Each society has its own ways of integrating members into its community, and in times of rapid social change these methods for asserting and continuing communities change their form and meaning. Current society has spawned new devicessuch as encounter groups and self-realization techniquesdesigned to exalt community purely in terms of interpersonal relations. The contributors to this volume study this phenomenon from a cross-disciplinary point of view, drawing on the fields of anthropology, psychology, social psychology, sociology, and history. Their approach enables us to evaluate the new groups and techniques in comparison with other phenomena in the society and with rituals in other societies and times, clearly placing them in the history of ideas. The articles also provide us with a clearer understanding of the particular techniques used.
Introductory Note -- Foreword -- Introduction -- Passage to Community: Encounter in Evolutionary Perspective -- Destructive Gemeinschaft -- Encounter Groups and Humanistic Psychology -- Encounter Groups: Some Empirical Issues, Explanations, and Values -- Communes, Encounter Groups and the Search for Community -- Sensitivity Training: Dilemmas in Paradise -- "I have always depended on the kindness of strangers."