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Gender and economics; Islam and Polygamy - a question of causality

Gender and economics; Islam and Polygamy - a question of causality Beginning by contrasting and comparing the fields of (feminist) anthropology and economics, this essay is a response to parts of Barbara Bergmann's article, “Becker's Theory of the Family: Preposterous Conclusions.” In attempting to expose the fallacies in Becker's discussion of the altruism of polygamous families, Bergmann stereotypes polygamous families and conflates Muslims and polygamous societies in the process. Further, she assumes oppression, arguing that most women in the polygamous families (i.e., Muslims) under discussion have an “abysmal status.” This essay argues for acknowledging our social location as researchers, not overgeneralizing about highly diverse societies and the varieties and experiences of women's lives, not assuming oppression, and viewing neither Islam nor polygamy as necessarily central determinants of the conditions of women's lives. Qualitative and quantitative examples of variations in African, Asian, and Middle Eastern women's lives are given – intersecting Muslim/non- Muslim, polygamous/nonpolygamous, Arab/non-Arab, poor/not-so-poor/ rich, rural/urban, and high/low “status” (with variations in health, politics, economics, and family life within and among countries). http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Feminist Economics Taylor & Francis

Gender and economics; Islam and Polygamy - a question of causality

Feminist Economics , Volume 1 (2): 13 – Jul 1, 1995

Gender and economics; Islam and Polygamy - a question of causality

Feminist Economics , Volume 1 (2): 13 – Jul 1, 1995

Abstract

Beginning by contrasting and comparing the fields of (feminist) anthropology and economics, this essay is a response to parts of Barbara Bergmann's article, “Becker's Theory of the Family: Preposterous Conclusions.” In attempting to expose the fallacies in Becker's discussion of the altruism of polygamous families, Bergmann stereotypes polygamous families and conflates Muslims and polygamous societies in the process. Further, she assumes oppression, arguing that most women in the polygamous families (i.e., Muslims) under discussion have an “abysmal status.” This essay argues for acknowledging our social location as researchers, not overgeneralizing about highly diverse societies and the varieties and experiences of women's lives, not assuming oppression, and viewing neither Islam nor polygamy as necessarily central determinants of the conditions of women's lives. Qualitative and quantitative examples of variations in African, Asian, and Middle Eastern women's lives are given – intersecting Muslim/non- Muslim, polygamous/nonpolygamous, Arab/non-Arab, poor/not-so-poor/ rich, rural/urban, and high/low “status” (with variations in health, politics, economics, and family life within and among countries).

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References (8)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN
1466-4372
eISSN
1354-5701
DOI
10.1080/714042234
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Beginning by contrasting and comparing the fields of (feminist) anthropology and economics, this essay is a response to parts of Barbara Bergmann's article, “Becker's Theory of the Family: Preposterous Conclusions.” In attempting to expose the fallacies in Becker's discussion of the altruism of polygamous families, Bergmann stereotypes polygamous families and conflates Muslims and polygamous societies in the process. Further, she assumes oppression, arguing that most women in the polygamous families (i.e., Muslims) under discussion have an “abysmal status.” This essay argues for acknowledging our social location as researchers, not overgeneralizing about highly diverse societies and the varieties and experiences of women's lives, not assuming oppression, and viewing neither Islam nor polygamy as necessarily central determinants of the conditions of women's lives. Qualitative and quantitative examples of variations in African, Asian, and Middle Eastern women's lives are given – intersecting Muslim/non- Muslim, polygamous/nonpolygamous, Arab/non-Arab, poor/not-so-poor/ rich, rural/urban, and high/low “status” (with variations in health, politics, economics, and family life within and among countries).

Journal

Feminist EconomicsTaylor & Francis

Published: Jul 1, 1995

Keywords: Anthropology; family; gender; Middle East; Muslim; polygamy

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