RE: more on The Tyranny of Structurelessness
From: Eileen McCourt (
Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2001 13:04:02 -0600 (MDT)

As opposed to falling apart from the confusion and bickering an inaction resulting from not being able to make any decisions due to lack of tools and skills for collaborative decision making?




Eileen McCourt

Oak Creek Commons

Cohousing in Paso Robles, CA

emccourt [at]


-----Original Message-----
From: cohousing-l-admin [at] [mailto:cohousing-l-admin [at]]On Behalf Of C2pattee [at]
Sent: Tuesday, July 17, 2001 9:31 AM
To: cohousing-l [at]
Subject: [C-L]_more on The Tyranny of Structurelessness


There was no thread, since I threw in the reference to The Tyranny of
Structurelessness at the end of a stream of consciousness observation that
started with old folks and ended with a comparison between cohousing and the
women's movement.

However, in a nutshell you have described the problem that tore apart many of
those very early Women's Liberation groups.  In a group without defined
structure, power flows to she who knows the unwritten rules - and exercises
them to her own advantage.

Christine Pattee
Greater Hartford CT Cohousing
c2pattee [at]

Message: 1
From: "Ken Collerman" <kcollerm [at]>
To: <cohousing-l [at]>
Subject: Re: [C-L]_more on The Tyranny of Structurelessness
Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2001 11:53:42 -0700
Reply-To: cohousing-l [at]

I couldn't find the thread on this subject, so don't know what has been
written so far about this subject. (I prefer a threaded discussion forum
over a list server for this.)  However, I'd like to add my two cents anyway.
At Windsong we have a small number of members who do not like written
policies or agreements of any kind.  The two reasons I've heard for not
having policies (or agreements) are:

1) Policies are created by people who just want to have control over others.

2) We don't need policies because we can just use common sense.

We have only 7 policies, 5 years after moving in.

The result, as I see it, has been a lot of confusion and a minority taking
control by making decisions, using their "common sense".  Windsong is a
great place to live, however, I think we've lost some of our democracy.

Ken Collerman
Windsong Cohousing
Langley, BC

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