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Citation Information

Type Journal Article
Title Problematic polygamy: implications of changing typologies and definitions of polygamy
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2011
URL http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/1454332/3/UAPS_2011_Coast_et_al_polygamy.pdf
The persistence or decline of polygamy1
is often used as an indicator of social change in Africa and
elsewhere (Hern 1992) . However, most data and researchers use the term “polygamy” without reflecting
on what is being measured. Thus, international comparative research often ignores temporal and spatial
differences in the conceptualisation of polygamy, and the implications for subsequent analyses. We use
three different approaches in order to uncover the implications of these different understandings of
“polygamy”: 1) analysis of definitions used in Anglophone and Francophone surveys and censuses post-
1950. 2) interviews with key informants involved in the production and consumption of survey and census
data. 3) secondary analyses of large-scale datasets, including: DHS for Senegal, Uganda, Tanzania and
Burkina Faso and the census for Mali.

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