Faculty of Social and Human Sciences (UNL) Conference System, 1st Non-Monogamies and Contemporary Intimacies Conference

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Politics of Loving Many: The Role of Alternative Media in Polyamory Discourses
Megan Hurson

##manager.scheduler.building##: B Tower
##manager.scheduler.room##: T11
Date: 2015-09-26 11:30 AM – 01:00 PM
Last modified: 2015-08-08


This study explores the roles of alternative media in the U.S. polyamory community, and seeks to discern whether the alternative media originated by members of this community acts as a tool in shaping a polyamorous social movement in the U.S. This study applies the characteristics of new social movement models‒ the structural, ideational-interpretive, and performative spheres‒ as an analytical tool for each particular practitioner’s media text to elucidate the ways the polyamory movement differs as a new social movement beyond political protesting schedules and class-based movements characteristic of traditional social movements.  The study argues that polyamory media practitioners are highly attuned to the uses of alternative media as a resource for 1) combating mainstream misrepresentations of polyamory; but more importantly, 2) the production of texts created and distributed by polyamory individuals for the community, presenting more accurate and nuanced representations than mainstream media texts, as well as for education and awareness‒ all central features for maintaining strong visible discourses.

Prior research attributes the Internet as a marked media space for not only the proliferation of connectivity of polyamorous individuals, but also as a medium for education and resource distribution. Therefore, this study sought out prominent media practitioners within the polyamory community with an online presence to understand their role in media discourses, and the degrees in which their contributed medium adds to a polyamory movement at large. Criteria for inclusion in this study was based on recognition on multiple, highly-promoted polyamory websites and blogs, as well as through word of mouth using a snow-ball effect from former interview subjects.