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

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Poly-Care between aspiration and reality
Michel Raab

##manager.scheduler.building##: B Tower
##manager.scheduler.room##: T12
Date: 2015-09-26 04:30 PM – 06:00 PM
Last modified: 2015-08-08


Activists and parts of the research community share the assumption that breaking with hegemonic norms in relationships paves the way for replacing patriarchal and capitalistically structured norms and behaviour patterns with ones that are to a higher degree self-determined. However, it is just as feasible that polyamory aids in managing the demands of a flexible, project-oriented capitalist system without restructuring gendered divisions of labor that continue to be especially adverse for women.

Marxist and feminist strands of Sociology of the Family emphasize the significance of care for the interrelation of gender- and class relations and relationships. As reproductive work, care fulfils the task of taking material and emotional care of new generations as well as the reproduction of existing work force. Thereby, family/relationship is a significant social nexus for the consolidation of gender and class relations. Despite its significance, this aspect has not received much attention in research on polyamory yet.

Therefore my proposed contribution will start to tackle this issue. Based on preliminary results from an empirical research project including interviews and employing an intersectional multi-level analysis, I will introduce two types of care in consensual non-monogamous relationship networks. The factors that they have in common are that they demand awareness, exchange and cooperation from each member of the network. The extent to which these aspirations can be achieved depends on how elaborate the respective care needs are and to what degree care becomes a code of practice and can be institutionalized on a meso-level.