Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence

Publication Details

5th Latin American and European Meeting on Organization Studies, havana, Cuba, April 2014.


In this paper, we propose a new way of explaining the everyday practices of communities who socially organize to create sustainable grass-roots engagement. We discuss how this collective engagement is based on principles and values of socio-economic engagement that are fundamentally different to those associated with capitalism. We theorise that these community engagements are sustained by an organizational ideology of 'transformative humanism' that is founded on an ongoing struggle for emancipation. Our perspective is constructed through a combination of Frantz Fanon's ideas on humanism, Manfred Max-Neef's barefoot economics, and Paulo Freire's pedagogies of hope and transformation. We suggest that movements such as this embody alternative ways for disenfranchised individuals to shape grass-roots social transformation from within because they are based on an alternative system of beliefs. We present examples of grass-roots engagement in Argentina and South Africa to demonstrate how disenfranchised communities organize together through transformative humanism.