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

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Rules of the game in monogamous relationships
Mona Röhm

##manager.scheduler.building##: B Tower
##manager.scheduler.room##: T10
Date: 2015-09-26 11:30 AM – 01:00 PM
Last modified: 2015-08-08


Keywords: Monogamy, Mono-Normativity, Rules and Values, Moral Anthropology, Empirical Research

“But YOU are in a monogamous relationship, aren´t you?”, my mother asked me stunned when I told her about my research topic for the first time. I was able to reassure her because I´m actually living what my mother and the majority of our society would consider as normal and desirable – a monogamous relationship. Not just in our private setting but also in media, law and within popular culture we are constantly confronted with this social ideal.

Within my MA thesis I´m discussing the social ideal of monogamy in our society. ^xWhere does it come from and why are people choosing this style of relationship for their own life? Furthermore I assume that there are various scopes of designing monogamous relationships in your own way. To explore monogamy empirically I used narrative interviews with several monogamous and a few non-monogamous couples. Furthermore the analysis of online forums is part of my research.

The concept of Mono-Normativity states that, the normativity of monogamy is a complex set of knowledge production and power. Further, it creates rituals, modulates affects and feelings and produces a devaluation, marginalization, and suppression of any form of relationship different to monogamy and moreover it includes a set of behavioral codes for what is right or wrong (Pieber/Bauer 2014: 3). Following the work of Eric Anderson (2012) and his differentiation of physical, desirous, emotional and social monogamy, I consider morality as an essential part in the construction and negotiation of the rules for intimate relationships.