Journal Article

“A Collective of Individuals”: Between Self and Solidarity in a Rainbow Gathering*

Iddo Tavory and Yehuda C. Goodman

in Sociology of Religion

Published on behalf of Association for the Sociology of Religion

Volume 70, issue 3, pages 262-284
Published in print January 2009 | ISSN: 1069-4404
Published online August 2009 | e-ISSN: 1759-8818 | DOI:
“A Collective of Individuals”: Between Self and Solidarity in a Rainbow Gathering*

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Using ethnographic fieldwork, this paper examines the relation between practices of individuality and solidarity in an alternative spiritual gathering called “The Rainbow” in Israel. Following the “practice turn” in sociological theory, we chart the social situations in which solidarity and individuality are formed, and the ways in which their multiple uses frame their meanings. We demonstrate that though members use the communal arena to express their individuality, the self they celebrate is constantly molded by practices creating solidarity. Through institutionalized rituals, everyday metaphors and interactions, and the formation of friendships in the field, members both relate to the community as a site for the assertion of selfhood, and incorporate the communal into the very definition of the self—thus weaving them together in action.

Keywords: New Age; individualism; solidarity; community; practice theory; Israel

Journal Article.  9955 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Sociology of Religion

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