Tree of patriarchy and Bernard Deacon

An illustration of the tree of patriarchy by Esther L. Danielson

The Tree of Patriarchy is a metaphor used to describe the system of patriarchy. It appears in Allan G. Johnson’s The Gender Knot (1997), who borrowed the idea from R. Roosevelt Thomas Jr. (1991). The metaphor uses the parts of a tree to illustrate how patriarchy is shaped by and performs in society.

The roots of the tree illustrate the deep-seated nature of patriarchy in western society. Patriarchy finds it roots in the core principles of male dominance, centrism, and control. These values are rooted deeply and firmly within western society. We can see male dominance most primarily in the workplace – men dominate CEO positions, as well as upper-level government positions. The language that we use denotes a fixation on everything male. The gender dynamics that we experience everyday are shaped by deep-rooted male control (Johnson, 1997). The roots are also complex, showing that patriarchy is hard to untangle and remove (Johnson, 2013).

The trunk is a metaphor for the institutions within society that are shaped by and, in turn, support patriarchy. These institutions include education, politics, sciences, arts, and the economy (Johnson, 2013). These institutions are something in which we participate every day. The knowledge and language created within these realms permeates the way we view the world. These institutions are built on the roots of patriarchy, and are responsible for the reflection of these values onto broader society (Johnson, 2013).

The branches are the way in which individuals (represented by the leaves) interact with patriarchy. The branches affect our everyday lives and include communities, organizations, legal structures (such as marriage) and our families (ibid.). When we go to school, we learn about a patriarchal world view. When we work within the community and organizations we are expected to act a certain way. The leaves – individuals- are the result of the systems of patriarchy, and it is their activities that sustain the entire tree (Johnson, 1997).

The leaves on the tree are passive, and do not object to being a part of the tree. However, humans are not as passive as leaves. If individuals choose to separate themselves from the tree, then the whole system will lose its power and die (Johnson, 2013).

Johnson (1997, 2013) is careful to point out that breaking the links between patriarchy and individual is not as simple as it may seem in the tree metaphor, he simply wishes to illustrate that consciously stepping away from patriarchy is only the first step. In order to fully dismantle patriarchy, Johnson says it has to be dismantled at the roots were it is most complex. To do this, all who participate in society must question its foundations and the knowledge that shapes it (Smith, 2007).

The metaphor of the tree is not only useful in illustrating the patriarchal system, but in other systems of oppression as well, such as classism, racism, or ableism (Johnson, 2013).

Bernard Deacon and Tree of patriarchy

Bernard W. Deacon is a multidisciplinary academic, based at the Institute of Cornish Studies of the University of Exeter at the Tremough Campus. He has an Open University doctorate and displays his thesis on the ICS website.

Contents 1 Academic career 2 Publications 2.1 In book form 2.2 In Cornish studies 3 Work in progress 4 External links 5 References

Academic career

Deacon has worked for the Open University and Exeter University’s Department of Lifelong Learning. In 2001, he joined the Institute of Cornish Studies and is the director of the Institute's Masters degree programme in Cornish Studies. His main research interests are: 18th and 19th century Cornish communities The Cornish language and its revitalisation Cornwall's population and how it has changed How peripheral regions are governed Who are the Cornish and how their identity is presented

Deacon is a fluent Cornish language speaker, and represents the Institute of Cornish Studies on the Cornish Language Partnership. In 2007, he was re-elected as Chairman of Cussel an Tavaz Kernuak (The Cornish language Council). Publications In book form Cornwall at the crossroads : living communities or leisure zone?, with Andrew George and Ronald Perry. Cornish Social & Economic Research Group, 1988. ISBN 0-9513918-0-1 Liskeard & its People in the 19th Century. Self-published, 1989. ISBN 0-9515355-0-1 The reformulation of territorial identity : Cornwall in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Open University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-1238843-9 Mebyon Kernow and Cornish Nationalism, with Dick Cole and Garry Tregidga. Cardiff: Welsh Academic Press, 2003. ISBN 012379714 The Cornish Family: the roots of our future; with Sharron Schwartz and David Holman; Cornwall Editions 2004. ISBN 1-904880-01-0 Cornwall: the Concise History, (The Histories of Europe series). Cardiff: University of Wales Press, (November 2007) ISBN 978-0-7083-2032-7 (hardback) 978-0-7083-2031-0 (paperback) Cornwall and the Cornish; Penzance, Alison Hodge (2010) ISBN 978-0-906720-72-1 (small format paperback, lavishly illustrated). The Land's End? The Great Sale of Cornwall; Cornish Social & Economic Research Group, 2013 ISBN 978-0-9513918-1-5 (paperback). In Cornish studies

Deacon has prolific publications in learned journals. The following were published in the Institute's journal: “Cornish or Klingon?: the standardization of the Cornish language”; Exeter, The University of Exeter Press; Cornish studies edited by Philip Payton, New series, No. Fourteen (2006). ISBN 978-0-85989-799-0, ISSN 1352-271X. pp 13–23. "From 'Cornish Studies' to 'Critical Cornish Studies': reflections on methodology"; Cornish studies: Twelve (2004). ISBN 978-0-85989-799-0,pp. 13–29. "Propaganda and the Tudor state or propaganda of the Tudor historians?; Cornish studies: Eleven (2003) ISBN 0-85989-747-8. pp.317–328. "The New Cornish Studies: new discipline or rhetorically defined space?";Cornish studies: Ten (2002) ISBN 0-85989-733-8. pp. 24–33 "In Search of the 'Missing Turn': The Spatial Dimension and Cornish Studies";Cornish studies: Eight (2000) ISBN 0-85989-682-X.. pp. 213–230. "Breaking the chains and forging new links"";Cornish studies: Eight (2000) ISBN 0-85989-682-X. pp. 231–234. "A Forgotten Migration Stream: The Cornish Movement to England and Wales in the Nineteenth Century'"; Cornish studies: Six (1998) ISBN 0-85989-610-2 .pp. 96–117. "Proto-industrialization and potatoes: a revised narrative for 19th century Cornwall" Cornish studies: Five (1997). ISBN 0-85989-551-3. pp. 60–84. "Language Revival and Language Debate: Modernity and Postmodernity"; Cornish studies: Four (1996). ISBN 0-85989-523-8 pp. 88–106. "Re-inventing Cornwall: Culture Change on the European Periphery" with Philip Payton; Cornish studies: One (1993). ISBN 0-85989-413-4 pp. 62–79 “Heroic individualists: the Cornish Miners and the Five-Week Month”, Cornish Studies (old series): 14 (1986) pp. 39–52. “Attempts at Unionism by Cornish metal miners in 1866”, Cornish Studies (old series): 10 (1982) pp. 27–36. Work in progress Cornish surnames, their origin and spread External links The Cornish Community Programme: Working papers: includes work by Bernard Deacon.
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