In the United States, people are encouraged and even coerced by social forces to behave and interact according to rigid social mores that tend to privilege individuals from a specific gender, racial, and class backgrounds. As many theorists have stated, sexual, gender, and racial minorities navigate their lives experiencing oppression at different levels and at the intersections of different systems of inequality. The marginal social location of these identities often results in people re-defining the social meanings through which they construct their social lives. Although much research has been devoted to investigating the different ways in which people resist the dominant social order, research on polyamory is still highly unexplored. According to the studied population, polyamory is a form of ethical non-monogamy that promotes egalitarian relationships among all parties involved. According to Dr. Mimi Shippers, "poly sexualities offers an opportunity to reorient […] gender and race relations" (2016:4). In this study, I collected data from nine semi-structured interviews that shine light upon how people in polyamorous relationships engage in the reorientation of gender relations. By looking at reported communication strategies between polyamorous individuals, this study found that the social location of marginalized sexual and gender identities fosters a sense of solidarity through which people redefine the meaning in their interactions as they inform people's identity. Nevertheless, these dynamics result in the resistance of some aspects of the dominant social order and the reproduction of others.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Armato, Michael


Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


College of Sciences





Access Status

Open Access

Release Date