Inside Occupy Ohio State University (OSU)

Inside Occupy Ohio State University (OSU): Values, media, and the role of public universities in the Occupy Movement

Emily Schueller

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Abstract

During 2011, a group of activists established an Occupy group at The Ohio State University in solidarity with the global movement. Although Occupy Wall Street has been analyzed by many social scientists, its influence on campuses has not been as critically examined. The purpose of this study is to examine how the ideals and tactics of the Occupy movement have impacted student activism. Methods include semi-structured interviews with members of Occupy OSU and participant-observation, which involved attending Occupy OSU events. Interlocutors include students, one faculty member, and community activists from Columbus, Ohio. By examining the impact of the Occupy movement on The Ohio State University’s campus, this study provides an analysis of the effects of social movements on a university community. Observations during meetings, events, and in casual settings uncover a value system which governs Occupy OSU and illustrates how activists use resources and experiment in direct democracy. In this article, I argue that Occupy Wall Street empowered student activists by providing them with some of the tools, networking opportunities, and motivation for a new student movement.

Keywords: Social movement, Occupy, student movement

Download Full Text – Schueller 2012

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