This is my partner, and this is my… partner’s partner: Constructing a polyamorous identity in a monogamous world.
Journal of Constructivist Psychology, 18(1)
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According to the writings of members of the polyamorous community, polyamory is a type of non-monogamous relationship orientation in which it is considered acceptable to love more than one person and emphasis is placed on openness and honesty within one’s relationships. The proliferation of websites, e-mail groups and books on the topic since the mid 1990s mean that polyamory can be seen as a burgeoning sexual story (Plummer, 1995). However, very little has been written academically on the topic, despite its fascinating potential to challenge mainstream discourses of monogamy and infidelity and to reveal the constructed nature of ‘compulsory heterosexuality’ (Rich, 1980). In this article I draw on social constructionist and personal construct psychology perspectives to examine the ways in which polyamorous individuals construct their personal and group identities in relation to conventional monogamy and to explore the implications of polyamory for people’s own sense of self (Butt, Burr and Bell, 1997)
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