaining the term ‘matriarchy’ and using a new and adequate structural definition of matriarchal societies to understand their deep structure. My argument derives inductively from my cross-cultural research on existing indigenous societies, emphasizing their economic, social, political, and cultural features. Matriarchies will be shown to be gender-egalitarian and consensus-based societies, actively promoting peace and sustainablity by various well-conceived guidelines (Part 1). A brief description of two such societies follows: the Khasi of Northeastern India and the Mosuo of Southwestern China. The focus is not on their ethnographic similarities and differences, but on what makes them ‘matriarchies’ and how the definition can embrace a certain variety, deepening our understanding of these societies (Part 2). Concluding remarks summarize the preceding discussion and highlight the political relevance of this topic.

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References (33)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 2018 Asian Center for Women's Studies, Ewha Womans University
ISSN
2377-004X
eISSN
1225-9276
DOI
10.1080/12259276.2017.1421293
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The new field of modern Matriarchal Studies calls non-patriarchal societies ‘matriarchal.’ Traditional research on matriarchy is laden with unclear definitions and excessive emotionality. Lacking a clear scientific definition of ‘matriarchy,’ the term has been misunderstood as ‘rule by women,’ provoking a lasting, ideologically distorted prejudice against it. Modern matriarchal studies reorients the field with precise definitions, an explicit methodology, and a theoretical framework (Introduction). This article argues for the importance of retaining the term ‘matriarchy’ and using a new and adequate structural definition of matriarchal societies to understand their deep structure. My argument derives inductively from my cross-cultural research on existing indigenous societies, emphasizing their economic, social, political, and cultural features. Matriarchies will be shown to be gender-egalitarian and consensus-based societies, actively promoting peace and sustainablity by various well-conceived guidelines (Part 1). A brief description of two such societies follows: the Khasi of Northeastern India and the Mosuo of Southwestern China. The focus is not on their ethnographic similarities and differences, but on what makes them ‘matriarchies’ and how the definition can embrace a certain variety, deepening our understanding of these societies (Part 2). Concluding remarks summarize the preceding discussion and highlight the political relevance of this topic.

Journal

Asian Journal of Women's StudiesTaylor & Francis

Published: Jan 2, 2018

Keywords: Definition of matriarchy; Khasi matriarchy; Mosuo matriarchy; modern Matriarchal Studies; matriarchy in indigenous societies; Definition von Matriarchat; das Matriarchat der Khasi; das Matriarchat der Mosuo; Moderne Matriarchatsforschung; Matriarchat bei indigenen Gesellschaften

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