That sounds like an interesting topic. My mother and grandmother grew up and lived in England and they will tell me about their past living arrangements. It was still common for individuals and even family units to share households due to economic constraint when my mother was growing up. I sometimes wonder if living arrangements will ever develop that way here in Canada and the United States. I guess in a way it has. There are communes, but they are not the norm.
I think living in a commune definitely has its perks. In one of my psych intro classes, there were a group of women who all lived together and pooled their resources together to deal with issues that could not be resolved by the market or by the State. Child care was one of those issues. Apparently, they all took turns taking care of a child even if the child didn't belong to them. I definitely sensed that they had their own unique culture and way of being.
I think such an idea might clash with dominant ideas on living arrangements in North America though. Talking from a place of relative privilege, I really like living alone or living with my mother. It is quiet and stress free. I wouldn't want to live in a commune for no other reason other than the fact that I like my alone time and don't think I'd get it there.
Originally Posted by pyrogen
Therefore, there needs to be a third alternative, and that is a revisiting of the
intentional community. We don't need to get over our striving or inventiveness or even desire for privilege, IMo; we need to get over our fanatical need to live alone, and we must become social beings. If we do not do this, the innovative and educated people will disappear - because the conservatives, religious and people from other cultures -already know how to live communally-.
I'm inspired enough by this idea to consider doing a course of study around it;
it may be the topic of a Ph.D. down the road.
Some communities have made this work. The thing is, we hear far, far more about the failures. I don't feel that the solution is a rural self sufficient commune; I'm not thinking of any kind of communism in any sense of the term. What I'm interested in investigating is mainstreaming of the urban cohousing movement and a possible movement toward the urban arcology. There are already a number of cohousing organizations which vary in level of
"commune" similarity and the most successful seem to be those which have greater integration with their urban environments and which contribute to the culture and economy.