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How living in a non-capitalistic intentional community influences sense of success and identity

Class of 2024
Outdoor Studies
Sage Lalor (she/her) is a St. Lawrence University student who is designing her own multi-field major called Equity Studies. She took part in the Adirondack Semester Program during the fall of 2021 and is currently studying abroad in Denmark. When on campus, she guides outdoor trips in the Adirondack Park...
Summer 2023

While last semester I spent a course learning how to design my own research project, this summer I started doing it. I spent 8 weeks living within a commune in rural Virginia and learned what it was like to live in an income-sharing community with 75 other members. While I spent some time in the garden, cooking community meals, and packing vegetable seed packets, I also spent time doing in-depth interviews, participatory observation, and ethnography. I talked to communards about how their sense of self and how they identified success has changed since living in community, and how it changes the culture around work in their commune. I also studied how it felt to immerse myself within a completely new culture to see what times of ethnographical observations about my own internal perception of success were and how they related to the work cultures I have been exposed to. This coming spring semester at St. Lawrence University I plan to analyze this data and create a written piece about my findings. 

United States of America