The Frontier Lab’s Breakthrough Study Proves Occupy Wall Street Short-Selling America
CHICAGO – The Frontier Lab released today the results of a 3-month-long study of Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protesters in New York City and Chicago. “Short-Selling America,” the Means-Ends Value Chain report of the OWS participants’ deep motivating values provides richer intelligence for social scientists, commentators, and civic leaders who seek a deeper understanding of this emerging segment of political activists.
“After reading, watching, and listening to so many thought leaders expound on the mission, motives, and manners of this group, we saw an opportunity for science to make sense of a movement catching everyone’s attention,” said Anne Sorock, partner and research director of The Frontier Lab. “The study reveals two segments, “Communitarians” and “Professionals,” with distinct value sets, and categorically refutes the notion that Occupy protesters share the deep values of Americans who seek financial security and are fed up with crony capitalism.”
Key insights from the report:
- The Communitarians’ deep values set includes Community, Purpose, and Security
- The Professionals’ deep values set includes Prestige, Validation, and Control
- The promise and responsibility of ‘The American Dream’ do not overlap with either deep values set
- The most viable segment for conversion to other political movements are the Communitarians, because a sense of Community, Purpose, and Security can be more easily replicated
“While their signs and rhetoric might decry crony capitalism and bank bailouts, their values reveal self-centered and fear-based motivations. When understood at the deep values level, the similarities drawn between everyday Americans’ desire for fiscal responsibility and Occupy’s signage appear superficial and hollow. Anyone who would market American freedom to this disinterested and differently motivated audience fails to realize that Occupy wins when America loses. They are going short on America,” concluded Sorock.
The Short-Selling America report demonstrates that the OWS protesters’ values form a new way of understanding the movement beyond the traditional Left-Right dimension. The Frontier Lab is using this understanding to map the Occupy segments and other segments across the political landscape to reveal the frontier lines in the battle for America.
The Frontier Lab is a non-partisan 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit organization that conducts marketing research and provides strategic marketing counsel to leaders and organizations promoting freedom. Inspired by Frederick Jackson Turner’s “Frontier Thesis” of 1893, the lab’s mission is to define a new and sustainable American frontier based on the values majorities of Americans share. The Frontier Lab team’s pioneering approach applies Means Ends Value Chain market research used by the most cutting-edge private sector organizations to the civic space in order to advance republican democracy. To read the complete “Short-Selling America” report and to learn more about The Frontier Lab, please visit www.thefrontierlab.org.Twitter