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Communal Organization and Social Transition

A Case Study from the Counterculture of the Sixties and Seventies


Barry Laffan and Joanna Mauer

This unique study traces the life cycle of a counterculture commune of the late 1960s as part of a regional network and national movement. Through exhaustive field research in a setting viewed as a virtual social laboratory, it provides fascinating insights into many social concerns involving order and disorder in revolutionary and evolutionary change. It examines such issues as conflict, violence, stratification, and interdependence in the self-proclaimed cooperative, peaceful, classless, and self-sufficient «new society». The reasons for the many failures as well as successes of experimental efforts are outlined, along with enduring impacts on participants and the surrounding region.