Abstract

Drawing on interviews and ethnographic fieldwork at three egalitarian intentional communities in the United States, this article demonstrates how community members’ race and class background affects their diet, food practices, and understanding of and commitment to voluntary simplicity. Previous research on food practices in intentional communities has typically focused on how diet is a way for members to “live their convictions,” and the community members in this study are no different. They too are using food choices to reflect what they value—namely, health, social welfare, environmental sustainability, and animal rights. This article builds upon this prior research by demonstrating how these stated values reflect predominantly white and middle-class dominant ideologies and unintentionally exclude, or make communal life more difficult for, nonwhite and lower-class members. This article also contributes to the scholarship on commitment in intentional communities by showing how the social class background of members impacts the sacrifices they are willing to make to stay in the community.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2154-9648
Print ISSN
1045-991X
Pages
pp. 79-100
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-17
Open Access
No
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