Raab, Michael: (Poly-)Parenthood between project logic and gender identity. In: Sexualities

Abstract: Romantic love unites a man and woman as a couple. The birth of a child confirms the righteousness of this union and prolongs it into eternity – so the myth goes. Simultaneously, the demand for a well-planed and economically optimized parenthood is increasing. How do (potential) non-monogamous parents deal with these multiple demands? Based on an intersectional multi-level-analysis of 13 interviews, the article describes three gender-specific modes of subjectivation: A strong self-identification with the ideal of the autonomous subject, deconstructing fatherhood while reproducing motherhood and poly-parenthood as a project of social planning. The article shows which narratives of personal development occur empirically in relation to relationship management and parenthood, and how these narratives are either reconciled or weighed against each other. It becomes clear that the idea of polyamory as a means for personal development is widespread and is partly accompanied by an ideal of individual independence of an autonomous subject which does not go well with parenthood. Deconstructing fatherhood while reproducing motherhood turns out to systematically reinforce traditional gendered modes of subjectivation. It also became evident that there is an underlying idea of community development in which children become a part of a comprehensive project of joint self-improvement.