Research Output
Don’t Work for Free: Online Discursive Resistance to Precarity in Commercial Photography
  While increasing academic attention has been paid to the precariousness of contemporary work, less research has examined how workers organise in response. This article examines how a group of precarious workers—commercial photographers—use an online forum to resist changes to their working conditions. Our findings illustrate how the forum enables photographers to share knowledge, debate rules, and organise collectively. We discuss two implications: firstly that the forum performs many of the functions of a professional association, and so gives us a new insight into how traditional forms of worker organisation may be translated in the digital realm, and secondly that the form of collective resistance produced by the group may constitute a move beyond existing understandings of online resistance as relatively ineffectual. Our work contributes a new perspective on how precarity is reshaping workers’ collective organisation and resistance mechanisms.

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    12 November 2020

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  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


Patrick-Thomson, H., & Kranert, M. (2021). Don’t Work for Free: Online Discursive Resistance to Precarity in Commercial Photography. Work, Employment and Society, 35(6), 1034-1052.



Precarity; Professions; Photography; Discourse Analysis; Social Media; Online Methods

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