Project summary

In light of increasing single-person households, patchwork families and loneliness, citizens turn towards alternative living arrangements for social support and wellbeing. The proposed research investigates the potential of Urban Collective Living Arrangements (UCLAs) – living communities emphasizing sharing and a common group identity – to create sustainable communities. We investigate the mechanisms behind the internal viability and external impact of UCLAs on their environment, proposing that theories of social control and motivation provide the necessary insight.

Research Design and Data

The main research site is a large and diverse living community in the Netherlands. In order to unravel the complex interplay of social mechanisms and their outcomes, ethnographic and case study techniques will be applied in a longitudinal research design. Critical incidents or trouble cases form the core of ethnographic data collection. Analytical methods include event structure analysis and ethnoarrays.


Louisa Firnenburg


Prof. dr. Rafael Wittek (University of Groningen)

Dr. L. (Liesbet) Heyse (University of Groningen)


December 1, 2017 - November 30, 2021


University of Groningen


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