Suspended transitions and affective orderings: From troubled monogamy to liminal polyamory

Enciso Domínguez, Giazú; Pujol, Juan; Motzkau, Johanna F. and Popper, Miroslav (2017). Suspended transitions and affective orderings: From troubled monogamy to liminal polyamory. Theory and Psychology, 27(2) pp. 183–197.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0959354317700289

Abstract

While monogamy is the norm for romantic and intimate relationships in contemporary western societies, having other sexual and affective interactions alongside a monogamous relationship is a common practice. Instead of a unilateral and/or covert non-monogamy, polyamory promises a consensual, ethical, and responsible non-monogamy. The personal transformation of normative cultural frameworks is fundamental to the experience of “becoming polyamorous.” This article explores such occasions using the notion of liminality in order to illustrate the phenomenon of “liminal hotspots.” Focusing on a specific and exemplary case describing the first stages of a polyamorous relationship, the paper explores the reordering of social formations involved. In this case, “becoming polyamorous” is expressed through a process of suspended transition where categories can be described as both/and monogamous/polyamorous and neither/nor monogamous/polyamorous.

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