“Communicate, communicate, communicate” - building ethical subjectivities within polyamory

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Abstract

Though explicitly non-monogamous relationships are anything but new, the last 20 years have seen the rise and development of another identity: polyamory. This new identity brings with it a focus on feelings and emotions, and seeks to build itself around the ethical notions of frankness and communication. But what is frank communication, how is it supposed to be deployed and, most of all, how does it work in constituting an ethical practice and subjectivity? From the analysis of the conversations on the oldest mailing list on polyamory, we consider how this relates to Foucault’s writing of the self as an ethopoietic practice based on parrhesia - the courage of truth. By focusing on feelings, polyamorous subjects seek to improve themselves and be more autonomous by being able to better control and modify those same feelings.

 

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