The embodiment of the alternative: a communicational and constitutive approach of an “alternative university”

Sophie Del Fa


This paper proposes a communicative and constitutive theoretical framework to explore the embodiment of the alternative in an “alternative” university. This paper responds to a call to deepen the approaches of alternative organizations and to apply the constitutive approach of communication to organizational phenomena. This paper aims to explore how a communicational approach could disclose what is it to be alternative on a daily basis through the close study of communicational ongoing practices. Building the reflection on an organizational ethnography in an alternative college in the US, this paper mobilizes Gabriel Tarde’s three rules of Repetition, Opposition and Revolution to explore how the alternative is done by the university’s members.


Alternative organizations; Tarde; constitutive approach of communication; embodiment of the alternative

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