chapter  1
6 Pages

Introduction

ByMEG BARKER, DARREN LANGDRIDGE

Of course, as the fi rst authors included in this book, Frank and DeLameter, point out, the distinction between ‘monogamy’ and ‘non-monogamy’ is a contentious one. Indeed Duncombe et al.’s (2004) collection included two chapters about open, and polyamorous, relationships. The kinds of negotiations around commitment and fi delity documented in the current book are also happening within many monogamous relationships as people explore and police boundaries around emotional and sexual intimacy with partners and others. This all occurs within a context of new ways of relating that has developed with increasing gender equality, recognition of same sex relationships, and related moves towards seeing relationship partners as equal with autonomous goals (Giddens, 1992) alongside powerful societal narratives of love and romance (Beck & Beck-Gernsheim, 1995).