Academic journal article Family Relations

Book Reviews -- Plural Marriage for Our Times: A Reinvented Option? by Phillip L. Kilbride

Academic journal article Family Relations

Book Reviews -- Plural Marriage for Our Times: A Reinvented Option? by Phillip L. Kilbride

Article excerpt

Kilbride, Phillip L. (1994). Plural Marriage For Our Times: A Reinvented Option? Westport, CT: Bergin & Garvey. 139 pp. Paperback ISBN 0-89789-315-8, price $16.95.

The author states as his point of departure that children should (a) be in intact families, (b) have care from one or more responsible adults, and (c) be admitted to already existing families such as in plural marriages rather than be isolated as in divorce situations. Plural marriages (which includes polygyny, polyandry, and group marriage), he says, addresses these three criteria. Some readers who live in a form of plural marriage may see his 'reinvention" of plural marriage as only his discovery of it.

Most of the author's treatment of plural marriage discusses polygyny (one man married to more than one woman), although he does briefly write about polyandry (one woman married to more than one man) and some forms of group marriage (two or more women married to two or more men). The author appears to view the family as "broken," not only in America, but in other cultures as well. Plural marriage may be a "possible deterrent or alternative to divorce and delinquent or absentee fathers" (p. 127).

Plural marriage has been practiced for centuries in various parts of the world and continues today in many places that span the spectrum of modernity and development. The author's experience in African cultures is demonstrated by his treatment of African polygyny, although he also draws on the work of others who have written about African marriage.

The book will be interesting to those who desire a general overview of plural marriage, but it skims over several areas in a rather superficial manner. For example, the Oneida community is a good example of plural marriage, but here is glossed over.

Although the author discusses the Mormon practice of polygyny from the 1840's through 1890, he then writes about current polygynous marriages, especially in Western America. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.