Ruth Milkman, Stephanie Luce and Penny Lewis, faculty members at the Murphy Institute at the School of Professional Studies, have co-authored Changing the Subject: A Bottom-Up Account of Occupy Wall Street in New York City, and the report has been featured in the New York Times: (http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/28/in-occupy-well-educated-professionals-far-outnumbered-jobless-study-finds/).
The research team surveyed 729 protesters at a May 1, 2012 Occupy march and rally in New York City, and conducted extensive interviews with 25 people who were core activists in the movement. The survey used a methodology developed and widely deployed in Europe for the study of large protest demonstrations to obtain a representative sample of participants.
This report provides the most systematic demographic snapshot available of the Occupy movement and also explores the reasons why it gained traction with the public, making the issue of economic inequality central in the nation’s political debate. The study also shows that the movement had a pre-history, with strong links to previous U.S. social movements, and a post-history, with activities continuing long after the eviction of the Park. While Occupy may have faded from daily headlines after the protesters’ eviction from Zuccotti Park, the issues it sparked and the activism it inspired remain very much alive.
The report can be viewed at http://sps.cuny.edu/filestore/1/5/7/1_a05051d2117901d/1571_92f562221b8041e.pdf.
Lia J. Kudless