Polyamory in Finland

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http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201703271885
Title: Polyamory in Finland
Author: Matilainen, Jesse Nalle
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Research
Publisher: Helsingfors universitet
Date: 2012
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201703271885
http://hdl.handle.net/10138/32477
Thesis level: master's thesis
Abstract: My graduate thesis looks at polyamory, or consensual parralel relationships through the study of kinship in anthropology. I concentrate on Lévi-Strauss ideas about structural exchange in relation to David Schneiders ideas about kinship substance and Marilyn Stratherns ideas about gender. I look at how the study of kinship has been formed by the connecting of love with sex in Western discourse and how olyamorists question this connection in their practices. My aim is to understand polyamorous sociality through its own terms. I studied people identifying themselves as polyamorists in Finland. My study consisted of 12 interviews and a survey with a take of 76 espondents. My fieldwork was done in the summer of 2011, in the three major cities of Finland: Helsinki, Turku and Tampere. I found that polyamorists constituted a distinct group that differed from what has been statistically studied as the Finnish norm. They were mostly feminists, non religious urban adults. In my research I found that polyamorists were using consensuality to actively create their relationships and themselves as individuals. This was done in opposition to marriage, but it was in relation to a specifically Finnish ideal of relationships being based on equality. In their attempts to recreate equality in parrallel relationships through consensuality, polyamorists were at the same time adhering to ideals as they were changing the normative forms of relationships. I found that polyamorists were creating relatedness not through sexual intercourse, but through a particular discourse of love where love. This love was expressed as negotiation and agreements, which became central in how polyamorists defined themselves as individuals in their relationships.
Discipline: Social and Cultural Anthropology
Sosiaali- ja kulttuuriantropologia
Social- och kulturantropologi


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