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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Occupy Movement: Signs of Cultural Shifts in Group Processes Shaped by Place
by Seger, James L., Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2017, 520; 10288537
Abstract (Summary)

This critical hermeneutic case study of the Occupy movement and Occupy Portland considers indicators of cultural change and new social imaginary significations through the lenses of bodily relations to place and depth psychology’s psychoanalytic tradition. In Occupy, the convening power of mass self-communication technologies allowed the substitution of organizing properties of place for organizational capital (structures developed in advance of the gathering); and, the configuration of physical capital within convening places had a co determinative influence over the development of social structures and group identities. The partial substitution of place for organizational capital reduced the distanciation that might otherwise have been required to convene such large gatherings, and so provided a paradoxical opportunity for increased participant experience of both autonomy and community. In connection with Occupy Portland, qualities of the ever present struggle between desires for connection and autonomous expression shifted with shifting places. Events associated with Occupy indicate ontological changes may be increasing the relevance of communal social imaginary significations counter to those of Western capitalism, or at least departing from it significantly. Ephemeral gatherings like Occupy (here termed social condensation events) are revelatory of that which is socially unconscious and are likely to occur with increasing frequency due to mass self-communication technologies. As with Occupy, places of future social condensation events will give shape to the resulting social spaces as they become organically constructed in relation to those places.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Casey, Edward S.
Commitee: Ciofalo, Nuria, Sloan, Tod
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Depth Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 78/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social psychology, Psychology
Keywords: Critical hermeneutics, Culture, Distanciation, Group processes, Occupy movement, Social imaginary significations
Publication Number: 10288537
ISBN: 978-1-369-86224-9
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