Rule by old men. A term introduced by social anthropologists in the 1930s to describe certain societies in Africa south of the Sahara, in which social stratification was based on age-sets or age-grades , public roles were allocated by age-grade (as well as gender), with governance functions allocated to the oldest age-group. The term is now used more generally to describe societies in which the most senior decision-making and political roles are dominated by the oldest males, with negative consequences in periods of rapid change and instability, when innovation and flexibility are at a premium.

Dictionary of sociology. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Gerontocracy — Ger on*toc ra*cy, n. [Gr. ?, ?, an old man + ? to rule.] Government by old men. [R.] Gladstone. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • gerontocracy — rule by old men, 1830, from Gk. geront , from geron “old man” (see GERONTOLOGY (Cf. gerontology)) + kratia “rule” (see CRACY (Cf. cracy)). Related: Gerontocratic …   Etymology dictionary

  • gerontocracy — [jer΄ən tä′krə sē] n. [altered (modeled on CRACY) < Fr gérontocratie < Gr geronto (see GERONTOLOGY) + kratia, CRACY] 1. government by old men 2. pl. gerontocracies a governing group composed of old men gerontocratic [jə rän΄tə krat′ik] a …   English World dictionary

  • Gerontocracy — A gerontocracy is a form of oligarchical rule in which an entity is ruled by leaders who are significantly older than most of the adult population. Often the political structure is such that political power within the ruling class accumulates… …   Wikipedia

  • gerontocracy — noun (plural cies) Etymology: French gérontocratie, from géronto geront + cratie cracy Date: 1830 rule by elders; specifically a form of social organization in which a group of old men or a council of elders dominates or exercises control •… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • gerontocracy — gerontocrat /jeuh ron teuh krat /, n. gerontocratic, adj. /jer euhn tok reuh see, jear /, n., pl. gerontocracies. 1. government by a council of elders. 2. a governing body consisting of old people. 3. a state or government in which old people… …   Universalium

  • gerontocracy — noun Government by elders …   Wiktionary

  • gerontocracy — government by the aged Forms of Government …   Phrontistery dictionary

  • gerontocracy — ge·ron·toc·ra·cy || ‚dÊ’erÉ™n tÉ‘krÉ™sɪ / rÉ’n tÉ’k n. governing body composed of old people; government ruled and controlled by old men …   English contemporary dictionary

  • gerontocracy — [ˌdʒɛrən tɒkrəsi] noun a state, society, or group governed by old people. ↘government based on rule by old people. Derivatives gerontocrat noun gerontocratic adjective …   English new terms dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.