Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Be the Change You Want To See: Social Movement Theory and the Occupy Movement
by Mutuku, Leslie Jebet, M.A., The American University of Paris (France), 2013, 72; 10305835
Abstract (Summary)

On September 17, 2011, the Occupy Movement erupted throughout the world. In the United States, the movement began in the financial district of New York City and spread to other cities around the country. The movement highlights issues of inequality, unemployment, debt, and corporate personhood in American society, which have produced socio-economic strains to citizens who are non-elite. Analysis of Occupy through social movement theory and the political process model demonstrates the factors and elements that led to the emergence of this movement and its development over time. However, there is a missing link in the Occupy Movement which is the lack of institutionalized organizational strength to support its efforts and as a result, the movement has waned and is making less change to the status quo in American society.

When compared to the Civil Rights Movement of 1964, a monumental movement in the United States for American-African Rights that was successful due to a number of factors but particularly the presence of indigenous organizational strength, the Occupy Movement is lacking the same support and it has yet to reach the level of success of the Civil Rights Movement. This dissertation illuminates the Occupy’s materialization and growth using the political process model due to a broken social contract and aims to explain that the lack of indigenous support from established organizations is the missing link and the challenge in achieving the goals of the Occupy Movement. This is done through theoretical analysis and a fictional narrative in order to capture the reality of activists in the Occupy Movement.

Social movements, Occupy movement, Civil Rights movement, Inequality, Socio-economic strains

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Perry, Susan H.
Commitee: Carlson, Kerstin
School: The American University of Paris (France)
Department: International Affairs
School Location: France
Source: MAI 56/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Social research, Political science
Keywords: Civil Rights Movement, Inequality, Occupy Movement, Social movements
Publication Number: 10305835
ISBN: 9781369493993
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