• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This book focuses specifically on the role of the family in communal life. Communal groups are one type of nontraditional families, some communes are predisposed to families while others are not and some communal families can be replacements or substitutes for nuclear families. Historic communal groups such as Shakers, Oneida, Amana, and the Mormons are investigated as are contemporary rural and urban communal groups such as Twin Oaks, Jesus People USA, and the Hutterites.

Urban and Rural Communes of the 1960s and 1970s
Urban and rural communes of the 1960s and 1970s

The common belief in the media and among some scholars was that the onset of rural communes in the 1960s was primarily the result of the decay and fragmentation of urban hippie life in places like Haight-Ashbury, the East Village, and other urban enclaves. Miller (1992b, p. 74) argues in the following passage that new communes, especially rural ones, were appearing prior to the identification of a hippie culture in the United States.

The hippies evolved from the beats of the 1950s and the bohemians of the decades before that, but it would be hard to see them as coalescing into anything that amounted to a distinct social movement ...

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