4 Different Conceptions of Home: From Assisted Living to Kibbutzim

Although we live in a world where categorization is a common part of life, it's not always that easy to categorize people into uniform definitions. As such, identifying various lifestyles and living situations that are outside the norm in American culture can help us to broaden our idea and show us the many ways to define home.

Promoting ideals of equality and industry, these collective communities in Israel offer an alternative conception of home to single-family housing. Traditionally organized around the idea of collective farming, contemporary kibbutzim in Israel have expanded to other industries for generating income such as manufacturing and technology. The concept of the kibbutz is relatively new, as the first kibbutz was established just over one hundred years ago in 1909. However , in 2010, the number of kibbutzim in Israel had grown to over 270 across the country.

Artist Colony
In the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, the concept of the artist colony began to gain traction. Groups of artists working in different artistic disciplines migrated away from large cities to smaller villages where they could focus on their work and build a community where the arts could flourish in a scenic or otherwise creatively conducive setting. Ranging from year-round communities to seasonal retreats, these colonies have proven favorable to such artists as painter Claude Monet and author Upton Sinclair.

Designed to fill the gap between completely independent living and facilities such as a retirement home with full time care, assisted living facilities enable individuals living with disabilities to live independent lives while still receiving the necessary care from healthcare professionals. The concept of assisted living as we think of it today arose in the 1990's and quickly expanded to serve the needs of individuals around the country. While their services range widely from facility to facility, residents generally live in personal rooms or apartments and share common areas such as group kitchens or social areas.

Multi-generational Home
While the tradition of living in a multi-generational household has been common in many societies around the world for years, the lifestyle has grown increasingly popular in markets like the United States as people look to the benefits of larger homes and closer-knit families. Asian societies have long histories of multigenerational housing, with families remaining in ancestral homes generation after generation. According to the Pew Research Center, the practice has grown in the United States from around 28 million Americans in 1980 to around 49 million in 2008. As the numbers continue to grow, we can expect to see more and more families cohabiting among generations across the country.

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