Humboldt State University



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dc.contributor.advisor Virnoche, Mary en Edwards, Vance en 2007-07-31T21:40:57Z en 2007-07-31T21:40:57Z en 2007-08 en
dc.identifier.uri en
dc.description Thesis (M.A.)-Sociology, Humboldt State University, 2007 en
dc.description.abstract Cohousing originated in Denmark in the 1960s and, after much success, spread to North America in the 1980s. In the United States, the 1980s marked a period of ever-increasing suburbanization. With this shift in neighborhood organization came a related perceived loss of community. Some people who felt alienated from their neighbors and unsatisfied with typical housing opportunities turned to cohousing. These people hoped to find solutions to “community lost” by living in cohousing developments whose aims included creating safe “fifties style” neighborhoods that promoted the well-being of residents through shared common spaces and community decision making. This research is an ethnographic study of a cohousing community, referred to in this paper as Emerald Hills, established in 1998 in a small town in Northern California. I entered the setting in Spring 2005 and exited the community at the end of the year. In addition to participant observation at community meals and meetings, I completed fifteen one-on-one semi-structured interviews. In those interviews, I encouraged participants to speak about their cohousing expectations and experiences and questioned them about relationships with others in the community and the emotional aspects of their experiences. I used NVivo qualitative data analyis software to analyze field notes and interview transcriptions and reviewed the data looking for common themes and coded accordingly. To analyze the data, I relied on the existing literature on cohousing, well-being, social interaction, social support, individualism and expectations. Participants developed a sense of well-being at Emerald Hills through regular community meals, community projects, shared political outlooks, friendships with neighbors, a good environment for raising children and other resources from those relationships. Conversely, conflicts over money, the absence of mediation and consensus training, the lack of a unifying vision statement, individualism and disagreement about expectations for relationships among community members negatively affected the well-being of residents of Emerald Hills. However, those community members with lower expectations prior to moving into cohousing expressed a greater sense of well-being from living in Emerald Hills. en
dc.format.extent 425197 bytes en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en_US en
dc.publisher Humboldt State University en
dc.subject Cohousing en
dc.subject Well-being en
dc.subject Community en
dc.subject Intentional community en
dc.subject Individualism en
dc.subject Social support en
dc.subject Social interaction en
dc.subject Expectations en
dc.subject Social capital en
dc.title Well-being in cohousing : a qualitative study en
dc.type Article en
dc.type Thesis en
dc.description.program Sociology en

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