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Polygamous Families in Contemporary Society

Polygamous Families in Contemporary Society

$47.99 (C)

  • Date Published: July 1996
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521567312

$ 47.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • In this intriguing book, social psychologist Irwin Altman and anthropologist Joseph Ginat examine husband-wife and wife-wife relationships in contemporary Mormon polygamous families. The authors describe how husbands and wives in plural families cope with their complex lifestyle in various facets of everyday life, including courtship, weddings, honeymoons, adjustments to a new life, living arrangements, and the husband's rotation among wives. Other topics include budget and resource management, psychological attachments to homes, and the social-emotional relationships among family members. This pioneering, comprehensive analysis of life in modern day Mormon polygamous families uses first-hand interviews and observations to describe this unusual family lifestyle. It adds to our understanding of close relationships and complements knowledge on other modern relationship forms, such as single-parent families, blended families, and cohabitating partners. This is important reading for researchers in social psychology, anthropology, and religious studies. Lay readers will also find the subject matter to be fascinating.

    • Rich in case materials describing life and the husband-wife and wife-wife relationships in 24 polygamous families
    • Interdisciplinary, cross-cultural approach to polygamous relationships
    • Altman is well-known and highly respectedsocial psychologist
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "An exhaustive, fine piece of scholarship; it is timely and should be read with great interest--not just by scholars but by the wider educated public as well." Philip Kilbride, author of Plural Marriage for Our Times

    "Based on interviews, observations, and ethnographic materials, the authors research provides a rich description and analysis of life in plural families....The authors have written an objective and sympatheic account of the structure and dynamics of fundamentalist Mormon families in contemporary America. Highly recommended." D.A. Chekki, Choice

    "Their comprehensive analysis of life in present-day fundamentalist groups, both urban and rural, is scholarly, dispassionate, and very readable. Their research will be used and cited for years to come." Utah Historical Quarterly

    "This volume is a complete, detailed work that is contemporary in nature....This book of research will enable the reader to better understand the motives, routines, rewards, and concerns of family life that exist in contemporary society as polygamous families live out what they believe in." Gerald John Kloss, Latter Day Saints History

    "...the book is highly successful in explaining the values guiding Mormon fundamentalist communities and why maintaining polygynous unions is so important to them despite considerable costs to both male and female participants." Nancy E. Levine, American Anthropologist

    "This is an interesting book, well researched and written....Altman and Ginat have managed to conduct a rich and remarkable anthropoligical/sociological study on the workings of polygamous families." Baffour Takyi, Family Relations

    See more reviews

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 1996
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521567312
    • length: 532 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 154 x 28 mm
    • weight: 0.7kg
    • contains: 12 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    Part I. Historical Background:
    2. Mormon history 1830–1890: the early years
    3. Contemporary fundamentalist movements
    4. The people and their communities
    Part II. Early Stages of Relationships:
    5. Deciding to add a new wife to a family
    6. Courtship
    7. Wedding and marriage ceremonies
    8. Honeymoons
    9. Adjusting to a new marriage
    Part III. Home Environments of Plural Families:
    10. Living arrangements
    11. Wives and homes
    12. Husbands and homes
    Part IV. Managing Everyday Life:
    13. The rotation process: husbands and wives alone together
    14. Budget and resource management
    15. Celebrations
    Part V. Social-Emotional Relationships:
    16. Social-emotional relationships of husbands and wives
    17. Relationships between wives
    18. Family structure
    19. Parents and children
    20. Summing up

  • Authors

    Irwin Altman, University of Utah

    Joseph Ginat, University of Haifa, Israel


    Sterling M. McMurrin

also by this author

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