Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

"I Think That's Really What It Comes Down to, Is Intimacy": LGBTQ+ Polyamory and the Queering of Intimacy
by Pain, Emily, Ph.D., State University of New York at Albany, 2018, 335; 10786703
Abstract (Summary)

Polyamory is an intimate practice, identity, and philosophy that permits open and honest relationships with multiple partners and centers on values such as communication, trust, and egalitarianism. The limited body of existing research on polyamory has contributed important perspectives towards a sociological understanding of polyamorous relationship negotiations and family challenges; however, it has focused primarily on privileged groups, drawing participants from polyamorous communities that are largely comprised of white, middle-class, heterosexual cisgender men and bisexual cisgender women. LGBTQ+ (‘queer’) lives have been severely marginalized in this literature, reinforcing oppressive gender and sexual hierarchies and leaving many important questions unanswered. Moreover, the voices of queer people of color, of working-class/poor backgrounds, and of trans or gender-nonconforming identities have been virtually silenced in research on polyamory. The current study helps fill this gap in the literature by centering queer polyamory and offering special effort to voice the experiences and perspectives of queer polyamorists of diverse backgrounds and identities. I conducted 55 in-depth interviews with queer people who had experience with polyamorous relationships. I present my findings through the lens of queering intimacy, in which I emphasize processes of ‘practicing’ polyamorous relationships, ‘doing’ polyfamilies, and ‘queering’ sexual citizenship. I also question what queer polyamory means for contemporary lesbian/gay and queer politics, particularly its potential to disrupt assimilationism. This research informs the literature on the sociology of families, LGBTQ studies, and polyamory and contributes new and revised theoretical frameworks related to relationship dynamics, intimacy, and social forces of inequality.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Spitze, Glenna
Commitee: Bose, Christine, Trent, Katherine
School: State University of New York at Albany
Department: Sociology
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 79/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Womens studies, LGBTQ studies, Sociology
Keywords: Families, Intimacy, LGBTQ, Polyamory, Queer, Relationships
Publication Number: 10786703
ISBN: 9780355846553
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