Understanding the Language of the Occupy Movement: A Cognitive Linguistic Analysis

Theresa Catalano, John W. Creswell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


In the expanding area of narrative inquiry, researchers often battle with the decision of how to analyze/interpret data. The aim of this article is to propose the use of cognitive linguistics as a tool in narrative analysis using as a case illustration interviews conducted in October/November 2011 with participants in the Occupy movement (Occupy). Results expose important metaphors/metonymies that reveal much about the perception of the movement by its inceptors. Not only did the analysis present the movement as a war and a force against government corporations, oppression, and inequality, but it was also seen as a strong structure and a family/community that needed to be awakened, fed, heard, seen, and felt. The contribution of this article lies not only in a greater understanding of Occupy but also in a demonstration of the value that an in-depth cognitive linguistic analysis has to offer in narrative inquiry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)664-673
Number of pages10
JournalQualitative Inquiry
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Occupy
  • cognitive linguistics
  • metaphor
  • narrative inquiry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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