Trade unions in neo-liberal times: Discourse variations on emerging identities

Silvio Carlo Ripamonti, Angelo Benozzo, David Watson, Giuseppe Scaratti, Laura Galuppo

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3 Citations (Scopus)
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This paper focuses on how trade unions are redefining their organisational identity in response to the neoliberal changes that have affected the labour market, mainly as a result of the Global Financial Crisis of 2008. Such changes brought about a profound crisis of representation among workers in various sectors. Trade unions have had to redesign their identities to meet new demands from workers. Based on 30 interviews with unionists from one of Italy’s major unions, the study identifies four discursive variations and as many potential evolutions in the identity of trade unions. The respective positionings generated by these four discourses for the union and its members are examined. The study also highlights certain contradictions in these discursive variations, which may either encourage a redefinition of the union’s strategic objectives or, on the contrary, act as regulating mechanism that hampers change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-142
Number of pages14
JournalTesting, Psychometrics, Methodology in Applied Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021


  • Discourse analysis
  • organizational identity
  • neoliberalism
  • trade unions
  • qualitative research

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