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The Political Is Personal: The Importance of Affective Narratives in the Rise of Poly-activism

Cardoso, D (2019) The Political Is Personal: The Importance of Affective Narratives in the Rise of Poly-activism. Sociological Research Online.

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Abstract

© The Author(s) 2019. There is a considerable gap on how social movements that center around non/monogamies decide to organize and articulate their strategies, as well as how they manage their tensions with other activist groups and ideologies or even the State. In addition to this, the fact that much of the literature that circulates is written in English and in an Anglophone context, hampers the ability of researchers to come into contact with other experiences of non/monogamies. This article gives a situated account of the rise of the Portuguese polyamorous social movement and shows how interpersonal relationships fundamentally shape the way activism is performed, and how archives are also important in establishing the identity of activists and activist groups. Using data from the Portuguese polyamorous group PolyPortugal, and interviews with high-profile activists, I argue that the idea of a politics of relating (the politicized analysis of how we connect and perform a given ethics of connection) is a conceptually useful tool to think about the transformations of contemporary intimacies, but it is also fundamental to think about how activism is done by people and for people – people who relate to one another, who exist in tension.

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