Culture shock : tales from the 21st century intentional community movement



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In the wake of the Great Recession of 2008, the ‘new normal’ left many Americans deflated after losing their financial savings and general confidence in the political system. There is a growing movement saying the traditional path to the American Dream is no longer satisfying. From coast to coast families are moving from sleepy towns to so-called ‘intentional communities’ in search of alternatives. They are building new lives in spiritual enclaves, nudist havens, eco-wonderlands and other unorthodox societies while seeking like-minded souls and a better way of making a living. Although they don’t often reflect the traditional lifestyle of most citizens, they do represent the widespread frustration with the status quo. The United States has long been a safe haven for these nonconformists and continues to attract those seeking escape from the mainstream each year. Intentional communities throughout Texas and the U.S. are flourishing despite harsh economic times elsewhere. This report documents daily life in three intentional communities during 2011 and 2012, all focused on achieving their individual goals of environmental protection, building community bonds, and achieving spiritual enlightenment.