Cultural Capital, Social Networks, and Collective Violence at Rajneeshpuram
Despite possibilities for bloodshed, members of Rajneeshpuram, the short-lived communal city in central Oregon, violence never escalated to the point of mass murder, suicides, or large-scale collective attacks. This chapter uses data from Bhagwan Rajneesh’s temporary community to explore the utility of Pierre Bourdieu’s theories of culture and thereby adds another dimension to theories about and research on collective religious violence. An important factor in the dynamics of the Oregon group was its class background. Members’ ongoing contact with networks outside Rajneeshpuram, their personal and family resources, and their knowledge of the legal system all contributed to a relatively peaceful resolution of external and internal tensions.
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