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Group of people living together who hold property in common and live according to a set of principles usually arrived at or endorsed by the group. The utopian socialism of Robert Dale Owen and others led to experimental communities of this sort in the early 19th century in Britain and the U.S., including New Harmony, Brook Farm, and the Oneida Community. Many communes are inspired by religious principles; monastic life is essentially communal (seemonasticism). B. F. Skinner's Walden Two (1948) inspired many American attempts at communal living, especially in the late 1960s and early 1970s. See alsocollective farm, communitarianism, kibbutz, moshav.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on commune, visit Britannica.com.