Bulletin for the Study of Religion, Vol 43, No 1 (2014)

The Occupy Movement, Religion and Social Formations

Matt K. Sheedy
Issued Date: 14 Feb 2014

Abstract


The Occupy movement was an unprecedented social formation that spread to approximate 82 countries around the globe in the fall of 2011 via social media through the use of myths, symbols and rituals that were performed in public space and quickly drew widespread mainstream attention. In this paper I argue that the movement offers a unique instance of how discourse functions in the construction of society and I show how the shared discourses of Occupy were taken-up and shaped in relation to the political opportunity structures and interests of those involved based on my own fieldwork at Occupy Winnipeg. I also argue that the Occupy movement provides an example of how we might substantively attempt to classify “religion” by looking at how it embodied certain metaphysical claims while contrasting it with the beliefs and practices of more conventionally defined “religious” communities.

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DOI: 10.1558/bsor.v43i1.17

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