|Re: Cultural Consistency||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Jim_Snyder-Grant . LOTUS (Jim_Snyder-Grant.LOTUSCRD.lotus.com)|
|Date: Thu, 23 Jun 94 17:34 CDT|
During one of our membership expansion periods, we acknowledged that households that added significant new diversity to the group would have the best chance of wanting to come in & stay in if there were 2 or more families that shared that same type of diversity. We called this the 'critical mass' factor. At one time, we codified this in our membership policies by reserving a significant number of new-member slots for households that would significantly increase the diversity of the group, realizing that we might need to reserve a few slots in order to bring in a 'critical mass' . We stated in that policy that we were particularly interested in diversities of age, race, ethnicity, & sexual orientation (I forget the exact list, but that's about correct). We made the policy contingent on a legal review, because we weren't sure if what we were doing would constitute some sort of discrimination on legal grounds because of the fair housing laws. When our lawyer took a look at it & reviewed it with his firm's fair-housing expert, he recommended we drop it. Our policy was apparently on the line of what would be legal or not. We dropped back to a policy of considering as a 'positive factor' a potential household's contribution to increasing the diversity of the group. The lawyer was comfortable with that. How did we do? Our group, now 24 households, has some diversity (and comfort with) a variety of sexual orientations & family configurations; a decent variety in ages (the one we worked the most on? achieving having [and holding on to] 5 households over 55); little or no racial diversity, but some adopted non-white kids; and a variety of religious affiliations, including, curiously enough, a large number of mixed Jewish / non-Jewish households (including mine). Finally, a comment on how those involved in cohousing appear to be mutants with respect to the larger culture: I think what we are seeing has two partial causes, both of which I've seen operate in New View: First, a certain amount of self-selection, where people that don't get the potential value in giving up some autonomy to a larger, cooperative group just don't join co-housing; and then some reinforcement of those values as each group works out how they are going to be with each other & each person accumulates successful experiences & new skill in being cooperative. We have, from time to time, been able to catch 'group-think' at work, the pressure on minority points of view to conform to the rest of the group, as if disagreement was some threat. It is becoming part of our habit as a group to notice those sorts of moments & take the time to appreciate people's diverse points of view as a gift to the larger group. If we all thought alike, we could all be wrong at once without any chance of correction - diverse points of vew gives us a chance to talk things through & consider options. I'm sure this will be an ongoing learning for the group - I think us humans get some built-in inclination or early training on saying we agree with the group even when we disagree; and we even know how to change our perceptions to match those that the group around is reporting. I think this is one of the central pitfalls that groups need to work through.
- Re: Re: Cultural Consistency, (continued)
- Re: Re: Cultural Consistency Caryn Olczyk, June 22 1994
- Re: Re: Re: Cultural Consistency Lynne Farnum, June 22 1994
- Re: Re: Re: Cultural Consistency Rob Sandelin, June 22 1994
- Re: Re: Re: Cultural Consistency Gayle Koszegi, June 22 1994
- Re: Cultural Consistency Jim_Snyder-Grant . LOTUS, June 23 1994
- Re: Cultural Consistency Martin Schafer, June 27 1994
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