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|From: Till Houtermans (tillhoutocf.Berkeley.EDU)|
|Date: Tue, 12 Jul 94 14:55 CDT|
In regards to the question of how intentional communities differ from cohousing I think it is important to note that there are different types of intentioanl communities. Some are religious with a strict ideology which members must adhere to in order to be part of the community. Such communities often have a leader and a hiearchy. The group often tends to over power the individual. Other types of intentioanl communities are started simply because a group of people want to live, eat, and sleep together. Here the group motivation is not one specific ideology but rather the will to be togeher. Group solidarity is not achieved through rules and institutional structures, but rather through trust and companionship between members. Cohousing resembles this type of community the most. People get together in order to get something which can not be obtained through mainstream life: namely a strong feeling of community and companionship. Like many intentional communities a strong group identiy is created that becomes larger than the individuals put together. One important way in which cohousing differs is there is more of a consciouse effort to distinguish between individaul and group space. Many of the intentioanl communities which I have read about have made it a specific goal to have encounter sessions where individauls must confront each other and try to reslove there differences which creates an intense emotional space; often too intence. One way in which cohousing resolves the problem of individual differences is by giving people their private space i.e. a place to retreat from the community. tilhout [at] ocf.berkeley.edu
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