Occupy Wall Street: An Alternative Discourse

TitleOccupy Wall Street: An Alternative Discourse
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
AuthorsSteger, T.
Refereed DesignationRefereed
Conference NameRethinking Urban Inclusion: Spaces, Mobilizations. Interventions
Date Published2013
PublisherCEScontexto, Centre for Social Studies (CES), University of Coimbra, Portugal
Place of PublicationCoimbra, Portugal

Preliminary research on the Occupy Wall Street movement (OWS), in particular
Occupy NYC, indicates that the movement is generating a particular discourse that has
effectively drawn increasing attention to social inequality. The occupation of urban spaces
generated a spatial forum for further articulating the message of the movement. The chant,
“We are the 99%,” the occupation of Zuccotti Park in Manhattan’s financial district, and the
International Day of Direct Action in which 35,000 flooded the streets of lower Manhattan
describe some key themes and moments in the Occupy NYC movement. An important
question, however, is to what extent the movement is a significant challenge to the dominant
paradigm in which a market ideology discourse (or neoliberal disco urse) prevails. Based on
data gathered from interviews, participant observation, and archival research, this paper maps
and engages the emerging discourse of the Occupy NYC movement in light of this critical
framework. Concepts such as culture jamming and environmental justice are further
employed to bring richness and depth to the analysis.

Publisher linkhttp://www.ces.uc.pt/publicacoes/cescontexto/ficheiros/cescontexto_debates_ii.pdf
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