Alternative Lifestyles

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 109–117 | Cite as

Consumer co-ops: Alternative economic and social units

  • Robert Sommer


The traditional cooperatives which arose in the 1930s as alternative institutions became hierarchical, full-service supermarkets selling a full range of products. In the 1960s New Wave co-ops arose to meet the needs of a young constituency interested in ecology and nutrition. The New Wave co-ops tended to be non-hierarchical, participatory, and selective in their merchandising. Reality demands of the marketplace have contributed to the evolution of a Third Wave of cooperatives which combined the full product selection and defined organizational structure of the traditional co-ops with the natural food orientation and the volunteerism of the New Wave.


Social Policy Organizational Structure Full Range Social Issue Food Orientation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Sommer
    • 1
  1. 1.University of California, DavisDavis

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