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Thursday, January 31, 2013

CFP AAAs: "Towards An Anthropology of Divorce" Abstracts due 2/21

CFP AAAs: "Towards An Anthropology of Divorce" Abstracts due 2/21

Session Title: Towards AnAnthropology of "Divorce"

Organizer: Melanie Angel Medeiros, University of Arizona
Discussant: Linda-Anne Rebhun, University of California - Merced

Please submit abstracts to Melanie at by Feb 21st.

Anthropologistsare witnesses to the global transformation of marriage,
thealliance-forming institution our predecessors argued is at
thefoundation of all
societies. The study ofmarriage is central to anthropological studies of
kinship and
gender,and more recently studies of globalization, modernization
andromantic love.
However, divorce, a topic commonly studied byscholars in the fields of
psychology, family studies andwomen and gender studies, has been relatively
neglected by the fieldof anthropology. As global legal divorce rates
continue to
rise andanthropologists observe increases in marital dissatisfaction due
tomodernization, globalization and the rise of romantic love andcompanionate
marriage, anthropological studies that analyze thefactors leading to and the
perceptions and experiences of the failureof marital relationships make an
contribution toanthropological theories of sociocultural and economic change,
love,intimacy, marriage, and kinship. Anthropologists have demonstrated
how across
cultures "marriage"as a category encompasses diverse relationships. Thus,
understandthe experiences and perceptions of marital failure across
anthropological study of "divorce" must also include thefailure or end of
unions (including legal marriage, unions made through ritual or
ceremony,hetero-normative, homosexual and transgender domestic
partnerships,non-cohabitating conjugal couples, etc.). It should also include
adiscussion as to what constitutes marital failure, whether it belegal
separation, individuals cohabitating but living separate lives, etc.
This session will highlight the anthropological contribution toscholarship on
"divorce," demonstrating the value of theoreticaland ethnographic
perspectives on
marriage and marital failure. Thissession will challenge reductionist
definitions of
"marriage" and"divorce," to include studies of diverse types of
and their failure. Paper topics may include, but arenot limited to:

The impact of sociocultural and socioeconomic change on notions of
romantic love and
companionate marriage, and how these changes relate to marital
Gender roles, marriage and marital failure
An analysis of the failure of conjugal relationships within the
context of parenting
and kinship relationships; both how children and kin impact marital
relations and
the effect of the failure of a marital relationship on parent-child
and kin
The relationship between marital failure and health and well-being,
including but
not limited to the perceived and/or actual impact of marital failure on
sexual and
reproductive decision-making and health, individual health and well-being, or
household health.

Preference will be given to papers that engage ethnographic data to
illuminate the
anthropological contribution tothe study of "divorce."

Melanie Angel Medeiros, MA
PhD Candidate
School of Anthropology
University of Arizona

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