Sunday, February 26, 2012

Review 4: Border Sexualities, Border Families in Schools, Chapter 2

Review 4:

Pallota-Chiarolli, M. (2010). Border sexualities, border families in schools. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Second chapter: 'On the Bi- and Poly-Borders': Theorizing Dichotomy and Diversity. Pp. 29-73.

An excellent go-over on the socio/cultural status and identity of bi and poly individuals. It builds strong fundamentals for the points listed previously. Of particular note is more flushing out on the 'pass, border' pollute' models. I'm still seeing a lot of potential correlation between these three models and exposure impacts with adultery, bigamy and fornication laws. Without getting into too much detail, they are (in context of my research):

Passing: Effectively to sublimate one's non-monogamy to 'pass' as normal in the larger society. Exposure problems are likely to be minimal, but much more traumatic if exposed, due to the extra psychological and socio/cultural impact of that exposure. (pp 63-8)

Bordering: This is the one I understand the least, but the analogy that the author uses the most is 'fence sitting'. Unlike passing, which keeps non-monogamy private, and polluting, which is effectively full exposure, bordering seems to occupy the grey area between, where individuals are selectively exposed and hidden. I'm hoping that there's more elaboration on bordering, as it strikes me as an important component in understanding exposure in my research. (pp 68-70)

Polluting: Effectively the 'I'm here, deal with it' approach. Polluters don't sublimate themselves for the society, and as such have the highest level of exposure, with the least amount of indirect consequences from exposure. It's hard to be traumatized from being 'outed' when you're constantly 'outing' yourself (-: The author also describes this model as having an almost Socratic examination on norms, where nothing is taken for granted, and it's all questioned. (pp 70-3)

Also, the question comes up as to how policy affects individual/family choice to adopt a pass, border, or pollute strategy?

Other important take-away ideas for my research:

What power 'discourses of authenticity' have, and how policy shapes that for non-monogamists. (pg. 31)

Ideas on how policy can shape cultural taboos that 'silence' non-monogamists. (pg. 32)

Issues of group inclusion when there's no acceptance of non-monogamy, and no alternative groups to associate with. Shouldn't policy help to create spaces where silence is lifted, instead of helping to reinforce silence? (pg. 33)

Interesting compilation of what stats on on-monogamy are out there. Unfortunately there's no such thing as a representative sample in any study that's been done on non-monogamy. (pg. 48)

Building on the lack of cultural access, there is a desire for more "positive texts and media resources to be made available about their families to the general public". There's something here that I'm feeling is very important to the research I'm doing, but can't lock it down exactly yet. (pg 49)

Very good read, and I'm hoping for some solid examples of pass/border/pollute later in the book, which can help me understand the concepts better, as well as give me some specific behaviors I can connect to exposure levels in my current research. I know I got a lot from this because of the 2.5 pages of notes I made on this chapter (-:

- Jason

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