Usually this term is used to refer to a residential kinship group with no male in the role of husband/father being regularly present, and where women constitute the focus of the family. Comparative anthropological research has shown that matrifocality can be a culturally preferred or accepted feature, often but not exclusively in connection with matrilineal descent, as among the Minangkabau in Indonesia, the Na in China, or in some societies of the Afro-Caribbean region (e.g., Barbados). Presently, however, there are many other societies that display a tendency toward the emergence of matrifocal families, though officially such a family structure is still deemed as a social anomaly. Examples include the Middle East where men are expected to wield authority over the female family members, or in parts of China where fathers are the uncontested head of the family, or Cuba with its idea of machismo. Despite the overall value of male domination, these and other regions are witnessing an...
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