Rudrananda, a study of charisma in an American commune

No Thumbnail Available
Berling, William B.
Gordon, Whitney H., 1931-
Issue Date
Thesis (M.A.)
Other Identifiers

The purpose of the study was to describe and investigate charisma in an American commune - the Shree Gurudev Rudrananda Ashram. Emphasis-was placed on discovering if charismatic leadership existed, and, if so, whether charisma evolved from the personality of the leader or was bestowed upon the leader by his followers.Charisma was examined from the sociological perspective of symbolic interactionism, and the individual theories of four prominent thinkers. Data was gathered by participant observation during the period from June, 1983 through August, 1983. Focused interviews were conducted with Ashram members.The data revealed that according to several definitions the leadership of the commune was charismatic. However, the membership accepted the leader's authority for reasons other than charismatic factors. It was found that, in this instance, charismatic leadership could not effectively function without the accordance of the followers.