MA (Master of Arts)
Communication and Storytelling Studies
Date of Award
Committee Chair or Co-Chairs
Christine Anzur, Wesley Buerkle, Nancy Donoval
This study is an exploration of the relationship between polyamory and how polyamorous people communicate about their relationship dynamics. Drawing from six individual interviews and one focus group, the author compares key language that appears in previous research to the language created by the study participants. Utilizing grounded theory for the analysis, results indicate that the language choices of sexual identity, sexual orientation, and/or relationship model are not sufficient for singularly encompassing a poly experience. Findings indicate that individuals who identify under the umbrella of consensual non-monogamy (CNM) may use the term "polyamory" to describe their own relationship dynamic or to generally signify themselves as CNM. Participants defined "polyamory" as an ambiguous, general term that included relationships of ethical consent and romantic interest. Although participants lacked specialized language to describe their respective relationship dynamics, "polyamory" was used as a way of creating language and understanding around each relationship's dynamic.
Thesis - unrestricted
Isbister, Vianna, "Polyamory - The Multiple Complexities of Multiple Partners" (2023). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 4165. https://dc.etsu.edu/etd/4165
Copyright by the authors.