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Polyamory, Polygamy, Line Marriage, Clan Marriage. - Gtx0 ?>


Polyamory, Polygamy, Line Marriage, Clan Marriage.
Posted: Posted June 24th, 2008 by eldin raigmore
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I recently had dinner with some people who have some "alternative lifestyles".
They told me that polyamory was a lot different from polygamy.
Does anyone know what the differences are considered to be, among the practitioners of each?
They also said that the two main forms of polyamory are "line marriage" and "clan marriage".
Can anyone explain what those are?
Are there other forms?
Can a system be both a line-marriage and a clan-marriage?

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I think a "line marriage" is when marriage only occurs between two families, with new generations from each family only marrying into the other family. A "clan marriage" is probably the same thing, except on a larger scale. Marriage exchanges would only occur between two clans. To find out more about what that entails, you would have to know more about what a clan is. It wouldn't necessarily be endogamy as long as one or both clans also exchange marriage partners with another clan, but atleast one person from each clan must always marry into the other clan they have this sort of affiliation with for it to be a clan marriage.

And I don't think I have ever heard of "polyamory" so I couldn't give you a definition right now. I'll look into it though.

Posted June 25th, 2008 by Cerne
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Cerne
 

Polygamy just means that one person can marry more than one other person. A lot of people, though, think of it as meaning one man and multiple women with the man being the head of the household (which is the most common form). It's my understanding that 'polyamory' was coined to avoid that connotation, as well as many polyamorists not considering all their relationships to be marriages per se.

Line marriage means that new spouses are regularly added to the group, so the marriage 'unit' continues after the death of the original couple (or trio, etc.). It apparently features heavily in Robert Heinlein's The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, although I'm not sure whether Heinlein was the one who originally invented the concept or not. I don't know what a clan marriage (in the context of polyamory) is.

Posted June 25th, 2008 by Lea
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Lea
 

I always took polyamory to mean "Hey, I cheat. I don't mind if you cheat. Will that be a problem? Check yes or no."

Posted June 26th, 2008 by wheelerpm
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Polygamy just means that one person can marry more than one other person. A lot of people, though, think of it as meaning one man and multiple women with the man being the head of the household (which is the most common form). It's my understanding that 'polyamory' was coined to avoid that connotation, as well as many polyamorists not considering all their relationships to be marriages per se.


Polyandry = one woman with multiple husbands.
Polygyny = one man with multiple wives.

Polygamy can mean either or both; it is a more general term for having multiple spouses at the same time so you can use it for either polygyny or polyandry. Or you could use either terms to further specify what kind of polygamy you are talking about. Judging from his original post (and from experience), Eldin probably knows what polygamy is. Just not what "polyamory" means. And neither do I, unfortunately :(

Line marriage means that new spouses are regularly added to the group, so the marriage 'unit' continues after the death of the original couple (or trio, etc.). It apparently features heavily in Robert Heinlein's The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, although I'm not sure whether Heinlein was the one who originally invented the concept or not. I don't know what a clan marriage (in the context of polyamory) is.


Really? Interesting ... thanks for clearing that up for me. I still haven't found out what the difference is between the two, but if clan marriages are clan-exclusive, that would explain the difference between the two.

Posted June 26th, 2008 by Cerne
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Cerne
 

Polyandry = one woman with multiple husbands.
Polygyny = one man with multiple wives.

Polygamy can mean either or both; it is a more general term for having multiple spouses at the same time so you can use it for either polygyny or polyandry.


Yes. To clarify my meaning then: Many people think of polygamy as synonymous with polygyny.

Just not what "polyamory" means. And neither do I, unfortunately :(


Ah. Sorry, I seem to have misunderstood the question.

'Polyamory' covers a lot of nonmonogamous situations, ranging from being conventionally married but having a lover on the side (with full knowledge and consent of all parties) to committed multi-person marriages. There's a website with explanations and contact networks at www.polyamory.org . Essentially, if (1) you have romantic/sexual relationships with at least two people, and (2) everyone knows about everyone else and is happy, you can call yourself polyamorous. (If 2 doesn't apply, you're just cheating. Polyamorists tend to consider the distinction very important.)

Posted June 26th, 2008 by Lea
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Lea
 

Polyandry = one woman with multiple husbands.
Polygyny = one man with multiple wives.

Polygamy can mean either or both; it is a more general term for having multiple spouses at the same time so you can use it for either polygyny or polyandry.


Yes. To clarify my meaning then: Many people think of polygamy as synonymous with polygyny.


Only because Polygyny is a lot more common. If you live in Tibet it would be the other way around :wink:

'Polyamory' covers a lot of nonmonogamous situations, ranging from being conventionally married but having a lover on the side (with full knowledge and consent of all parties) to committed multi-person marriages. There's a website with explanations and contact networks at www.polyamory.org . Essentially, if (1) you have romantic/sexual relationships with at least two people, and (2) everyone knows about everyone else and is happy, you can call yourself polyamorous. (If 2 doesn't apply, you're just cheating. Polyamorists tend to consider the distinction very important.)


So what is the difference between that and Polygamy, then?

Posted June 26th, 2008 by Cerne
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Cerne
 


So what is the difference between that and Polygamy, then?


Because polyamory sounds more "hip" to the kids these days, since they spliced in the latin(?) word for love.

It's sort of like being an agnostic instead of an atheist because the latter is a dirty word ;)

Posted June 26th, 2008 by Blake
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Blake
 

well agnostic actually means something else...

Posted June 26th, 2008 by wheelerpm
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well agnostic actually means something else...


Yes. And I would think you would understand that Blake.

Posted June 26th, 2008 by bloodb4roses
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well agnostic actually means something else...


Yes. And I would think you would understand that Blake.



The term was coined deliberately by Huxley as a cop-out due to the bad press of the term "atheist" at the time (1800's), which has classically been used pejoratively to refer to non-believers, of which agnostics are a sort.

So the comparison is actually quite accurate in so far as its adoption goes.

As far as the meanings of the words, most atheists are "agnostic" (with the arguable exception of a few non-theistic religions that have a sense of 'spiritual truth'), and unless you're considering the new usage as conjoined with theism and deism to indicate uncertainty, agnostics (without another uppity word slapped on) are all atheists who distinctly lack in belief of deities.

People { Atheists { positive atheists, agnostics, (arguably some forms of Eastern religions) }, Theists {all sorts of stuff that is NOT agnostic}}

If you want to get picky about the semantics of the words actually in question, I believe Polyamory also implies "love", which polygamy doesn't by necessity- although in practice, 'love' rarely has much to do with it. Polygamy, in at least most cultures, also implies marriage- which polyamorous people are often averse to in line with the whole new-agey thing.


Polyamory is distinct from polygamy, being closer to a personal outlook than a predefined bonding system. It is grounded in such concepts as choice, trust, equality of free will, and the more novel idea of compersion, rather than in cultural or religious tradition.



It's all about the particulars of the word use if you want to get nitty gritty, which I have no interest in doing.

My point was that the words were both proliferated due to their convenient use as cop-outs to avoid another perfectly suitable word with a negative social connotation.

I was just making a simple analogy...

How about this:

Polyamory is like a sanitation commissioner- it sounds better in polite conversation.

(Watching House, invariably I'm liable to come off more arrogant and condescending at the moment)

Edit: Nicified a bit for Mr. Saturday. Didn't want him to feel inadequate...

Posted June 26th, 2008 by Blake
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Blake
 
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