Social Institutions: Continuity And Change

Social Institutions: Continuity And Change


Explain the differences between matriliny and matriarchy.


(A) Matriliny

(i) In these societies, the property passes on to daughter from mother.

(ii) A woman thus, inherits property from her mother and passes it on to her. daughter while a man controls his sister's property and passes on control to his sister's son. Thus inheritance passes from mother to daughter whereas control passes from maternal uncle to nephew.

(iii) This matrilin generates intense role conflict for men because they are torn between their responsibilities to their natal house on the one hand and to their wife and children on the other.

(iv) Such role conflict generates the constraits for woman because she can never be fully assured that her husband does not find his sister's house a more congenial place than her own. Similarly, a sister will be apprehensive about her brother's commitment to her welfare because the wife with whom he lives can always pull him away from his responsibilities to his natal house. Thus, woman possession is only a token authority.

(b) Matriarchy : (i) It is woman who exercises authority and dominant role in such society.

(ii) It is merely a theoretical concept and in behaviour, it does not allow the woman real power of dominance.

(iii) There is historical or anthropological evidence of matriarchy.

(iv) Matriarchy in real sense is not existed in matrilineal families.

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