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 ?
The government routinely reviews manuscipts by former officials in order to protect classified information; according to Thomas DeFrank, Baker's co-author, the bureau's criticisms of the book's chapter on China "were aimed less at guarding national security than at protecting the feelings of Beijing's hypersensitive gerontocrats.
The gerontocrats who sat in the Kremlin before Gorbachev, while happy to grab whatever fell into their laps, were no -great adventurers.
As reciprocal a policy as possible needs to be devised, and I will continue to work for all Middle Eastern dictators to find their comeuppance, whether the genocidal Iranian leader or the callous gerontocrats who rule Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
6) In a set piece that divides, and yet in some sense unites the gerontocrats, the two fathers fight a duel but neither is killed.