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 ?
Bozhidar Dimitrov, Director of Bulgaria's National History Museum, has said that the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI marks a brand new episode in the struggle to deal with gerontocracy, a flaw of the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox Churches.
In that sense, the transparency campaign could also be read as a sort of "youth movement" within an institution often perceived as a gerontocracy.
Romeu said the moves have been a conscious decision "not fall into the gerontocracy trap that Cuba, for example, is in.
And we have a chief minister who'd be better off as a cartoon character presiding over a state that thought it had ushered in a new age after voting out a gerontocracy that swore by Stalin.
Although the Amis did not practice gerontocracy in the sense of strictly age seniority and relied on the initiatory sons to protect the villages, the superiority of the elder fathers was emphasised due to the fact that they had the power both to give blessings (lmed) and ancestral support ('afang) as well as to refuse them on behalf of their ancestors.
The sight of King Abdullah and his closest brothers all in a line and bent over on wobbling canes brings into clear focus what a gerontocracy the kingdom has become.
FREDERICK LYNCH'S DEEP POINT ABOUT boomers and the gerontocracy is that even though senior citizens themselves haven't organized into an effective political movement, AARP has made itself a de facto power by speaking in their name.
As part of imposing colonial rule on the Igbo, the British removed the traditional rulers, or gerontocracy, who governed much of Igboland, and replaced them with "warrant chiefs"--that is, chiefs who were given a warrant to rule for the British.
In Nation, the writer Geoffrey Dutton contrasted this grim gerontocracy with the vibrant image of our country overseas, bounding from triumphs in the tennis court to bulldozing another million acres or two of virgin bush.
She writes, "Shrouded in secrecy, it is a scheming mini-empire comprising a veritable gerontocracy far more extreme than Deng Xiaoping's China, a fantastic economic base in a clandestine gold trade, and an upper-crust population who relies for their well-being on altogether unproductive occupations beginning with, basically, doing nothing, not going anywhere, practicing yoga, and taking unidentified drugs" (544).
They point out that the gerontocracy belongs to all political parties:
The new coalition includes remnants of the revolutionary generation (most of whom are in their seventies or eighties), but beneath this gerontocracy, a "successor generation" of military elites and party provincial secretaries has emerged.