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Trappists, officially known as the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance (Latin: Ordo Cisterciensis Strictioris Observantiae, abbreviated as OCSO) and originally named the Order of Reformed Cistercians of Our Lady of La Trappe, are a Catholic religious order of cloistered monastics that branched off from the Cistercians.


  • Through an analysis of the status structure of a Trappist monastery, an attempt is made to fill a gap in the literature on intentional communities, both religious and secular. On the basis of field notes based on 26 weeks of observation and questionnaire data it was discovered that despite an extremely egalitarian ideology and absolute material equality, a clearly discernible system of status ranking exists. This ranking was found not to be positively correlated with the monk's status as priest or brother, his job within the economic enterprise, or the socioeconomic status of his family of origin. Positive correlations were found with seniority and the holding of a superior office (e.g., abbot).
  • L. Richard Della Fave and George A. Hillery, Jr., " Status Inequality in a Religious Community: The Case of a Trappist Monastery," Social Forces, Vol. 59, No. 1 (Sep., 1980), p. 62

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