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Discuss the meaning of family, with respect to matriarchal societies.

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Family is a small social group consisting of father, mother and their children. According to Nimkoff, ‘Family is more or less a durable association of husband and wife with or without children, or a man or a woman alone, with children.’ In matriarchal society, the authority is vested with the mother or the eldest female of the family and the male serves the purpose of subordinate. 

Following are the features of the family in a matriarchal society : 

• The descent is reckoned through the mother and not the father. Hence, it is a matrilineal system. 

• Marriage relations are transient where the husband is just a casual visitor. 

• The children are brought up in the home of the wife’s relation, i.e., it is matrilocal. 

• The property is also transferred through the mother and is succeeded by daughters. 

• Post marriage (in some matrilineal societies), the bride and groom go to stay at the bride’s maternal uncle’s house.

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