Portland State University. Department of Sociology
Date of Award
Master of Science (M.S.) in Sociology
1 online resource (iv, 97 pages)
Occupy movement -- Oregon, Organizational behavior -- Protest movements -- Oregon, Political leadership -- Oregon
This thesis documents and examines Occupy Portland's organizational structure and the impact of this structure on the leadership roles of participants. Interviews with key activists and participant observation reveal that the ideologically influenced horizontal organization employed by the movement disrupts the emergence of centralized authority and charismatic leadership. This, in turn, encourages the rise of a "distributed leadership" comprised of multiple, task driven leaders. It finds that these task-oriented leaders within Occupy Portland tend to fulfill three specific leadership roles; the facilitation of process, the construction of movement structures, and the organization of actions. This study provides an exploration of conceptualizing leaders in a non-hierarchical, decentralized, consensus-based decision-making social movement and works to give needed expansion to the literature on social movement leadership.
Bach, Aaron Martin, ""We don't have any of those:" Looking for leaders in the horizontal structure of Occupy Portland" (2013). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 1419.