Digital Personal Storytelling of Union Supporters and Opponents in Neoliberal Organizational Settings

Tamar Lazar


This study sheds light on how the discursive practice of digital personal storytelling is performed in conflicts embedded in the intertwined neoliberal settings of both organizational cultures and social media platforms. Analysis of 52 personal stories of union supporters and opponents in 3 major telecommunication companies in Israel shows how participants in Facebook pro-union and anti-union digital campaigns integrated practices of self-promotion, employer branding, and social activism as means of engaging with fellow workers and justifying their own position. The storytellers expressed agency by creatively explaining why they joined such campaigns. Union supporters emphasized individualistic and meritocratic values, whereas union opponents emphasized values of organizational belonging and caring. I propose that although the discursive practice of digital personal storytelling may seem inconsistent with the function of a union as representing the workers’ collective voice, it has the potential to mobilize workers facing precarious neoliberal employment relationships in contemporary activist and organizational communication arenas.


personal storytelling, digital activism, self-promotion, employer branding, workers’ unionization, neoliberal organizational settings

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