[URBANTH-L]CFP: AAA 2009 - Companionate Marriage and Gender/Sexuality

Shana Fruehan Sandberg ssand at uchicago.edu
Thu Mar 12 02:19:55 EDT 2009

**Apologies for cross-posting**

CFP: AAA 2009 - Companionate Marriage &

We are seeking two additional papers and a
discussant for a
session we are organizing for the AAA annual
meeting in
Philadelphia, PA, December 2-6, 2009. Please
forward this
message to anyone you know who may be interested.
If you
would like to join the session, please send an
abstract (250
words max.) to both organizers by Monday, March
23, 2009.

If we accept your paper, we will let you know and
you will
need to submit your abstract individually as part
of our
session through the AAA website by April 1.

Note: All presenters at AAA must (1) register for
the annual
meeting, and (2) be a member of AAA or request a
waiver (non-
anthropologists and individuals residing outside
the U.S. or
Canada are eligible to submit a waiver).

Panel Organizers:

John Davy (davy at uchicago.edu)
Shana Fruehan Sandberg (ssand at uchicago.edu)

Panel Title:

Much Ado About Marriage: Companionate Marriage and
the Ends
of Anthropology

Panel Description:

Over the past two decades, anthropologists working
diverse cultural settings have noted the rise of
companionate models of marriage highlighting
themes of
emotional intimacy, individual personal
fulfillment, and
social equality over more established models
marriage as a social duty or an economic alliance
families. Today, companionate marriage continues
to be
promoted in many regions of the world by various
including social critics, religious groups,
firms, and governmental agencies. In some social
such marriage offers the individual purchase in
including participation in a more egalitarian form
intimacy as well as access to economic and other
benefits of
global citizenship. Elsewhere, companionate
marriage is
touted as a solution to many of the so-called
.$B!H.(Bproblems of
modernity.$B!I.(B such as falling fertility rates
within marriage,
rises in the divorce rate, and a higher average
age at first
marriage. In these contexts, the rise of feminism
sometimes linked to the spread of these social

This panel will highlight one of the ends of
anthropology by
demonstrating how anthropological research can
help us
understand the ways that companionate marriage
reinforces or challenges sex and gender norms in
contexts. By shedding analytic light on the
of the promotion of marriage, the papers in this
examine the various effects, assumptions, and
for understandings of sexuality and gender
involved in such
endorsements. Papers may also demonstrate the way
forms of sexual, emotional, or economic attachment
companionate marriage come to reflect such models
or challenge
their promotion as the ideal form of attachment.
Along these
lines, we seek papers that address questions such
as the

*In what ways does the promotion of companionate
challenge existing understandings of gender
categories as
they exist in a local context?

*How do discourses about companionate marriage
shape an
individual.$B!G.(Bs own sense of him- or herself
as a man or woman?

*Do local forms of gender relations alter the way
companionate marriage is promoted or understood
among a
particular social group?

*In what ways might the companionate model of
marriage being
promoted in a particular local context serve to
existing hierarchies related to gender or

*What does the promotion of companionate marriage
about the interests of the state (or other
dominant social
actors) in encouraging particular forms of gender
and resisting challenges to the status quo?

*How do forms of intimate relationships outside
marriage either reflect or challenge the
embedded within campaigns that promote
companionate marriage
as the ideal form of attachment?

Other papers that address the relationship between
companionate marriage and gender or sexuality from
anthropological perspective are also welcome. Feel
free to
contact the organizers by email with questions.

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