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This book explores the regulation of intimate relationships today. Its raw materials are fascinating and sometimes salacious. Addressing questions ranging from whether a virgin can be a party to adultery, to whether a man can be a wife, each chapter deals with a theme of conjugality. Using historical and contemporary legal-political sources, the author unites past and present, public and private, to investigate the changing meanings and effects of conjugality, and challenge the way we think about sex, gender and relationships.
Heather Brook is Lecturer in Women’s Studies and Sociology, Flinders University, Australia.
Introduction: Proposals and Propositions * Women and Wives: Stalemate?: Theorizing Conjugality * Making Marriage: Validity and Nullity * Union: Adultery and Other Sexual Performatives * Marriage “Beyond the Pale:” Miscegenation, “Mixed” Marriage, and Assimilation * S/he Done Me Wrong: Matrimonial Offenses and No Fault Divorce * The “Limping” Marriage: Regulating Cohabitation * Queer Propositions: Sex and Sexualities * Conclusion: Sex/Marriage/Conjugality
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