Patriarchal Society and Neo-patriarchy

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Definition. A society is patriarchal to the degree that it promotes male privilege by being male dominated, male identified, and male centred. It is also organized around an obsession with control and involves as one of its aspects the oppression of women (Johnson, 2005).


An example of a patriarchal society and family system is that of the Muslim societies in Arab countries (Sharabi, 1988). Their society is "male dominated, male identified, and male centred."
Neo-patriarchy is a modernized form of patriarchy but not modernity (Sharabi, 1992; Tamadonfar, 1994). Sharabi demonstrates this as exemplified by the Arab world. by showing how authentic change was blocked and distorted forms and practices subsequently came to dominate all aspects of social existence and activity--among them militant religious fundamentalism, an ideology symptomatic of neo-patriarchal culture.
Elhum Haghighat (2005) says a neo-patriarchal society is a "modernized" patriarchal society going through rapid economic development and modernization as in many oil-producing countries since the mid-1950s. As explained by Sharabi (1988), the process of modernization is a uniquely European phenomenon. Accordingly, only Western societies experienced modernization in a "pure" sense because it happened without interference from other nations. Today's developing countries would not follow the footsteps of Western nations because of their dependent political and economic position and their cultural differences (Sharabi, 1988; Haghighat, 2005).
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