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Up until they were forced off their land, I would have said the family was patriarchal. After the loss of their land, Ma Joad took the emotional load upon herself..... the family turned to her for guidance and advice.... she helped and ecouraged Pa. None-the-less, without her, the family would likely have fallen apart. Thus, in context, I'd say the structure as we know it was matriarchal.
The Grapes of Wrath