The Indignados of New York


The Indignados movement of Spain, also known as either: 15-M due to its occurrence on May 15th , or the anti-austerity movement of Spain, was large, complex and innovative. It was, at the time, one of the greatest internet-sprung movements to occur. Because of its size, novelty, and newness, scholars have extensively studied various aspects of the movement. Academically, this movement is known not only for its effects on Spain as a country but also the United States, China, and the rest of Europe. One movement in particular has a notably close relationship with 15-M; this relationship is complex and unique to other movements. Because of this complexity, it is interpreted in many different ways. That movement is Occupy Wall Street. This paper – building on McAdam and Rucht’s theoretical framework introduced in “The Cross-National Diffusion of Movement Ideas” – will disrupt any dichotomy possibly derived from their work. That is, although McAdam and Rucht (1993) describe two distinct ways in which movements spread ideas, this paper will suggest that between these methods – direct and indirect or dialogic and transnational – there is another: rhetorical framing. I will use the case of 15-M and how their ideas spread to Occupy as an example of this. Where ideas can be spread via the rhetorical framing of different actors and phenomena within the movement. Thus, both directly and indirectly; intentionally and unintentionally, communicating movement ideas cross-nationally. First will be a brief historical review of the movement, followed by a literature review. Then I will cover the relationship between Occupy and 15-M, the public sphere, and argue for rhetorical framing as it exists as a diffuser between these two movements.

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