I believe in hierarchy in poly, not as a method of saying you are more important, but as a method of determining resources. This can be an important distinction when you are encountering issues of privilege and equitable needs. I am not a person who practices Hierachial poly, but I do not believe that most can effectively erase all hierarchy in the culture we live, especially with so many individualist.
If you are part of the family, you contribute to family expenses ( meaning something for the entire group that can include housing for family, food, and bills. No one should be homeless and starving they’re part of your family.), child rearing, etc.
Beneath that are the pack and extended poly family.
The extended poly family can be part of the pack unless they elect to not be. Pack to us means we support each other in whatever ways we can. The base family is an inherent part of the pack.
Beneath that are friends who aren’t pack. That’s a concept I am still struggling with, though. If you aren’t close enough to be in my pack, I personally don’t see you as a friend, but my partners were more lenient with their definitions.
Before our partner died, we had decided that since the goal was for the base family to live together that should be limited to 4-5 people because omg can you imagine. I think I still agree that this is a good cut off.
Not everyone in the base family has to be in a relationship beyond friendship. It’s a family group of choice.
The extended poly family is a mix of everyone’s partners regardless of how they interact with people.
Essentially hierarchical poly applied to the group is simply this funky type of intentional family tree.
Holy poop monsters it’s so much more complicated when you try to write it out.