Striking with Social Media

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* Article: Striking with social media: The contested (online) terrain of workplace conflict. By Martin Upchurch and Rickard Grassman Organization, 08/2015; DOI: 10.1177/1350508415598248



In this article, we review the workplace battleground and explore the potential of social media for mobilizing social movements in labour conflicts and beyond. By conducting a case study with empirical accounts obtained from the 2010–2011 British Airways cabin crew dispute in the United Kingdom, along with secondary sources, we discern social media in the workplace as a contested field. Inquiring into the unfolding dynamic of social media and workplace conflict, we investigate the mobilizing prospects of theoretical concepts like 'distributed discourse' and 'accelerated pluralism' through the analytical prism of our interviews. Our analysis of these empirical accounts will tease out certain empowering potentials in the use of social media to shape discourse and mobilise movement. However, we also note that these same communicative actions may challenge internal union authority, generate counter-mobilising efforts and constitute an integral part in exposing both our private and working lives to the processes of marketisation and commodification.