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Bountiful’s Plural Marriages

International Journal of Law in Context, Forthcoming

27 Pages Posted: 4 Sep 2010  

Angela Campbell

McGill University - Faculty of Law

Date Written: September 3, 2010


Bountiful, British Columbia is Canada’s only openly polygamous community. Public discussions about Bountiful suggest that the only form of marriage practiced there is polygamous, and that this is usually harmful to women and children. This paper suggests that this monolithic representation of marriage in Bountiful misses the conjugal pluralism that exists in this community. Part I sets out the typical portrayal of marriage in Bountiful offered by Canadian public and political discussions. Part II contrasts this portrayal with five stories about marriage in Bountiful that the author observed or was told about while conducting field research. These stories indicate that conjugal heterogeneity is both existent and accepted in Bountiful. They also suggest that, in becoming and being a wife in Bountiful, women can experience varying degrees of choice and agency. All of this is relevant to exploring how a fuller recognition of the conjugal diversity and choices that may exist in a place like Bountiful might affect formal juridical approaches to polygamy.

Keywords: Polygamy, Plural Marriage, Bountiful

Suggested Citation

Campbell, Angela, Bountiful’s Plural Marriages (September 3, 2010). International Journal of Law in Context, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN:

Angela Campbell (Contact Author)

McGill University - Faculty of Law ( email )

3644 Peel Street
Montreal H3A 1W9, Quebec

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