Alternative Organization and Neo-normative Control: Notes on a British Town Council

Emil Husted*

*Corresponding author for this work

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    This paper explores how normative control is enacted in an alternative ‘minor party’ in Southwest England called Independents for Frome. Based primarily on ethnographic data and interviews, I argue that this case constitutes an example of ‘neo-normative’ control, where homogenizing norms are substituted by a celebration of difference, fun, and individualization. This conceptualization allows me to discuss the relationship between alternative organization and neo-normative control. In doing so, I argue that neo-normative control has progressive and ‘alternative’ potential if practiced alongside procedures that (1) prevent autonomy from turning into isolation and marginalization, (2) ensure that solidarity does not morph into an unquestioned hegemony of the strong, and (3) enable responsibility to the future to be carried out in an accountable manner. This leads me to call for critical performativity projects that team up with ‘allies’ within the formal political system instead of focusing exclusively on extra-parliamentarian organizations.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalCulture and Organization
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)132-151
    Number of pages20
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

    Bibliographical note

    Published online: 4. June 2020


    • Alternative organization
    • Critical performativity
    • Normative control
    • Political parties
    • Town councils

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