Fighting words: Labor and the Limits of Communication at Staley, 1993 to 1996

Dana L. Cloud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


This article performs a narrative analysis of a newsletter published over a period of 2 years by locked-out workers during an industrial conflict. The analysis of a unique archive of worker documents points to the significance of battle metaphors and their shifting deployment over time. Early in the lockout, Staley workers rhetorically constructed themselves as warriors fighting a heroic battle. However, later in the struggle as defeat approached, the role descriptions in the newsletter emphasized the workers’ victim, refugee, and martyr status. The analysis of workers’ narratives is situated in this study in the context of narrative studies, critical organizational communication studies, and social movement studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)509-542
Number of pages34
JournalManagement Communication Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • dialectical materialism
  • labor movement
  • narrative
  • organizational communication
  • social movement
  • strike

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Strategy and Management


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