Disengaged households
From: Rod Lambert (rodecovillage.ithaca.ny.us)
Date: Mon, 2 Nov 2009 13:39:28 -0800 (PST)
An important topic to wrestle with.

Disengagement happens for a number of reasons. I have often heard the idea that "if those people would just leave things would be better around here" but I have sometimes thought that an opportunity to understand how our community works is missed. Here a process was started in which the leaving people would be interviewed to learn from their experience but it seems to have faded out years ago. If what is happening is a homogenation of thinking is that always a good thing? It certainly helps decision making go more easily.

In the book "The Big Sort" the author describes how the US is sorting itself into a more and more balkanized areas as people move more for living with people "like us" then for economic reasons. He feels it is bad for democracy because of the polarization and loss or diversified view points in these new county/city-sized enclaves.

As I believe Diane Christian said, for consensus to work well it requires the decision making processes to be widely dispersed. Some of us might say it is prudent to examine why there is disengagement especially if it seems to be several households. If power seems to be aggregating in fewer and fewer hands for instance, it might be a wise community that does not necessarily assume apathy means consent. I sometimes think that the disengaging household goes through stages (something like Kubler-Ross' ideas of the dying process - anger, denial etc) It would be a benefit to all to have a better understanding of this process. Perhaps one of the many graduate students who seem to want to do thesis work on us will take up the challenge?

Rod Lambert
Village Green Development
EcoVillage at Ithaca, NY

Date: Mon, 2 Nov 2009 08:09:29 -0800
From: "Rob Sandelin" <floriferous [at] msn.com>
Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Disengaged households
To: "'Cohousing-L'" <cohousing-l [at] cohousing.org>
Message-ID: <BLU0-SMTP962F87C18259BFCD1BCABA3B30 [at] phx.gbl>
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Living  in a social community can sound good up front, all the things you
get from it, but after awhile the costs start to show up.  For some people
living in community is not a good fit and they withdraw and later move.
This is pretty normal. It can be painful all around when people no longer
want to be there. My advice is to give them space, help find replacement
people to buy their stake, and move on.  I recall once doing an intervention
for a community where two households were demanding the whole community make
substantial changes or they would leave. My advice was to let them leave,
and they did, and those who replaced them were grateful and happy to live in
such a great community.

Rob Sandelin
Snohomish County, WA

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