A Transnational Movement In Local Context The Occupy Movement In Germany

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 9:15 AM
Room: 418
Oral Presentation
Oliver NACHTWEY , University of Trier, Trier, Germany
Ulrich BRINKMANN , Economic Sociology (Dep. IV), University of Trier, Trier, Germany
The Occupy movement was a global phenomenon. After the advent of Occupy Wall Street (OWS) occupy camps mushroomed to other, in particular western capitalist states. The starting point of our own empirical research was the question, who participated in the Occupy movement. In our contribution we would like to present findings from an online survey of the Occupy movement in Germany. Carried out in autumn 2012 the study is based on more than 1000 voluntary participants (activist and sympathizers) of Occupy – it was announced through the channels of the occupy movement, Facebook and Twitter.

In our analysis we differentiate between three different groups: (a) Campers, the core activists of Occupy, (b) activists, who have been active in the camps and participated at demonstrations, etc. and (c) sympathizers, who have a predominantly positive attitude towards the movement, shared links, etc. but didn’t participate in physical actions. We present empirical results for these subgroups about their class/labour market position, their financial situation, their education degree, their (material and post-material) values, their attitudes towards work and society and their forms of critique of the financial crisis. We present both a narrative analysis of the development of Occupy in Germany and an analysis of the political, social, temporal, and spatial aspects. This includes an overview of the specific frames of actions and a field analysis of other groups involved in the protest, media coverage and the advent of “Blockupy”, a broader alliance of left wing groups, trade unions and Occupy activists. Thus we analyze the German Occupy movement in two ways: Firstly, we compare it to the empirical results of the OWS-research by Milkman et al. (2012). Secondly, we compare it to the social and political patterns of other recent social movements in Germany.