Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Communication Studies

First Advisor

Elizabeth A. Suter, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Erin Willer

Third Advisor

Bernadette M. Calafell

Fourth Advisor

Eleanor McNees


Identity, Monogamy, Non-monogamy, Polyamory, Queer theory, Relational dialectics theory 2.0


Monogamous romantic relationships are the standard by which to engage in relationships in the United States. Despite the pervasiveness of monogamy, polyamorous romantic relationships are growing. Polyamory is an approach to romantic relationships that includes engaging sexually and emotionally with multiple people simultaneously, with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved (Polyamory, 2015). This study explores how individuals who identify as polyamorous construct personal and relational identities in a monogamous world. Using relational dialectics theory 2.0 and queer theory, the study examined self-recorded conversations of 21 polyamorous participants and their partner(s). Participant talk surrounding polyamorous personal and relational identity voiced the discourse of mono-deconstruction and the discourse of poly-production. The discourse of mono-normativity was also present in the data. Participant talk surrounding polyamorous personal and relational identity was dialogically rich, demonstrating interplay and transformative dialogue. Metaphoric transformation is introduced, which is the use of metaphor to create new meanings in communication.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Stephanie K. Webb


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

180 p.



Included in

Communication Commons