This is an open, shared space for distributed research focused around OccupyWallStreet / OccupyTogether. We are sharing ideas, research questions, research methods, tools, datasets, and later working to gather, analyze, discuss, write, code, and otherwise develop the theory and practice of occupy research together.
Why do we need to Occupy Research? There are many possible answers to this question.
In a broad sense: we need to Occupy Research because knowledge is power – or at least, knowledge can be used to build and maintain, as well as to upset, power. It’s important for the 99% to do our own research, because otherwise research becomes something that is driven by the questions of the 1%, uses the methods of the 1%, and is something that is done TO the 99%, with or without our consent.
More practically, various camps are setting up Research Working Groups for various reasons, including:
- gaining a better understanding of who is participating in Occupy, who is not participating, and why;
- learning from each other, including studying and learning about the ideas, strategies, tactics, and practices of other Occupations, as well as learning from other social movements that have come before us or that exist alongside us;
- providing research support for the needs of the occupiers and for the broader movement of those who support them;
- engaging in movement-based research about the camps (taking a census, surveying participants in the camp or visitors to it, interviewing occupiers using a shared semi-structured interview guide, researching what other camps or local movement groups are doing and bringing back best practices, and so on),
- spreading research skills, tools, and methods to more and more members of the 99%!