Title of Abstract

How Progressives Perceive Polyamory

Session Title

Community, Society, and Government

Faculty Sponsor (for work done with a non-Winthrop mentor)

Mike Sickels, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Sociology, Criminology & Anthropology

Abstract

This research seeks to address how one’s progressive political attitudes influence their opinions and perceptions of polyamory. We explore this proposal through the use of identity theory in conjunction with the related ideas of non-normative groups and social structures. Our motivations in exploring this relationship stem from the lack of research on polyamory in general within academia, and especially the lack of studies that cover the intersection of politics and socially constructed dating ideals. As politics become increasingly intertwined with our personal lives, it seems necessary to explore how they might affect how we view the pervasive, intimate social structures that surround us. Research was conducted strictly on Winthrop University’s campus and sampled only students who attend the institution. Information was gathered through 12 semi-structured interviews that lasted 20-40 minutes. Participants were asked 19 questions regarding their own personal identities, opinions on polyamory, progressivism, and how all three might intersect. The findings concluded that those who identify with non-normative groups, specifically those who belong to the LGBTQIA+ community, tend to be drawn towards more progressive movements as they are usually more accepting. These findings could be useful in the future as polarizing politics begin to be used as a way of identifying and codifying people. Studying how closely people consider their political views when formulating their thoughts on social structures, such as monogamy, will allow future researchers to refine their own understanding of identity.

Start Date

15-4-2022 12:00 PM

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Apr 15th, 12:00 PM

How Progressives Perceive Polyamory

This research seeks to address how one’s progressive political attitudes influence their opinions and perceptions of polyamory. We explore this proposal through the use of identity theory in conjunction with the related ideas of non-normative groups and social structures. Our motivations in exploring this relationship stem from the lack of research on polyamory in general within academia, and especially the lack of studies that cover the intersection of politics and socially constructed dating ideals. As politics become increasingly intertwined with our personal lives, it seems necessary to explore how they might affect how we view the pervasive, intimate social structures that surround us. Research was conducted strictly on Winthrop University’s campus and sampled only students who attend the institution. Information was gathered through 12 semi-structured interviews that lasted 20-40 minutes. Participants were asked 19 questions regarding their own personal identities, opinions on polyamory, progressivism, and how all three might intersect. The findings concluded that those who identify with non-normative groups, specifically those who belong to the LGBTQIA+ community, tend to be drawn towards more progressive movements as they are usually more accepting. These findings could be useful in the future as polarizing politics begin to be used as a way of identifying and codifying people. Studying how closely people consider their political views when formulating their thoughts on social structures, such as monogamy, will allow future researchers to refine their own understanding of identity.