The Design of Intentional Communities: A Recycled Perspective on Sustainable Neighborhoods

Angela Sanguinetti


This article uses Skinner’s The Design of Experimental Communities to guide behavior analytic interpretations of non-behavior analytic research on contemporary intentional communities, highlighting ways in which this research substantiates many of Skinner’s notions about reinforcement contingencies in a successful community. The article then considers intentional communities in light of more current behavioral theory, such as the notion of reconciling personal and collective contingencies and shifting the balance of resource-intensive, resource-light, and resource-free reinforcers. This article goes on to suggest one new concept (i.e., macroshaping), along with concepts from outside the field (i.e., deliberative democracy, behavior setting theory) that may be useful in a behavioral approach to the design and analysis of intentional communities.


experimental communities, intentional communities, cohousing, cultural analysis, sustainability, Walden Two

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Published by the University of Illinois at Chicago Library

And Behaviorists for Social Responsibility