Publications [#255324] of Linda Burton
Articles and Chapters
- Burton, LM, Seeking Romance in the Crosshairs of Multiple-Partner Fertility: Ethnographic Insights on Low-Income Urban and Rural Mothers, edited by Carlson, MJ; Meyer, DR,
The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, vol. 654 no. 1
pp. 185-212, SAGE Publications, ISSN 0002-7162 [doi]
(last updated on 2019/06/19)
Using longitudinal ethnographic data on low-income rural and urban mostly single mothers, I explore the romance-seeking behaviors of women whose intimate relationships are characterized by multiple-partner fertility (MPF). MPF involves mothers and/or their love interests having biological children with other partners, frequently in nonmarital, transient unions. Romance comprises mothers' feelings and social interactions related to being chosen, erotic love, and adulation of the other. Findings indicate most mothers selectively engaged in one of four types of romance-seeking behaviors: casual, illusionist, pragmatic, or strategic. Mothers' romantic actions are associated with their desires to have loving experiences outside the challenges of daily life in poverty and its corollary uncertainty. Moreover, mothers involved in the most complex forms of MPF openly compete with other women for "first wife" status in a stratified partnering system called rostering-a term coined by respondents in the ethnographies reported here. Implications of these findings for future research are discussed. © 2014 by The American Academy of Political and Social Science.