"Valuable insight into the complicated status of polygamy in contemporary society."
—Feminist Legal Studies
"[This] anthology contains some of the best scholarship on the subject of contemporary polygamy. . . . For those interested in considering how the practice may affect future societies and governments, this book is a must read."
—The Journal of Mormon History
The practice of polygamy occupies a unique place in North American history and has had a profound effect on its legal and social development. The Polygamy Question explores the ways in which indigenous and immigrant polygamous practices have shaped the lives of individuals, communities, and the broader societies that have engaged with it. The book also considers how polygamy challenges our traditional notions of gender and marriage and how it might be effectively regulated to comport with contemporary notions of justice.
The contributors to this volume—scholars of law, anthropology, sociology, political science, economics, and religious studies—disentangle diverse forms of polygamy and polyamory practiced among a range of religious and national backgrounds including Mormon and Muslim. They chart the harms and benefits these models have on practicing women, children, and men, whether they are members of independent families or of coherent religious groups. Contributors also address the complexities of evaluating this form of marriage and the ethical and legal issues surrounding regulation of the practice, including the pros and cons of legalization.
Plural marriage is the next frontier of North American marriage law and possibly the next civil rights battlefield. Students and scholars interested in polygamy, marriage, and family will find much of interest in The Polygamy Question.
Contributors: Kerry Abrams, Martha Bailey, Lori G. Beaman, Janet Bennion, Jonathan Cowden, Shoshana Grossbard, Melanie Heath, Debra Majeed, Rose McDermott, Sarah Song, Irene Strassberg