Analyzing Communal Life-Spans:
A Dynamic Structural Approach

by James A. Kitts


Social scientists have used two lenses to analyze the births and deaths of communes. A structural lens examines the effects of organizational structure on collective longevity. A contextual lens examines variation in populations of communes over time, measuring relationships between utopian "waves" and broader social and economic cycles. This paper discusses contributions and limitations of both perspectives and proposes a synthesis, which examines the effects of both structure and context on viability of communes.

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