Barker, Meg and Langdridge, Darren
Whatever happened to non-monogamies? Critical reflections on recent research and theory.
Sexualities, 13(6) 748-772 .
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The last decade has seen an explosion of interest in consensually non-monogamous relationships. This article critically reviews current research and theory in this area, focusing particularly on polyamory, swinging, and gay open relationships. The sociohistorical context in which these forms of relating emerged is considered and discussed in order to better understand why there has been such a significant increase in scholarly work on non-monogamies at this moment. Furthermore, we categorize the extant literature into two groups, 'celebratory' and 'critical', and argue that such polarization frequently works to reinforce partial and dichotomizing understandings of the topic. Research so far has primarily concentrated on the rules and boundaries which people employ to manage such relationships and we contend that future work needs to pay more attention to diversities of meanings and practices, intersections with other identities and communities, and the troubling of dichotomous understandings.
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