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Free Content Societies of Occupy: Scenes from occupied Pittsburgh

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The physical and digital fragmentation of the Occupy movement makes it notoriously difficult to define politically: in an attempt to analyse one local movement, the author performed convenience interviews with Occupy Pittsburgh participants, noting demographic information and political opinion. Through repeated interviews over several months, Occupy Pittsburgh became increasingly leftist and radical in rhetoric, even after dispersal of the physical camp. A similar trend seems to have occurred nationwide. The author opines that the organizational model of consensus may be the reason for the leftward shift in values and ideology, and ties this to observational research.

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Keywords: Occupy movement; Pittsburgh; consensus; demographics; direct democracy; protest movements; socio-economics

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Carnegie Mellon University

Publication date: 01 March 2014

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  • Cities have been increasingly at the forefront of debate in both humanities and social-science disciplines, but there has been relatively little dialogue across these disciplinary boundaries. Journals in social-science fields that use urban-studies methods to look at life in cities rarely explore the cultural aspects of urban life in any depth or delve into close readings of the representation of cities in individual cultural products. As a platform for interdisciplinary scholarship from any and all linguistic, cultural and geographical traditions, the Journal of Urban Cultural Studies prioritizes the urban phenomenon in order to better understand the culture(s) of cities.
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