For many years the concept of family has remained stable and immovable. Family units had clear actors and, unless it were for force majeure, they have been built from the father, mother and children.
For a few years now, society has been changing , the new generations have a very different mentality from that of their fathers and grandparents, the laws are less restrictive and more lax in regard to individual freedoms and life options, for example. they are generally much more spacious than ever.
Homosexual couples, adopted children, single mother and parents, childless marriages, have ceased to be remote exceptions and are now gaining a foothold in the normality of a complex and dynamic society. Times change and with them the concept of family and the family structure have also changed.
Do you know what the definition of matrifocal family is ? In the following FastlyHealarticle we will explain everything you need to know about it.
Matrifocal family meaning
If the prototypical family unit is the one represented by the father, the mother and the children, the matrifocal family, also called the matrixcentric family, is that in which the family nucleus only consists of the mother and the children , either permanently or temporarily. long periods of time. The absence of the father can be due to many reasons, whether cultural such as polygyny or separation of the sexes, whether economic , parental need to emigrate or military activity or death of the father.
It is a fairly common mistake to confuse matrifocality and gynecocracy , when they are two very different concepts. Gynecocracy is something very unusual, which has only occurred in certain areas in some governments in history, which is that power is fully in the hands of women. Matrifocality for its part has nothing to do with the political order, it is simply an anthropological term to define the forms of family structure.
Throughout history and in most cultures there has been some case of a matrifocal family, either due to the father’s need to emigrate or because of his death. But if we look at the cases of societies that are based on this social order, that is, that normality is matrifocality, we no longer find so many.
A paradigmatic case of a matrifocal family is the one that occurs in the Fur ethnic group in Sudan , where for long periods of time men live apart from their family in residences for this purpose. For very different reasons, matrifocal societies were also formed in some Afro-Caribbean tribes , in this case forced by the forced enslavement of men.
Today this concept takes on special relevance because, with some historical exceptions, in today’s Western society there are many cases of sought matrifocality . More and more mothers decide to have children by themselves, either by natural or artificial insemination, breaking the mold of what has been the traditional family.
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