Q:

What is the difference between matrilineal and patrilineal societies?

A:

Patrilineal societies are societies in which inheritance and royal succession trace through the father of the family. Matrilineal societies are those in which royal succession and inheritance trace through the mother.

Examples of groups that have matrilineal societies include many Jewish communities, as well as the Cherokee and Navajo Indians. It is important to note that there is a difference between matrilineal and matriarchal. It is entirely possible for a society to have a female line of inheritance of title and property, but still be a society that is controlled primarily by men.

The Jewish culture is an example of one that has matrilineal descent. For example, in many communities, if a person’s mother is Jewish and father is not, the child still counts as Jewish since the line traces through the mother. In some matrilineal societies, matrilineal surnames are passed down from mother to daughter instead of the more traditional patrilineal surnames that go from father to son.

Most cultures in Europe were patrilineal, such as the one in England. Even when a woman inherited power, such as with Elizabeth I, it happened only because there were no other men who qualified in the line. Elizabeth still inherited the title from her father, Henry VIII.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    What is modernization theory?

    A:

    Modernization theory describes the development and process of modernization in societies, particularly in regard to the industrial societies of North America and Western Europe. It posits that the development of a society can be predicted in stages from its inception to its growth into a fully modern culture.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a broken family?

    A:

    A broken family is a family that has split or separated due to a variety of reasons. This leads to children being raised by single parents, stepparents or others not related to the biological parents.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How does family shape identity?

    A:

    Family shapes identity through affecting self-confidence, political identity and occupational identity, according to Global Post. Although individual identity is influenced by many other factors, the family is the first group with which a child identifies, and familial interactions influence attitudes and beliefs well into adulthood.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the role of a family in society?

    A:

    Although some cultural variance exists, the primary role of a family in society is to foster an environment where children learn skills, morals and values. Families provide initial socialization for children that shapes their self-worth, attitudes, values and behaviors. Families create structure and stability in the lives of family members.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore