Beyond Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft: Cohousing Life in Contemporary Sweden
2015 (English)In: Housing, Theory and Society, ISSN 1403-6096, E-ISSN 1651-2278, Vol. 32, no 2, 131-150 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The idea of cohousing is alive in many industrialized countries today. It is seen as an interesting alternative way of living in late modern cities, here a majority of people live in families, couples or single households, but since there is a general lack of knowledge of what it means to live in a cohousing unit there are also prejudices. In cohousing units, the members are bound up to each other not by family ties but as separate persons with different relations. The inhabitants are living in different households and flats and with common spaces. Architecture is important as well as the organization of cooperation and everyday life. This article presents results from a study on “cohousing for second half of life” in the capital city of Sweden. The main question is: What does it mean to live in a cohousing unit and who is living here? Through in-depth interviews, we found that the residents in this type of dwelling underscore the possibility of both autonomy and dependency, privacy and togetherness. Theoretically, the relations in a cohousing unit can neither be characterized as Gemeinschaft nor Gesellschaft but at the same time it could be both/and. This evokes a third social relationship of the Bund – a theoretical concept beyond the dichotomy of Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Routledge, 2015. Vol. 32, no 2, 131-150 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-240556DOI: 10.1080/14036096.2015.1011687ISI: 000353925000002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-240556DiVA: diva2:818107