Polygamy in the Monogamous World

Polygamy in the Monogamous World

Multicultural Challenges for Western Law and Policy

Book - 2010
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ABC-CLIO

This fact-filled book on polygamy and plural unions around the world supports an in-depth consideration of policy options for Western countries.


This fact-filled book on polygamy and plural unions around the world supports an in-depth consideration of policy options for Western countries.


• A bibliography of significant laws, cases, reports, books, and journal articles about polygamy



Blackwell Publishing
"This book represents an outstanding contribution to current scholarship addressing the complex and controversial topic of polygamy. Bailey and Kaufman, unmistakable experts on this topic, provide a text of global relevance that challenges readers to look beyond presumptions about polygamous life and to appreciate its cultural, historical, social, legal, and spiritual significane in diverse geographic contexts. Painstakingly researched and elegantly written, there is no doubt that Polygamy in the Monogamous World will be an authority of crucial relevance as the debate over plural marriage in the West propels forward."---Angela Campbell Professor and Director of the Institute of Comparative Law, Faculty of Law, McGill University

"Martha Bailey and Amy Kaufman have carefully weighed the potential harms of polygamy and have developed a nuanced and persuasive argument for its decriminalization. Their discussion makes a vital contribution to the debate about polygamy's place in Canadian society."---Lori G. Bea Canada Research Chair in the Contexlualization of Religion in a Diverse Canada Professor, University of Ottawa

"The practice of polygamous marriage presents an intriguing challenge to modern legal theories, and Polygamy in the Monogamous World identifies and analyzes many of those challenges. The bare application of principles of pluralism, diversity, tolerance, family autonomy and individual choice to legal recognition of polygamy often seems incomplete. The concerns of policymakers about polygamy are not insignificant ---recurrent incidents of women's inequality, sexual exploitation, abuse of minors, and flouting of other laws remind us that in the twentieth century polygamous communities in modern countries seemed to be breeding grounds for serious social pathologies. Are those concerns still valid today? The implications of the legalization of same-sex marriage for legalization of polygamy (and vice versa) raise important conceptual linkage issues. Bailey and Kaufman's Limely anthology contributes to the discussion and provokes further serious inquiries, such as: Is Polygamy in the contemporary world just another effect of the pervasiveness of hyper-sexualized images and pornography or a corrective response to those influences?"---Lynn D. Wardle Bruce C. Hafen Professor of Law, J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University

Polygamy is legal under civil or customary law in 66 Islamic and African nations. It is illegal in almost all Western nations, including the United States and Canada. Among Western nations, the United Kingdom and Australia are exceptional in recognizing, for certain state purposes, polygamous unions performed in other countries where they are legal.

Polygamy in the Monogamous World: Multicultural Challenges for Western Law and Policy contrasts the history and practice of polygamy in the countries of Africa, the Middle East, and Asia where it is lega with the history and practice of Mormon plural union in North and practice of Mormon plural union in North America, where it is illegal. The authors examine the characteristic sets of problems and abuses that the different varieties of polygamy entrain for women, children, and society.

Bailey and Kaufman argue that the obligation of monogamous Western states to balance the conflicting principles of gender equality, freedom of religion, multicultural diversity, and child welfare is imperfectly embodied in the laws and policies relating to polygamy in the United States and Canada. They advance a coherent program of recommendations for changes in North American laws and policies in regard to discriminating properly between polygamous unions performed in countries where they are legal as opposed to plural unions performed in countries where they are illegal. Their recommendations include controlling immigration by polygamous families; extending recognition to foreign polygamous marriages; giving limited rights and obligations to women and children in plural unions; decriminalizing the practice of polygamy; and extending appropriate social services to vulnerable parties in these relationships.

Publisher: Santa Barbara, Calif. : Praeger/an Imprint of ABC-CLIO, LLC, c2010
ISBN: 9780313379529
Characteristics: 278 p. ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Kaufman, Amy J.

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