Subject Area: Mormon

Evaluating the Effects of Polygamy on Women and Children in Four North American Mormon Fundamentalist Groups: An Anthropological Study
2008 0-7734-4939-6
Highlights many of the inherent problems of polygyny, but challenges the media-driven depiction of plural marriage as uniformly abusive and harmful to women, criticizing techniques used by state and federal governments used to raid entire communities as they did in the 1950s and in April of 2008. This book contains six black and white photographs and two color photographs.

Mormon and Asian American Model Minority Discourses in News and Popular Magazines
2004 0-7734-6375-5
News and popular magazines’ coverage of Mormons and Asian Americans in the past several decades have helped to construct a model minority stereotype of Mormons and Asian Americans. Journalists emphasize the economic success and apparently thrifty, hardworking, and self-reliant nature of members of both the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Asian American community. At the same time, journalists portray both groups as deviating from mainstream American culture and discursively place them as others, when compared to American norms. Unlike most negative stereotypes (“greedy Jews,” “criminal blacks,” “fighting Irish,” “savage American Indians,” “cunning Asians,” etc.), the model minority stereotype appears to celebrate both minority groups through depicting their success, hard work, and self-reliance. Positive stereotyping is preferable to negative stereotyping, yet still may be problematic in significant ways. At the same time the model minority stereotype seems to praise Mormons and Asian Americans, it also distances the groups from American norms and posits them as others who do not entirely belong within mainstream America.

This book situates news and popular magazines’ coverage of Asian Americans and Mormons within model minority discourse, explains the discourse’s problematic nature, and points out how the two discourses shape power relations between majorities and minorities in American society. The book employs critical discourse analysis, a powerful tool to uncover ideology within dominant discourses and challenge unequal power structures in society. By so doing, it aims to improve society for minority groups. The book also explores journalistic narrative. By following conventional narrative forms and shared cultural meanings, journalists often adopt established cultural norms and reinforce status quo ideologies. Chen’s goal is not simply to analyze the model minority discourse in news and popular magazines or merely to provide a critique of journalists’ conventional narrative forms. She also uses her analysis of journalistic discourse as a means of consciousness-raising—for both minority groups and journalists—and to further encourage alternative approaches to writing about minority groups. She provides ideas for journalists to improve coverage of the two groups and minorities in general.

In this book, the author employs a postethnic perspective in examining magazines’ model minority discourses. This perspective recognizes and respects differences between groups, as multiculturalists advocate, but it also searches for common experiences between groups and suggests that different group experiences may not be wholly unique and dissimilar. Comparing religious identity with ethno-racial identity promotes a deeper understanding of the treatment of minorities by American culture. Utilizing Foucault’s notion of discourse, Chen argues that magazine coverage of Mormon and Asian American success has created a discursive practice. Model minority notions pervade writings about Mormons and Asian Americans more completely than they would as simply stereotypes. Model minority discourse encompasses a complex set of ways to create meaning. It glorifies certain culturally dominant values and practices; at the same time, it positions a group of people as representatives of, but not full participants in, the social life of the majority.

Mormon Concept of God a Philosophical Analysis
1991 0-7734-9787-0
This book ventures into uncharted territory. The purpose is to show (1) that the Mormon concept of God differs radically from the classical concept of God, (2) that the Mormon concept of God contains many philosophical flaws, and (3) that the classical concept of God is more consistent with the Hebrew-Christian Scriptures than the Mormon view. The emphasis of this book is philosophical and will include detailed analyses of the following topics as they relate to the Mormon concept of God: (1) the impossibility of the infinite past of Mormon metaphysics, (2) the problems in applying the design argument to Mormon theism, (3) logical necessity and the Mormon God, and (4) the problem of a finite being (the Mormon God) progressing to a point of having infinite knowledge.

Mormonism in Conflict the Nauvoo Years
1985 0-88946-874-5
Brings a social scientist's perspective to a replay of the series of events in and around Nauvoo after 1839.

Sociology of Mormon Kinship: The Place of Family Within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- Day Saints
2016 1-4955-0454-9
This sociological study of Mormon worldview and culture is a fresh and engaging ethnographic portrait of the contemporary lives of typical American Mormons. It accurately and comprehensively provides new insights on the ideology of family building within the varied Mormon communities of this once insular faith.

Statistical Profile of Mormons - Health, Wealth, and Social Life
2004 0-7734-6261-9