Ethnography of a sustainable agriculture program: a case study of a social movement’s inception and growth on a university campus

Benjamin Triana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This ethnography documents how the message of sustainability was interpreted and communicated through a sustainable agricultural (SAG) program at an American higher education institution. The ethnography documents the evolution of the program as the program tackled obstacles and accomplished its goals during the initial phases of the program’s development. A cultural communication framework is established in order to analyze the agitative, oppositional, intracommunal, and ritual communication utilized by the program’s members. The ethnography argues that the strategies and tactics employed by the SAG program alongside its curriculum and instruction are similar to the choices made by oppositional social movements. Findings reveal that when chosen and implemented intelligently, these strategies are as useful for a social movement within established academic institutions as they are for groups outside of them. The ethnography also highlights the importance of ritual communication as part of both education and social movement interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)248-270
Number of pages23
JournalEnvironmental Education Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 17 2016
Externally publishedYes



  • environmental education
  • ethnography
  • social movement communication and interaction
  • social movements
  • sustainable agriculture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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