Understanding Occupy Book

occupycommunicationcoverGiven the centrality of economics and communication in the Occupy movement, the purpose of this book is to use economic insights and apply contemporary theories of communication to better understand the Occupy movement at this current juncture in history. This collection is organized by complementary theoretical and methodological perspectives: the global—critical cultural and economic understandings of Occupy generally; the local–interpretive ethnographic, examinations of a local site—Occupy Portland, Oregon; and mediated perspectives—analyses of the words of officials and media. The contributors also examine social movement phenomena from various theoretical and methodological lenses, in particular stepping outside of social movement theory to analyze the macro- and microprocesses of the Occupy movement, demonstrating the saliency of communication theory. These case studies analyze what we learn from Occupy when we approach knowledge from a particular lens.

In addition, this edited volume provides in-depth case studies that problematize universal narratives about Occupy. One of the challenges of studying Occupy is that members of this movement are committed to not allowing any one person (or entity) to define it. One way we acknowledge this and attempt to honor the individualism and postmodern fragmentation of this movement is to consider our findings in light of the three interpretive lenses of the romantic, practical, and critical. These frames honor not a specific truth about Occupy, but many truths about the movement.