The Sociohistorical Context of a Mormon Fundamentalist Polygamous Life

  • Laura Parson


In this chapter, I explore the life stories of Emma, Sarah, and Mary within the sociohistorical context of their polygamous backgrounds. In this study, I explore readiness for higher education across the data, to understand how the sociohistorical context of a polygamous life impacts readiness for higher education. Clear themes emerged across the data that informed understanding of each of the themes that emerged through exploration of each woman’s life stories: experience with academic settings, perceptions of a need for education, non-academic experiences that contributed to readiness for higher education settings, and an independent self-concept. Understanding the patriarchal nature of polygamous communities provides additional insight that helps to understand the impact of a polygamous life on the participant’s readiness for higher education.


  1. Bhattacharya, S. (2011). Secrets & Wives: The Hidden World of Mormon Polygamy. Berkeley, CA: Soft Skull Press.Google Scholar
  2. Bradley, M. D. (2011). A Repeat of History: A Comparison of the Short Creek and Eldorado Raids on the FLDS. In C. K. Jacobsen & L. Burton (Eds.), Modern Polygamy in the United States. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Campbell, A. (2008). Wives’ Tales: Reflecting on Research in Bountiful. Canadian Journal of Law and Society, 23(1–2), 121–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Hesse-Biber, S. J. (2014). Feminist Research Practice: A Primer. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.Google Scholar
  5. Jessop, C., & Palmer, L. (2007). Escape. New York: Visionary Classics, Inc.Google Scholar
  6. Moore-Emmett, A. (2004). God’s Brothel. San Francisco: Pince-Nez Press.Google Scholar
  7. Solomon, D. A. (2003). Daughter of the Saints: Growing Up in Polygamy. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura Parson
    • 1
  1. 1.Educational Foundations, Leadership, and TechnologyAuburn UniversityAuburnUSA

Personalised recommendations