Gerontocracy


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Gerontocracy

 

a term introduced by the English ethnologist W. Rivers, at the beginning of the 20th century, to designate an early form of society in which power allegedly belonged to the elders. Rivers considered gerontocracy to be characteristic for the Australians and certain peoples of Oceania. In actual fact, the influential position held by the elder members of the commune is only one of the elements of supreme power among various peoples in primitive communal society.

References in periodicals archive ?
Conclusive evidence of the power of the Australian gerontocracy is that while the cost-benefit tradeoffs were barely considered in the introduction of Simpler Super, this was the only item explicitly excluded from Henry's terms of reference.
Ms Harman said: "No-one wants the BBC to be a gerontocracy, dominated by elders.
This oligarchical rule embedded with gerontocracy of ideas governing the country were believed to be more palatable to the country's badly damaged military establishment, and they are defrauding the country's national interest for the sake of their own protection.
Reagan only half-jokingly responded that it was kind of tough to engage with the Soviet gerontocracy when its leaders kept dying on him.
Delegates from over 80 countries chose a new line-up of mostly middle-aged men raised under Israeli occupation, replacing veterans whom many viewed as a gerontocracy clinging to power from a comfortable exile.
The trouble, as far as Moscow was concerned, was that the Soviet Union's gerontocracy under Leonid Brezhnev and his two moribund successors, lacked the will to embark on a war that might have spread to Pakistan and even provoked a showdown with the US.
Then there was the "Able Archer" episode of this period, where the USSR nearly launched a nuclear war because of the paranoia of the ruling Soviet gerontocracy.
The issue of population aging comes full circle towards the end of the book when the authors express the Merchants' concern about the rise of a gerontocracy, "a country dominated and ruled by elders.
Kim would constantly have to keep an eye on his father's comrades, the powerful gerontocracy.
Important ethnological concepts and topics such as men's houses, male initiation, age grading and setting, patrilinearity, gerontocracy, reproductive virility, and Mannerbunde (2) ubiquitously seem to require a bivariate plotting of manhood, yet much more divergently than in anthropological uses of Oedipal, archetypal, and Eriksonian psychology.
However, as the ''young turks'' squeeze out the dogmatic gerontocracy in Beijing, China is increasingly resorting to ''soft power'' tactics instead of saber rattling in its mission to unify Taiwan with the mainland, said Steve Chen, Conflict Studies and Research Center Director at Taiwan's Chang Jung Christian University.
I suspect that by then there will be a desire on the part of the public for a younger Head of State rather than what might be viewed as a further instalment of Windsor gerontocracy.