Annukka Lahden abstrakti on hyväksytty esitelmäksi Unequal Families and Relationships -konferenssiin, joka järjestetään Edinburghissa 13-15 Kesäkuuta, 2016. Esitelmän abstrakti alla:

Reframing equality and gendered power in bisexual women’s relationships

Bisexual women often stress that their experiences of relationships with different genders, especially with women have led them to question the “traditional”, hierarchical gendered ways of being in a relationship (Kangasvuo, 2006, 2014; Münder, 2004; Scales Rostosky et al., 2010). However, this questioning might be temporary and context bound. In this study, bisexual women and their partners of various genders, whom I interviewed together as couples in 2005 built up an ideal discourse of an equal relationship (Lahti, 2015). However, in their follow-up individual interviews in 2014 and in 2015 the equality ideal seemed to have lost its importance in the participants’ new, mostly other-sex relationships.

The concept of ‘heterosexual dynamics’ refers to the ways how gendered power actualizes when forming, maintaining and ending intimate relationships (Jurva, 2012). In my analysis of the discrepancy between the two sets of interviews, I will ask: what kind of relational contexts, and what kind of discursive and mental resources it requires to resist this hierarchical power dynamics of actualizing?

I argue, that exploring the decline in the investments in the equality discourse reveals some important aspects of how power dynamics operate in relationships. They are always embedded in gendered power hierarchies, but also affectively constructed and linked to the psycho-biographical aspects of participants’ relational life (e.g. Hollway & Jefferson, 2000; Johnson, 2015). These features do not exclude each other, but hopefully expand the analysis of gendered power in relationships and help to identify means to resist heterosexual dynamics’ persistent pull.

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