Polygamy in Africa has been a popular topic for social research over the past four decades; it has been analyzed by many distinguished minds and in various well-publicized works. In 1961, when Remi Clignet published his book "Many Wives, Many Powers," he was not alone in sharing the view that in Africa co-wives may be perceived as direct and indirect sources of increased income and prestige.
By the 1970s, such arguments had become crystallized and popular. Many other African scholars who wrote on the subject became the new champions of this philosophy. For example, in 1983, John Mbiti proclaimed that polygamy is an accepted and respectable institution serving many useful social purposes. Similarly, G.K. Nukunya, in his paper Polygamy as a Symbol of Status,· reiterated Mbiti’s idea that a plurality of wives is a sign of affluence and power in the African society.
However, the colonial missionary voice provided consistent opposition to polygamy by viewing the practice as unethical and destructive of family life. While they propagated this view with the authority of the Bible, they were convinced that Africans had to be coerced into partaking in the vision of monogamy understood by the Western culture. The missionary viewpoint even included, in some instances, dictating immediate divorce in the case of newly converted men who had already contracted polygamous marriages. Unfortunately, both the missionary voice and the scholarly voice did not consider the views of African women on the matter important. Although there was some awareness that women regarded polygamy as both a curse and a blessing, the distanced, albeit scientific, perspective of an outside observer predominated both on the pulpit and in scholarly writings.
Contemporary research in the social sciences has begun to focus on the protagonist's voice in the study of culture, recognizing that the views and experiences of those who take part in a given reality ought to receive close examination. This privileging of the protagonist seems appropriate, particularly given that women in Africa have often used literary productions to comment on marriage, family and gender relations.
黑体字部分就是找出的文章框架，首先出现scholars对于polygamy的看法，然后出现missionary voice ，之后出现这两派观点共同的缺点， 与之相对比的出现了现在研究的一个做法。那在知道了这样一个文章框架后，每大块下面的细节性内容就比较容易理清楚，方面做题定位，加快阅读速度。