‘Get Paid, Get Out’: Online Resistance to Call Centre Labour in Canada

17 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2019

See all articles by Matthew S. Johnston

Matthew S. Johnston

Carleton University

Genevieve Johnston

Carleton University

Matthew D. Sanscartier

Carleton University

Mark Ramsay

Carleton University

Date Written: March 2019

Abstract

This qualitative content analysis of 503 anonymous online reviews of 52 Canadian call centres posted on RateMyEmployer.ca explores how forms of resistance, alienation and emotional labour are expressed outside of the workplace. Our study finds that digital publics are producing emotive insurgencies and networks of support within marginalised communities that undermine employers’ attempts at deadening the workforce. The reviews exemplify worker awareness of exploitation as some connect these issues to broader socio‐economic factors that are beyond their control. While many offer tactics to challenge and destabilise their working conditions and culture as well as heartfelt and sarcastic warnings of what one might expect if they pursue call centre employment, others use the online space as a means of venting frustrations, eliciting empathies and expressing sentiments of hope(lessness).

Keywords: call centres, digital publics, denunciation, emotional labour, qualitative content analysis, online research

Suggested Citation

Johnston, Matthew S. and Johnston, Genevieve and Sanscartier, Matthew D. and Ramsay, Mark, ‘Get Paid, Get Out’: Online Resistance to Call Centre Labour in Canada (March 2019). New Technology, Work and Employment, Vol. 34, Issue 1, pp. 1-17, 2019. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3349339 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ntwe.12125

Matthew S. Johnston (Contact Author)

Carleton University ( email )

1125 colonel By Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5B6
Canada

Genevieve Johnston

Carleton University

1125 colonel By Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5B6
Canada

Matthew D. Sanscartier

Carleton University

1125 colonel By Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5B6
Canada

Mark Ramsay

Carleton University

1125 colonel By Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5B6
Canada

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