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Transitions in Polyamorous Identity and Intercultural Communication: An Application of Identity Management Theory

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Date Issued:
2016
Abstract/Description:
This thesis examines the intercultural communicative strategies and non-monogamous identity formation of polyamorous individuals. The purpose of this study is to investigate the identity management tactics that polyamorous individuals utilize to navigate a society in which monogamy is the norm. Interactions of polyamorous individuals within a monoganormative society are treated as a type of intercultural communication due to the contrasting cultural identities and communication rules. E-interviews with 38 polyamorous individuals provided basis for phone and Skype interviews. The Retrospective Interview Technique (Huston, Surra, Fitzgerald, (&) Cate, 1981) required interviewees to recall development of their polyamorous identity and interactions with monogamous others from the past to present day. Twenty-two interviews produced the phases of identity management, including Trial and Error, Enmeshment (Mixing Up), and Renegotiation. Analyzing interviewees' communication also produced the themes of managing stigma and impressions of the relationship identity. Implications of the study include a richer understanding of polyamorous identity management, polyamory as a relationship orientation, and a new perspective in applying identity management theory.
Title: Transitions in Polyamorous Identity and Intercultural Communication: An Application of Identity Management Theory.
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Name(s): Table, Allison, Author
Weger, Harry, Committee Chair
Hastings, Sally, Committee Member
Sandoval, Jennifer, Committee Member
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2016
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: This thesis examines the intercultural communicative strategies and non-monogamous identity formation of polyamorous individuals. The purpose of this study is to investigate the identity management tactics that polyamorous individuals utilize to navigate a society in which monogamy is the norm. Interactions of polyamorous individuals within a monoganormative society are treated as a type of intercultural communication due to the contrasting cultural identities and communication rules. E-interviews with 38 polyamorous individuals provided basis for phone and Skype interviews. The Retrospective Interview Technique (Huston, Surra, Fitzgerald, (&) Cate, 1981) required interviewees to recall development of their polyamorous identity and interactions with monogamous others from the past to present day. Twenty-two interviews produced the phases of identity management, including Trial and Error, Enmeshment (Mixing Up), and Renegotiation. Analyzing interviewees' communication also produced the themes of managing stigma and impressions of the relationship identity. Implications of the study include a richer understanding of polyamorous identity management, polyamory as a relationship orientation, and a new perspective in applying identity management theory.
Identifier: CFE0006187 (IID), ucf:51153 (fedora)
Note(s): 2016-05-01
M.A.
Sciences, Communication
Masters
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): communication -- polyamory -- identity management theory -- nonmonogamy -- qualitative
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0006187
Restrictions on Access: public 2016-05-15
Host Institution: UCF

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