RE: Circumstantial Community -Relationship expectations.
From: Fred H. Olson (
Date: Fri, 13 Aug 1999 17:15:00 -0600 (MDT)
On Sun, 1 Aug 1999, Rob Sandelin wrote:

> In some places,
> those relationships are very close, family-like, with a great deal of time
> spent supporting and interacting with each other. In other communities the
> relationships are considerably more distant, in fact, in one case, almost
> strangers who have little contact with each other.
> In my workshops I sometimes use a connection scale excercise. I draw a line
> with a 1 on one end and a 10 on the other. 

Interesting comments Rob.  But I suspect the subjectivity of your scale
even with your description might contribute some to the variability you
found.  Depends on things like what you expect of "family" and "typical
neighborhood" etc.

I think a survey that asked some specifics (a bunch ?) and then derived
the continium based on the responses would be more useful.  In your
message you cited a few specifics which if stated as questions might be
the start of a survey.  (Questions could be phrased to ask about what
respondant would prefer or about relationships with current neighbors) 

> I do not expect [most neighbors]
> them to loan me a car, bring me food if I am ill, or care about me
> and my life. Conversely, I expect all of those things of my neighbors in an
> intentional community.

Question.  Would you loan your car to a neighbor?
           Would you ask you neighbor to borrow their car?
           Have you ever borrowed (loaned) your car...

Rob, I sort of recall you citing a list of specifics in a message to the
list one time.  Maybe ' Do you know what your neighbors do for a living? 
Do you know any of their relatives? ' sorts of questions.

My neighborhood is of the 'circumstantial' variety but I also know that
many of my neighbors have some things in common and many of us might rate
the neighborhood above "5".  Our potluck group (about 7 households)
are clearly above '5' but it's not just this subset.

I've wondered about having a discussion of specifics in order to clarify
and share expectations (but have not really done it).  One of the
dimensions that particularly would be helpful is knowing when people
welcome drop-in visits and other contact.  I typically ignore the
admonition that one should call before visiting / dropping by friends /
neighbors and relatives.


who has borrowed neighbors vehicles and left his kid with many
different neighbors on occasion (or arranged contingency plans to do
so on short notice).

Description of our neighborhood that needs updating:

Fred H. Olson  fholson [at]    Minneapolis,MN   55411  
(612)588-9532  Amateur radio: WB0YQM          List manager of:
Cohousing-L  See and Nbhd-tc --  Twin 
Cities Neighborhood issues list.  See

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