Mega-events that transform cities provide an instance of the ongoing contestation between social needs and neoliberal competition for global finance. My research examined the protests organized against the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games using a theoretical framework based on Henri Lefebvre’s theory of the right to the city, and the Marxist categories of use value and exchange value. I found that the protests largely embodied a positive enactment of the right to the city by putting forth a concerted effort to re-frame the Olympics not as a simple celebration of sport but as a political economic event driven by exchange values. News content analysis found that direct party and alternative media coverage represented the protests in such a way as to convey a sense of legitimacy upon the actions and the actors, thus portraying them as entitled to such participation; however, corporate media did not achieve this level of analysis.
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Thesis advisor: Poyntz, Stuart
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