Monogamous order and the avoidance of chaotic excess

Article


Finn, M. 2011. Monogamous order and the avoidance of chaotic excess. Psychology & Sexuality. 3 (2), pp. 123-136.
AuthorsFinn, M.
Abstract

In Western culture sexual fidelity is widely regarded as a prime source of relationship stability and personal happiness and thus a worthy practice. This article is an empirical and critical account of monogamous coupledom as a privileged relational experience. Data is drawn from fourteen in-depth interviews with Australian men and women who self-identified their cross or same-sex partnerships as sexually and emotionally monogamous. Monogamy, as participants construct it, is critiqued as an action and policy that produces an exclusive and contained essence of relationships and that guards against a perceived chaotic excess that is set up in opposition to it. Such action is seen to impel a sense of mastery in relationships and selves that are properly enclosed, channelled and thereby ordered. The socio-historic binary arrangement of an ordered inside and chaotic outside is focussed on as enabling a superior monogamous order while also underpinning its precariousness and psychological frailty. Drawing on Deleuzian ideas about a non-privileged and non-hierarchical system of relating, an alternative way of intimately connecting with others is brought into theoretical view, one that does not favour contained and fixed essences as foundations for relationships, intimate connections and life.

Keywordscouple relationship; containment; monogamy
JournalPsychology & Sexuality
Journal citation3 (2), pp. 123-136
ISSN1941-9902
1941-9899
Year2011
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Accepted author manuscript
Web address (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19419899.2011.551834
Publication dates
Online22 Feb 2011
Publication process dates
Deposited02 Nov 2012
Accepted31 Dec 2010
Accepted31 Dec 2010
Copyright informationThis is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in [include the complete citation information for the final version of the article as published in Psychology and Sexuality 3(2)[copyright Taylor & Francis], available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19419899.2011.551834.
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