Stocksy United: A case study of co-operation in the cultural industries

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-01-24
Identifier: 
etd20729
Keywords: 
Co-operatives
Cultural work
Stocksy United
Stock photography
Cultural industries
Abstract: 

This thesis examines Stocksy United, a stock photography platform co-operative, as a case study of worker resistance and self-organization in the cultural industries. Drawing on interviews with 12 Stocksy United members, it explores the meanings the co-operative’s artists assign to their work in order to better understand the possibilities of co-operation for a cultural workforce. I argue that Stocksy United represents a significant example of how the co-operative model offers an alternative for precarious workers in the cultural industries, affording them community, autonomy, and fairness on the job. However, it is also a model that illustrates the ambivalences of co-operatives, including a tendency for the degeneration of the co-operative ethic, tensions around participation and gender, and the reproduction of capitalist logics. It concludes by arguing that co-operatives are a valuable yet insufficient answer to the challenges faced by precarious cultural workers.

Document type: 
Thesis
Rights: 
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes. Copyright remains with the author.
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Enda Brophy
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Communication
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.
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