An Anthropological Perspective
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Uses classical anthropological theory to understand “intentional communities” in the United States.
Although anthropologists have studied intentional communities in the past, they have seldom exerted a concerted effort to evaluate the intentional community in terms of the anthropological language of cultural change. Drawing from the work of Victor Turner, Gregory Bateson, and Anthony F. C. Wallace, Intentional Community examines historic and contemporary intentional communities within the United States, leading to a better understanding of these communities, the larger nation-state of which they are a part, and the ways in which the two interact. Applying classical anthropological theory to elements of western society, the contributors discuss how the individuals function; the ways in which these communities come into being and disappear; the various forms these communities take; how their members reinterpret features of the larger culture; and the ways in which outsiders relate to people within them.
Susan Love Brown is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Florida Atlantic University.
"Makes a significant contribution, especially to the study of intentional communities, by bringing to bear on them insights honed in observation of foreign cultures. To apply these theories to communal societies [in the United States], both past and present, marks an important step forward. " — Donald F. Durnbaugh, Juniata College