21 Feb 2011, 8:59pm
by jordan

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welcome to style over content

informed by my research as a cultural anthropologist, i write about social and digital media, popular culture, and how social worlds are changing in relation to new communications technologies. why is facebook so popular, despite all the privacy concerns? why does the digital feel so much more immaterial than other kinds of media? what do youth and young people have to do with new technology? and ultimately, what do our anxieties or aspirations regarding new technologies tell us about ourselves?

6 Nov 2005, 4:53pm
by jordan


polygamy in utah and “private conduct”

Polygamous Judge to Fight for Job in Court (Salon.com/AP Wire, Nov. 2, 2005)

As problematic as I find Morman polygyny to be, this article’s interesting for a couple of reasons. The judge’s lawyer apparently defended his polygamous practices by pointing out that “[t]here is no allegation that it’s affecting his performance on the bench. It really is truly only about his private conduct.” Hm, private conduct? Like, between two men and two women, in the privacy of their own homes? Or what about Bill Clinton’s right to engage in a little extramarital lascivousness (admittedly, the White House wasn’t the the most private place to do that)? Or is the right to “private conduct” limited to conservative Christian men who simply want a few more women in the household (all of whom, in this case, were sisters).

Secondly, I find this concerning for polyamorous families with multipartner households. The judge didn’t attempt to legally marry his second and third wives — instead, he did so through a church ceremony of “sealing.” In states where bigamy is illegal, could this logic equally apply to plural households where two partners were legally married, and additional partners were added through some kind of religious ceremony, like a handfasting? While I may have my concerns about how polygyny is practiced in the Mormon tradition (given the gender dynamics), I’m still pretty committed to the rights of consenting adults to define their own domestic arrangements.

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