Altman, Irwin. Polygamous families in contemporary society

Table of Contents

Publication Information

1: Introduction

The People And Polygamy

Contemporary Fundamentalist Polygyny

Relationships In Modern Times

Managing Relationships In Plural Families

External Pressures

Internal Dyadic Challenges

Internal Communal Challenges

Studying Close Relationships Through A Transactional Lens


Historical Background

2: Mormon History, 1830–1890: The Early Years

The Historical Backdrop Of The Early 1800s

Establishing The Mormon Religion

The Years In Ohio, Missouri, And Illinois: 1831–1846

The Exodus And Settlement In Utah

The Rise And Fall Of Polygyny

Some Facts And Figures About 19th-century Mormon Polygyny

Technical Note

Polygyny Around The World

Number Of Cultures Practicing Polygyny

Incidence Of Polygyny Within Cultures

Number Of Wives In Polygynous Families

Polygyny In Judeo-christian History

3: Contemporary Fundamentalist Movements

Beginnings: 1890–1929

Growth And Schisms: 1930 To Early 1950s

The Modern Era: 1950s–1990s

The Fundamentalist Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-day Saints (colorado City, Arizona, And Hildale, Utah)

The Apostolic United Brethren: The Musser–allred Group

Other Fundamentalists

The Present Situation

The Foreseeable Future

4: The People And Their Communities

The Role Of Communities In The Lives Of Fundamentalists

The Rural Community Of Redrock: The United Fundamentalist Church

The Urban Community Of Metropolitan City: The Church Of Latter-day Apostles

“conservatives” And “ultraconservatives”

The Ultraconservative United Fundamentalist Church

The Conservative Church Of Latter-day Apostles

The People And Families

Number Of Wives

Age Of Marriage

Number Of Children

Work And Occupations

Early Stages Of Relationships

5: Deciding To Add A New Wife To A Family

Deciding About New Wives In Other Polygynous Cultures

Religious Beliefs And Mormon Polygyny

Dyadic And Communal Factors In Adding A Wife To A Family

Dyadic Processes

Communal Processes

The Role Of Elders And Parents

Tensions And Stresses

The Special Case Of The United Fundamentalist Church In The Redrock Community


6: Courtship

Courtship And Culture

Courtship Among Contemporary Mormon Fundamentalists

Dyadic And Communal Features Of Courtship

Length Of Courtship

Courtship Among 19th-century Mormons

Tensions And Complexities In Courtship

The Special Case Of The Rural United Fundamentalist Church


7: Wedding And Marriage Ceremonies

Weddings In Other Cultures

Bridewealth, Dowries, And Gift Exchanges

Arrival Of Participants

Marriage Vows And Rituals

Feasts, Celebrations, And Postnuptial Events

Marriages And Weddings Of Mormon Fundamentalists

Dyadic And Communal Aspects Of Marriage Ceremonies

Tensions And Stresses In Wedding Ceremonies


8: Honeymoons

Historical And Cultural Differences In Honeymoons

Honeymoons In Contemporary Plural Families

General Characteristics Of Honeymoons

Dyadic And Communal Aspects Of Honeymoons

Tensions And Stresses During Honeymoons


9: Adjusting To A New Plural Marriage

Communal And Dyadic Aspects Of Adjustment

Communal Adjustments To A New Marriage

Dyadic Adjustments To A New Marriage

Coping With A New Marriage

Individual Coping Responses

Dyadic Coping Responses

Communal Coping Responses

Does Experience Help? Some Further Questions


Home Environments Of Plural Families

10: Living Arrangements

Living Arrangements In Traditional Cultures

Living Configurations Of Wives

Living Arrangements Of Husbands

Changes In Living Arrangements

Living Arrangements Of Contemporary Mormon Fundamentalists

Primarily Dyadic Living Arrangements

Primarily Communal Living Arrangements

Mixed Dyadic And Communal Arrangements

Transitions And Stabilities In Living Arrangements

Factors Affecting Living Arrangements

Societal Pressures

Demands Of Everyday Life

Psychological And Social Factors

Life Cycle Of Living Arrangements

The Ideal: A Blend Of Dyadic And Communal Living


11: Wives And Homes

Homes And Culture

The Status Of Wives And Homes

Relationships With Family And Kin

Gender And Family Relationships In Established Marriages

Wives And Homes In Mormon Plural Families

Place Attachment, Territoriality, And Privacy Regulation In Homes

Who Decides About Furnishings And Decorations?

What Level Of Territorial Control Do Plural Wives Have About Who Can Enter Their Homes Or Specific Areas Of Homes?

How Do Plural Wives Use Their Homes To Achieve Solitude Or Separation From Others?

To What Extent Do Wives Have Strong Feelings Of Attachment To Their Homes?

Family Disruption And Place Attachment

Homes And Personal Identity, Dyadic And Communal Relationships, And Cultural Ties

Personal Identity Displays

Dyadic Bonds With A Husband

Communal Bonds Within A Plural Family

Links To Cultural Contexts

Case Examples Of Personal Identity, Dyadic, Communal, And Cultural Displays In Homes

Comment On Communal Aspects Of Home Decorations


12: Husbands And Homes

Place Attachment, Territoriality, And Privacy Regulation In Homes

Do Husbands In Plural Families Have Homes Or Areas In Homes Of Their Own?

What Roles Do Husbands Have In Decorating Homes?

How Do Husbands Achieve Solitude?

How Do Husbands Feel About Their Homes?

Homes And Personal Identity, Dyadic And Communal Bonds, Cultural Ties

Dyadic And Communal Aspects Of Husbands, Wives, And Homes

Another Aspect Of Attachment: A Husband's Clothing

Communal Management Of A Husband's Clothing

Communal And Dyadic Management Of A Husband's Clothing

Dyadic Management Of A Husband's Clothing

How Do Plural Wives Feel About Their Husband's Clothing?


A Note On Children And Homes

Sleeping Arrangements Of Boys And Girls

Decorating Practices Of Boys And Girls

Volume Of Decorating In Children's Rooms

Content Of Boys' And Girls' Decorations


Managing Everyday Life

13: The Rotation Process: Husbands And Wives Alone Together

Rotation Systems In Polygynous Cultures

Who Visits Whom – A Wife Or The Husband?

Fairness And Equity In Rotation Systems

Rotation Systems: Regularity And Length Of Visits

Who Decides About Rotation Visits?

Rotation Among Fundamentalists

Types Of Rotation Schedules

Variations And Changes In Rotation Systems

Managing Rotation Systems

Stresses And Strains In Rotation


14: Budget And Resource Management

Resource Management In Other Polygynous Cultures

Primarily Dyadic Systems

Primarily Communal Systems

Economic Systems In Contemporary Mormon Plural Families

Primarily Dyadic Budget And Resource Systems

Primarily Communal Budget And Resource Systems

Budgeting And Resource Management By Mormon Pioneers

Changes And Experiments With Resource Management Systems

Tensions And Stress Regarding Resources


15: Celebrations And Holidays

Dyadic Celebrations

Wives' Birthdays

Wedding Anniversaries

Children's Birthdays

Communal Celebrations

Fathers' Or Husbands' Birthdays

Family Events

Community And Cultural Events

Blending Dyadic And Communal Processes: Celebrating Christmas

Location Of Christmas Activities

Gift Giving

Special Observances

Tensions And Stresses In Celebrations

Patterns Of Observing Celebrations


Social-emotional And Family Relationships

16: Social-emotional Relationships Of Husbands And Wives

Social-emotional Relationships In Other Cultures

“love,” Affection, And Intimacy Among Fundamentalists

What Principles Guide Each Husband–wife Couple In A Plural Family Toward A Viable And Unique Dyadic Relationship With One Another?

Failing To Meet Principles Of Dyadic Uniqueness

What Communal Principles Do Participants In A Plural Family Follow To Ensure The Well-being Of Each Husband–wife Couple?

Failing To Meet The Principles Of Communal Support


17: Relationships Between Wives

Home Management

Communal Home Management Styles

Dyadic Home Management Styles

Childrearing And Discipline

Interpersonal Relationships Among Wives

Resolving Conflicts


18: Family Structure

Religious And Cultural Values Regarding Family Structure

The Father/husband As Patriarch And Family Leader

Gender Distinctions: The Role Of Wives And Mothers

Family Unity

A Stable And Well-established Family (family 4)

The Monthly Gathering Of The Family

Father's Birthday

An “experimenting” Plural Family (family 3)

Family Structure In Disrupted Families


19: Parents And Children

Fathers And Their Children

Choosing Children's Names

Terms Of Reference


20: Summing Up

The Transactional Approach To Studying Close Relationships

Close Relationships In Plural Families: The Present And The Future

Final Thoughts On Understanding Close Relationships

Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information The main body of the Publication Information page contains all the metadata that HRAF holds for that document.

Author: Author's name as listed in Library of Congress records

Title: Polygamous families in contemporary society

Published By: Original publisher Cambridge ; New York: Cambridge University Press. 1996. xv, 512 p. ill.

By line: Author's name as appearing in the actual publication Irwin Altman, Joseph Ginat

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: Human Relations Area Files, 2018. Computer File

Culture: Culture name from the Outline of World Cultures (OWC) with the alphanumberic OWC identifier in parenthesis. Mormons (NT24)

Subjects: Document-level OCM identifiers given by the anthropology subject indexers at HRAF Adjustment processes (154); Social personality (156); Building interiors and arrangement (353); Cooperative organization (474); Gender status (562); Marriage (580); Polygamy (595); Theological systems (779); Religious denominations (795);

Abstract: Brief abstract written by HRAF anthropologists who have done the subject indexing for the document This is an in-depth study of a rural and urban community from the Allred fundamentalist polygynous group. The authors conducted face-to-face interviews with more than a hundred individuals from twenty-six plural families over a period of five years, with some follow up two years later. They also carried out participant observation of family life and celebrations. Polygynous life is examined through the lens of transactional analysis, with a particular interest in how dyadic and communal relationships in plural families are negotiated and balanced. The various subjects discussed include courtship, weddings, honeymoons, living arrangements, rotation schedules between husband and wives, communal celebrations, budgeting, and emotional life. For each major topic there is reflection on historical evidence for Mormon pioneer family life, and on family behaviors in other polygynous societies around the world.

Document Number: HRAF's in-house numbering system derived from the processing order of documents 81

Document ID: HRAF's unique document identifier. The first part is the OWC identifier and the second part is the document number in three digits. nt24-081

Document Type: May include journal articles, essays, collections of essays, monographs or chapters/parts of monographs. Monograph

Language: Language that the document is written in English

Note: Includes bibliographical references (p. [495]-503) and index

Field Date: The date the researcher conducted the fieldwork or archival research that produced the document 1987-1994

Evaluation: In this alphanumeric code, the first part designates the type of person writing the document, e.g. Ethnographer, Missionary, Archaeologist, Folklorist, Linguist, Indigene, and so on. The second part is a ranking done by HRAF anthropologists based on the strength of the source material on a scale of 1 to 5, as follows: 1 - poor; 2 - fair; 3 - good, useful data, but not uniformly excellent; 4 - excellent secondary data; 5 - excellent primary data Ethnologist-5

Analyst: The HRAF anthropologist who subject indexed the document and prepared other materials for the eHRAF culture/tradition collection. Ian Skoggard; 2012

Coverage Date: The date or dates that the information in the document pertains to (often not the same as the field date). 1987-1994

Coverage Place: Location of the research culture or tradition (often a smaller unit such as a band, community, or archaeological site) "Redrock" and "Metropolitan City," western United States

LCSH: Library of Congress Subject Headings Polygamy--United States--History//Mormon Church--United States--History//Mormon families--United States--History


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