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Where Have All the Communes Gone? Religion's Effect on the Survival of Communes

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Although previous research has found religion to have a significant effect on commune survival, these conclusions were typically based on bivariate analyses. Drawing on data collected by the Fellowship for Intentional Community, we present a multivariate analysis of communal survival using a comparatively large sample (N = 454) of modern American communes. Controlling for key factors suggested by the literature, we find that religion does not have a significant, direct effect on commune survival. Rather, the total population of the commune, whether the commune owned the land, and its longevity significantly influenced survival of a commune between 1995 and 2000. We discuss the implications of these findings for research on the role of religion in communes.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Christopher D. Bader is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Baylor University, One Bear Place #97326, Department of Sociology, Baylor University, Waco, TX 76798., Email: 2: F. Carson Mencken is Associate Professor of Sociology at Baylor University., Email: 3: James Parker is a graduate student in the Department of Sociology at Baylor University., Email:

Publication date: 2006-03-01

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