Casa Style Peer Pressure

Peer pressure refers to "the influence exerted by a peer group in encouraging a person to change his or her attitudes, values, or behavior in order to conform to group norms". How do we deal with this in Casa-culture?

We had a recent discussion inside and outside the house about sharing-culture and how people integrate in our shared culture. Are we on the right track?

On the one hand we have a culture where people really are themselves and are not judged on who they are. We heard many times "I feel at home here, I can be myself without having to pretend or try to be someone". In particular this goes for travelers who don't have to 'entertain their hosts' and can relax and enjoy.

On the other hand we do have peer-pressure where you are encouraged to behave communal and show care for others. 'We' (some more than others) even tend to judge people on their actions. Do you participate in householding? Do you cook for everyone? Do you only clean what you made dirty or you see everyone's mess as yours? Do you bring other unique gifts? What do you bring to the community?

This is a discussion that we never really debated online and it would be nice to get some feedback on your personal experiences about this. Obviously though we already hit some discussion points recently (see this post), but it would be great to dive deeper.

As a starting point I would like to highlight a comment I received recently of someone who was in the casa a couple of months ago during a busy period: "The thing I didn't like was the social pressure to 'play the part.' I felt like I had to win people's approval to a degree, and so it took me a few days to actually be myself. This seemed to come from an odd mix of acceptance and judgement."

My response was the following: "We encourage people to be who you are and to not hide yourself or be someone else. It matters who you are. At the same time though you are somewhat expected to perform certain services such as participation in the household and other related things. There is space for everyone to take it easy, and not to do things ('the right to do nothing') but that can't last forever either. These might be the two different faces of social pressure."

I wonder about other observations and responses. Should your expected participation be made more explicit beforehand (more bureaucratic) or do you keep things rather implicit (more experimental) and give new-comers space to first find themselves in relation to the group and the casa, and only later you try to 'positively reinforce' certain behaviour if it hadn't happen already? How did you judge people, or felt judged?


nnevvinn's picture

Think Small?

Er, I sorta missed the boat on the commenting here. I was the one who Robin quoted. I like how actively this had been discussed here, and I wish I had been at the casa when it was posted to talk to people in person. But my main thought (expanding on my original statement, and taking into account these comments) is this:

Think on a smaller scale. Organization (meetings, roles, rules) couldn't have changed the negative part of my experience (which, by the way, was vastly outweighed by a positive part).

As some alluded to, it had to do with being curious and unsure, and to be completely honest, with being American. When I said "odd mix of acceptance and judgement," I was thinking of the case where a new host walks into the casa, gets hugs from everyone (acceptance!! yes!) and then is told [with words and actions] that they are expected to be sdkfjijsd. Sdkfjijsd? What is sdkfjijsd? Don't ask. (judgement. ugh.) But there are still bountiful signs of acceptance... a curious mix, really. I wouldn't say I'm worse off for having had this experience, I was just confused at the time.

When I went through this, I felt like I was guilty until proven innocent, instead of the other way around. That may not have actually been the case in the minds of the other hosts, but the point is that was how I felt.

So when I say think small, I mean that a few small actions could have changed my perception of the situation.

-I think there should be an information base for the curious. Heck, make a song or film or just have a big book or something. If people want to know the story, who pays the rent, where the kitten came from, let them know.
-Don't tell people they can't ask questions. Is it that difficult to explain that there is no system, and that they should just make it up as they go? I found that once people got this in their head, they became a host, and started playing the role of the answerer instead of the asker.

Curious George J.'s picture

encouraging participation through peer pressure?

some fantastic comments here.

re: "The casa model is not completely exportable to other realities because deeply rooted and shaped by Robin's ideas, approach and, at the end of the day, by his personality." Agreed, hence nomadbase being a network of *different* bases. Each, in my opinion, will need a visionary or three, at least at the beginning.

re: "I also found myself wondering what would be the ideal sort of nomad base... " Ideal for whom? For what location? To achieve what particular prioritized set of goals? To steal a phrase from Hans Rosling's TED amazing talk about statistics, misconceptions, and solving global problems, solutions must be highly contextualized. A different base for every group/location/purpose/leader. And which one is "ideal" is a matter of opinion.

Back on topic:
To acknowledge one practical use of peer pressure:
While I was at the Casa, I heard peer pressure (and judgement of peers) mentioned as a method of "encouraging participation." Specifically in that conversation, it was mentioned that people who don't "contribute" to the Casa, and who respond with negativity to encouragements and "peer pressure" to contribute, would slowly lose respect of their fellow hosts. Eventually, the non-contributor would leave of their own accord, due to what I understood to be subtle peer pressure and judgement by fellow hosts.

At the time it seemed like a great system. On further reflection, however, it seems like, while effective, this judgement and pressure-to-contribute-or-leave could create an unhealthy social dynamic, including, but not limited to, a feeling by that person of rejection by the Casa family. Defensiveness and hostility are common reactions to feelings of judgement and rejection; not the kind of mood we want at the Casa.

I have heard stories of one or more hosts who acted more like guests, rarely cooking or cleaning, abusing the bike sharing system, and bringing little or nothing else to the Casa. So what happens in a case like this? Is peer-pressure-induced Pariahism viable? Ethical? Is there some better way to handle the situation of an unlearning guest?

robino's picture

Don't judge; give! Live through giving the example.

> While I was at the Casa, I heard peer pressure (and judgement of peers)
> mentioned as a method of "encouraging participation."

Oh man, that makes me sad. I wasn't here I think when someone said this. I would have opposed it, for sure. And this is precisely why I started this debate!

There is a couple of things I can say about this. Firstly it is sometimes hard not to judge (this counts for everyone) if you are the one who does all the stuff around the house. You wake up and see the kitchen dirty, while you just cleaned it the night before, or the Zula being untidy while people have been awake for a very long time already and it still looks like a sleeping place...


There are many ways of dealing with this. First of all I think if you stay in the casa you should be allowed to give only when you can. If you overdo it, you will have frustration growing on yourself and you won't be able to give anymore (for a while at least).

That's also why people have the right to do nothing. If you traveled for a long time and you're tired or feeling sick, why should you feel pressured to do something? Or what about people who generally never learned how to clean up, and don't understand that hospitality like this can only work if the house is tidy? In those cases I think it is up to the dynamic and healthy balance of the group. I think that if the group works fine and there is good balance, you can have a couple of 'freeloaders' without any problem. And don't forget that those so-called freeloaders actually might do many social things and help setting a comfortable sphere in the house by talking a lot for example or showing interest in someone. Also these people are giving, just not in the same way as you would define it.

Along the same lines, I do think we can have different expectation towards those who have been here before, and people whose first time it is in the casa. If George would come to the house, I would for sure expect you to behave as if you were a host (since you already have been here three times) and I expect you to make sure things get done if no-one else does them. How else can you do hospitality? Why else would you come back? But if I see you do things such as bike-fixing or spending time to improve the website, or making people feel really comforable in the house, than why would anyone pressure you to do also the washing up after the dinner... or try to make you feel guilty if you don't do it ? Or feel frustrated if you don't do it?

On a side-note though, I must acknowledge that *my* personal expectations of people of whom I know that they can give a lot and also think for the group as a whole, and think in terms of hospitality, and I see examples of them not doing it, then I can get dissapointed sometimes and conflictive. But that only happens on rare occasions and in specific contexts, and mostly relates also to personal things between me and the other, and - although I don't always show it - I really appreciate these constant circles of learning and improving the way I deal with these situations.

In general though I think it is a matter of understanding to how people operate: what they give, and the best way for yourself to deal with giving or not-giving: acceptance or frustration? Or do you simply ignore (=not care).

I have seen throughout the past two years that it works best if people only do the dishes if they want to do it. But are the dishes then also being done? Well, if you don't do it, someone else will do it. Trust this! And if it frustrates you that the kitchen is still dirty, then take the iniatitive to clean, because it will make you feel better; and the positiveness of that will give you more than what it takes from you when you feel frustrated. It's as simple as that if you ask me.

Also, I must say that in the past half a year, ever since we started this debate, it has all greatly improved how things are being done in and around the house. The experience shows that people really do a lot more than how things were in the past, things are clicking together much better than before somehow...

Another thing that I think is important is to live through giving the example. For instance, some weeks ago it was pretty crowded in the zula with 7 people who were sleeping there. An hour after everyone had woken up it was still a mess. But for most of the people there, it was their first night only. So I cleaned up the zula when everyone was on the balcony, I put on music, enjoyed what I was doing, and after the people came back they were really impressed how nice the Zula can also look like. The days after the Zula was almost always cleaned up after the people woke up, it was vacuumd and it looked really nice although it was rather busy.

Why? Because people want to live in a nice place, and not in a dirty unorganised place & all you have to do is to give the first shot and set the example. No judging was involved, just giving.

Zuphit's picture

I'm personally more of a peer

I'm personally more of a peer to peer pressure kind of person... but on the topic -

I think we all agree there's peer pressure in the casa.
However, what is peer pressure? If a kid does something the parents do not approve of, influenced by his friends, the parents will call it peer pressure. But if the kid is doing something they conceive as being positive they might refer to it as a positive influence, it's still the same thing.
I believe that anyone that comes to the casa and feels uncomfortable with the situation will not stay there too long anyway. Those who stay, I guess they were positively influenced?

I certainly agree with the rest here that lots of things may be unclear to someone who encounters all of that for the first time.

When I first got to the casa I was only traveling for 2 months. I did my fair share of couchsurfing but was always very aware of the fact that I'm in someone else's house and this person is generous enough to host me. I'd try to be as polite and helpful as I can, respecting the boundaries. I'd rather ask them where something was than go through their entire kitchen or cupboards (because honestly, when I was living by myself I found it quite annoying when people were doing that).

But suddenly when I got to the casa, finding out where that salt is hidden was a challenge. People (esp Robin) seemed to get upset when I asked where things were (or how things were working out in this strange unknown place).
I found it very confusing at first, esp figuring what's the story behind this place. What the hell is going on here? Is it someone's house? Is it squatted? Do several people rent it? Is it a commune? What's appropriate and what isn't?
The 3 questions policy didn't really help, I was usually out of questions by noon (and only woke up at about 11am).

I later realized that maybe the whole point of not asking questions is to just let things be. But I was curious, I had to know certain things.
You can't expect people who have never been to a place like this to get it straight away. You shouldn't keep them in the dark as well. The whole point is to open people's eyes and to create a network, you need to supply them with information, one way or another.

I think it took me a few days or a week to really get the point and then I realized how great places like this can be.
I remember the viking from PV came over for a couple of nights and I learnt there are more places like this out there. I was asking a few people if they know how to find similar places like the casa around the globe, realizing I'm going to be out and about for a while. No one seem to really know where they are, I was thinking how some sort of network could be useful - so I was quite happy to see your work on nomadbases (message me if you need help with that?).

I also found myself wondering what would be the ideal sort of nomad base... Maybe your conference inspired me.
(My personal conclusions were either a self sustainable house, out of the city with hardly any bills, that someone decides to build as his own and share with the nomads - or a base inside the city where the long-termers pay most if not all of the rent/bills and the place is not pivoted by any *one* )

robino's picture

regarding my no-questions policy

I enjoyed very much reading all of these comments. So many things to learn :) It has taken some time though for me to reply since there was so much information and I also had to take my distance to it at first.

One of things I think I should comment on is the no-questions policy. This is my own personal thing, that relates to people seeing me as "the host" and me being somewhat dogmatic on purpose at times. I do see however that I sometimes tend to overplay this role.

As soon as someone new enters and I have to answer over and over again the same questions such as "do you have a toilet" and "where can I find sugar" I would have gone mad by now. Instead I adopt an approach to make people aware that it is their house, and what would you do to see if there is sugar? Right, you open all the cupboards. And you are looking for a toilet? Then, please go ahead and find it, be autonomous!

So in other words, this personal policy is here for two reasons: one to protect myself and two to push people in being resourcefull. The downside of it is that it migh make feel some people unconfortable and unwelcome... But after a couple of minutes, days or sometimes weeks, people do get it, and they understand. In most cases though it changes the attitude of people very rapidly and they grow into the role that we want: a great host!

This does not mean that everyone has to do it like this. In fact, we have had many times hosts in the house who play the complete opposite role of explaining everything. I think that this combination of different approaches is the best one.

Also, this doesn't mean I don't do questions at all. I normally tend to give people some time in the house, wait until we know each other, and then I am more than happy to answer any question, as long as it doesn't regard obvious things such "can I do the dishes" ;) I apply my own personal strategy different with different people, in different situations, and mostly I simply do what I feel the situation asks for.

valentina's picture

Apply Open Space technology to the casa structure!!

I agree with Rene here. The casa model is not completely exportable to other realities because deeply rooted and shaped by Robin's ideas, approach and, at the end of the day, by his personality.

Casa works the way it works because there is a leader that leads the group toward a specific vision. This is why I believe there are no conflicts around common goals and mission and some conflicts around "feeling under pressure". The goal and the mission are defined beforehand by the Casa rather than by the group. At the same time, Casa is more based on individuality (anarchy perspective) than on collectivies (as others intentional communities I've visited so far seem to refer). I see as an advantage the fact that people do not have to deal with "community organization" and that we are not a commune (even if we share some common values and commodities).

I believe this is functional because of the temporal (nomadic) status of the group and, even if it can seem paradoxical, I think this structure solves lots of issues and give some freedom (as the freedom of not taking decisions). Somehow, I wonder if not taking decisions leads to not taking responsibilities... there could be enough to say for another post.

However, if we want to move forward, I can give some insight into other communities decision-making process and organizations such as Ganas and Coop sur genevieux. As Rene mentioned, these are based on structured meetings that involve all or part of the members. Decision are taken by consensus and require several weeks to be agreed.

Personally, I do not believe that consensus would work at Casa, nor that it would bring better inclusion of people. Meetings are usually very stressful and sometimes painful. Moreover, they would not necessarily create a more equal structure: Robin will always be the one with more information and expertize around some specific topics. I think he should be the one responsible for the main decisions and for giving the framework, at the same time accepting suggestions and feed backs from nomadic members. Opening up debates as he is doing in this post is a good way I believe.

What we could improve, as Alex pointed out, is the participatory structure in everyday activities. If we define what are the tasks that needs to be done, then people could decide to "subscribe" to an area or to another on day to day basis.

Let's suppose we apply the open space technology ( to the Casa organization. Let's think at a decentralized, chaotic, personally inspired way to take care of the house (Rene, this should make you happy) that has no many rules, no organization diagrams, and that is able to keep the magic going ;)

Everyone cares about keeping the casa on going and its improvement (yeahhh!! Thumbs up for Casa!!!)

-TRY to create a personally inspired weekly agenda: on one of the wall of the Zula, put the 7 days of the week. create a list of the tasks that need to be accomplished everyday (Dumpster dive, cooking, washing dishes, refreshing pastamadre, hovering the zula, cleaning the bathroom, replying to host requests, FEED the kitten, etc...). Keep in mind that some of them require only one person, others are way funnier if they are done in group.

- During the day, each person can voluntarily pick up 2 or 3 tasks and physically put their own name in the agenda under the task (Idea: create hand-made drawings (avatars) for each host and let people stick it under the tasks). As Charlie suggests, give the example, provide inspiration, or, in the worst case scenario, ask to voluntarily contribute to the happy-Casa-agenda.
Having a visible to-do list with names of people and in what they contribute hopefully will work inspiring imitation (vs. peer pressure) and will annul the "how can I help" sort of questions.

- More tasks related to Casa-projects can also be put on there, as well as skill sharing activities (web development, books organization, urban gardening, specific house improvements, bike repairing, etc). these could be seen as unique gifts ( by middle term and long term hosts, or as a way to involve wanna-be-host in the community. However, I personally think they shouldn't substitute the participation to everyday tasks.

- Leave some freedom for butterfly and bumble bee ( "give new-comers space to first find themselves in relation to the group and the casa" and to people who need their space for a couple of days).

-Leave plenty of opportunities for people to switch between a role/task ( a space!) and another. Challenge them in changing, trying new things, cooperating with different people...

-Stress the fact that doing things together is **FUN** and that the more you are in doing stuff, the funnier it becomes. Doing things with others means learning other ways and adopting new perspectives! It also means creating special relationships based on shared moments. Some of my sweetest memories of Casa are related to the frenetic activity of collective cleaning and dumpster diving!

As far as the guiding principle stays "being a good host" and caring for the others before than for yourself, I don't see the need for complex management structures.
What we might need is just a bit less overload in expectations and social pressure ;)

valentina's picture

Formal consensus

I've just realize I mis-used the term consensus here.
What I meant was related to formal consensus (based on formal meetings that brings to formal decisions shared by all the participants).

At Casa I believe there are different level of informal consensus reached by what Robin defined as peer pressure.

rene's picture

As a general rule, if you

As a general rule, if you want a really flat scheme, you need ...a lot of organization with many scheduled meetings, many rules in general. At least this is what I've noticed in several self organized communities. I have to say I'm not really interested by this kind of communities, simply because of the fact over-organization make me bored, I'm a dreamer and a messy guy, I have other focuses than community organization. Though I still like community style life, I like to give my time for others and to share in general.

About authority in the casa, yess I fully agree with what Alex said, it is not flat, Robin has ultimate authority and this model work because he is an extremly wise guy who know how to deal with this frightening power.

Of course this type of organization is not extremly sustainable because there is not thousands of Robins.

But again if we want a flat organization we need tons of rules and to be really disciplined, and then the magic of the Casa disappear .

(this is more an answer to Alex than to the orginal post)

Alex Rollin's picture

Good Points - more to say

What does it look like when we try to understand a few of the many steps of "Casa Inculcation"?

A word of mouth referral
A glance at the website
A phone call
An email and more reading of the site
Another email, web site post, maybe even read the so-called FAQ
Walk in the door to a hug
Pressured to find something to do instead of asking what to do
Guilted/shamed/insulted into noticing ways to help
Told to read the FAQ again because "it's all in there"
Othered/admonished/guilted into further "collective behavior"

I read what Valentina says as a look at the difference between behavior and internal reality that people are experiencing. When the FAQ (aka Robino) says "we expect a lot from people" it is not exactly clear that this is not only with regard to behavior, but also extends into politics, attitude, and a host of other "internal" areas.

It might be that the FAQ "says it all." Someone just told me that a few days ago, and when I read it, well, I am absolutely certain that if I told someone the same thing I would be lying. But that's just me.

I mentioned to Robin the other day, through email, tha I don't mind the host/authoritarian-dictator mashup so much as long as that role is taking place in a context of a wider collective management process that has an orderly progression and a way for personal redress to higher levels. At this point I don't believe that this is present at the Casa. Some might say that the Casa is flat and that there are no "tops" or leaders with whom the buck stops...but we all know that's not true since it is Robin's house and he has ultimate authority as well as responsibility. He uses the authority often, and references his responsibility when he does, and, to his credit, attempts to let off as much of that responsibility and authority as possible. In the end and in most moments when he is present, though, it rests with him.

I found a basic model for governance that I think would bring some clarity to the Casa and help to relieve some of the necessity for such harsh judgement. If you're interested, check it out:

valentina's picture


Alex, I've read the pdf on Holacracy and I would like you to tell more about what Casa can take/learn from it. It seems very different from the fluidity we are looking for, with daily and weekly meetings, and designed roles for management.

I am sure you have a better perspective on the whole thing and I'd like to know more about it.

Alex Rollin's picture

I really like Holacracy, even

I really like Holacracy, even though I am no expert at it.

I bring it up in the Casa context because the model has some important aspects that address some of the more difficult aspects of the culture at Casa.

I don't prescribe this model to say that it should be followed exactly and immediately. I think that would be silly.

Instead, when looking at the PDF you might see a few of the following interesting ideas.

Meetings focused on next actions
Meetings with different styles for different outcomes and needs
Roles to go with sub-systems instead of figureheads (especially nice with how often Nomads move on)

One of the things that I see is the importance of helping people to be responsible for clear areas instead of everything all at once. You can have fluidity, and education, and you can welcome people into new roles any time you like, and with the role come areas of responsibility. I think that's a bit more realistic that everyone needing to know everything even if that would be a nice outcome, most people won't want it in the end.

Charlie's picture

judge not lest shit goes pear shaped

Judgement... in a Buddhist sense it's anathema. Rapists, murderers, the worst of the worst -- none should be judged. And that's for your own spiritual health.
But couldn't an argument be made that judgements are unavoidable? I mean, on a basic scientific level, this is the way the human brain works. You have to make judgements just to interact with the world, to interpret your own senses.
For me at this stage in my Buddhist-influenced philosophies, I'm content to accept that I make judgements, because I endeavor to reduce their frequency as much as possible, and above all, I try not to ACT on my judgements. Often I don't notice that I'm judging, but I know this happens beneath my perception, and this uncertainty actually helps keep me easy-going.

Now, in the Casa.

There's still a couple sheets floating around with the "guidelines" aren't there? This is enough - new hosts should be encouraged to read the guidelines, and after that, any pressure is, in my opinion, counter-productive. If someone "gets" the Casa, he or she shouldn't have to expend any energy teaching or pressuring; all that should be necessary is to provide the example. Whatever happens, whether newcomers "get it" or not, it will happen naturally. I like what you said, Valentina, about feeling challenged instead of judged.
Of course there's the possibility that someone will abuse this situation, intentionally or not, and it can't always be wholly natural. It may be necessary to have a "conversation" with someone at times, or maybe simply making your example more obvious, more "challenging," would be enough. I don't think this is easy to sustain, but it's possible. Just remain non-judemental ! =)

I remember when Patrishnik brought a can of meat into the house without realizing once. Had he not read the guidelines? As I remember, he was jumped on rather harshly for this transgression, but it was cleared up quickly by going into the staircase and eating as fast as we could.

Umm... sorry this isn't so composed.

Think of others before you think of yourself.

Hugs have amazing power.

Don't take yourself too seriously. Often I feel judged, only to later learn that I was making it all up in my head.

Love you!!!!!!

valentina's picture

Loong shot

This is a very difficult topic to face because forces "us" to look deeply into several matters related to social pressure within a fluid group setting. I will try to summarise next different topics related to peer pressure:

- The nomadic "we": inspiring shared values to a fluid group of people

Casa creates a temporal framily (family of friends) that wants to share communal values. Yet, because the members of this framily change over time, also the social dynamics do so. You will have framilies more able to be inclusive than others because more balanced in terms of experienced hosts and newcomers. However, I noticed that there are some "tools" that we seem to use to create this sense of inclusion such as sharing implicit habits (like serving the others during dinner), specific vocabulary and codes of behaviors. These elements create at the same time inclusion for the members and disorientation for the newcomers.

This sense of confusion can be extremely important for new-hosts to open a process of self-questioning and re-shaping. But can also be perceived as tool of exclusion when it becomes forced and unnatural. When our will to confuse people goes against their empowerment and facilitation. when we pretend they understand without giving them enough space to do so. when we do not measure our expectations on one-to-one basis.

_ "Implicit expectations" vs "getting Casa"

Here there are two elements that I believe Robin tends to mix together.

One thing is being under peer-to-peer pressure for doing things to create a self-sustainable hosting environment (household stuff etc).These implicit expectations seem to refer more to sets of actions.
One risk related to this is that people could be willing to participate but, because of the implicit way we run casa, they don't know how end loose motivation.

Different thing is feeling judged (or excluded by the group of the one who "get" it) because one does not understand what he/she is expected to do and to understand.
It seems to me that the issue arise when "we" expect that everybody adapt to the context, the habits and the mentality of casa without making them clear; when we expect that people "get" casa, and that they would manage to do it naturally, without us being transparent in what we mean and what we do expect. If they do not do, sometimes we start judging.

But "getting casa" means understanding a broad range of shared values, expected behaviors, habits, mental predispositions and approaches to life. All these elements are extremely difficult to be put into words because they are somehow fluid, organic, nomadic per definition. they relate to the magic of things happening and they are more understandable for some of us than for others (due to background, previous experiences, personal believes, personality etc).
The risk is that to be open and "experimental" in relation to different ways for people to manifest themselves, we end up in being closed in the way we do want them to integrate, therefore the "odd mix of acceptance and judgment".

In my opinion, "getting Casa", differently from understanding implicit expectations in term of actions, cannot be reinforced through peer to peer pressure because relates more on behaviors and attitudes. Eventually it will come naturally, or because of inspiration. Maybe it won't come for some of us. Yet, this can be an element that people should be feeling challenged but not judged.

In substance, I believe it is important to not judge people for who they are, and at the same time pressuring them for what they do in terms of participatory actions.

- Transparency of expectations and level of participation

I personally believe that, one the one hand we should leave people the freedom to participate in the way they feel like (on a voluntary basis, with no chorus and such). On the other hand I also think we should be more clear on stating our expectations in terms of "action" and "participation".

Also (and here I know I'm throwing a long shot) we need to ask ourselves if we expect same amount of participation from new-hosts and from experienced hosts, and from girls/guys. In case these distinctions are present, are they functional or not?
What are the participatory actions that everybody can do, regardless sex, hospitality expertize and age? Shouldn't they be done by everyone so that there is more balance in terms of required effort?

-A (biased?) personal experience: my though time at Casa

Speaking of my personal experience, after a couple of months living at Casa, I felt that the household activities were taking over big part of my time. Yet, I felt that my participation in terms of actions was not sufficient to make me feel completely accepted: I had no clue of what the expectations were and where were their limits. Somehow I ended up feeling guilty and feeling that I was "not good enough to be at Casa" because unable to "get" it. However, I need to say that these feelings were not conveyed by the group as a whole but by peer pressure related to a one-to-one personal relationship. Knowing that my feelings were biased by a peculiar situation, I would like to know how do others feel.

Well, said that, I will keep the comments for the mind-blowing times at Casa for another post :)

rene's picture

Sometimes I was explaining in

Sometimes I was explaining in a provocative way to people how casa was working making explicit what was implicitly explained by others. I think this is ok to have different ways to explain to people, we don't need to have a "unificated casa speech", it is like a painting with many colors. Like sometimes I was thinking Robino was exagerating with his "no question policy" so I was giving clues to people and I think both actions where completing themselves.

On my personal experience I think that domestic tasks where ok for me, specially because you have a lot of social rewards when cooking:) sometimes it is true I was feeling guilty not doing enough (and sometimes I wasn't for real :)) but was not occupying such a big space in my mind.

Alex Rollin's picture

I like that you point to the

I like that you point to the difference between challenging and judging.

I think that really goes to the point.