Speaking of home truth: (Re)productions of dyadic containment in non-monogamous relationships
Finn, M. and Malson, H. (2008) Speaking of home truth: (Re)productions of dyadic containment in non-monogamous relationships. British Journal of Social Psychology, 47 (3). pp. 519-533. ISSN 0144-6665
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1348/014466607X248921
This paper is a critical exploration of the discursive and socio-historical practice of `dyadic-containment' as a principle index for how we know, experience, and authenticate romantic relationships. Making intelligible an `authentic' relationship as something which is fixed, enclosed and exclusive, the pervasive principle of dyadic-containment has considerable implications for what it means to live out `authentic' but ostensibly liberated relationships. Using post-structuralist discourse analysis to explore ways in which people can account for their consensual non-monogamous relationships (same and cross-sex, dyadic and non-dyadic), we critique the liberal-humanist framework from which such relationships can be played out. In that dyadic-containment as an aspect of an ontology of interiorized and contained `realness' can be viewed as serving to characterize and authorize monogamous relationships (as we illustrate), practices of consensual non-monogamy that reproduce dyadic-containment as an organizing and authenticating principle are problematized. Limits to understandings and practices of some `alternative' romantic relationships are therefore expounded and consideration is given to how relational difference might be otherwise premised.