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In the 19th century, utopias took a concrete turn, particularly in the United States. Multiple ways of living and working that contrasted with dominant norms were experimented with. Due to the radicality of its choices but also its durability, Oneida (New York) is probably one of the most remarkable utopian communities. Under the leadership of its founder, John H. Noyes, it invented new forms of work organization (free labor) and relationships between women and men (free love). The article first shows that this collective adventure must be analyzed through the prism both of the debates on abolitionism before the Civil War and of Charles Fourier’s utopia (as evidenced in particular in his writings on the industrial world and romantic relationships). It then offers a nuanced perspective on the innovations concerning community life, work, and gender in Oneida, as well as on their main transformations between 1848 and 1880.

Michel Lallement
This is the latest publication of the author on cairn.
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