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"Marrying Out" for Love: Women's Narratives of Polygyny and Alternative Marriage Choices in Contemporary Senegal

Kringelbach, HN; (2016) "Marrying Out" for Love: Women's Narratives of Polygyny and Alternative Marriage Choices in Contemporary Senegal. African Studies Review , 59 (1) pp. 155-174. 10.1017/asr.2016.7. Green open access

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Abstract

This article examines the ways in which childhood and youth experiences of living in polygynous households shape the aspirations of middle-class Muslim Senegalese women to companionate marriage. Increasingly, such aspirations are fulfilled through marriage with European men. In contrast to an enduring popular discourse according to which women live happily with polygyny throughout the Senegambian region, this article shows how some middle-class women’s choice to “marry out” is explicitly linked to family narratives and personal experiences of suffering. In a context in which many of these women face strong familial opposition to marriage with non-Muslim European men, this article suggests that the women’s narratives provide moral legitimacy to their “alternative” choices.

Type: Article
Title: "Marrying Out" for Love: Women's Narratives of Polygyny and Alternative Marriage Choices in Contemporary Senegal
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/asr.2016.7
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/asr.2016.7
Language: English
Additional information: This article has been published in a revised form in African Studies Review at http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/asr.2016.7. This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution, re-sale or use in derivative works. Copyright © African Studies Association 2016.
Keywords: Senegalese women; polygyny; marriage; companionate marriage; moral legitimacy; family narratives
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > SELCS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1502349
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