Paper Summary

Direct link:

The 2018 Teacher Strikes and the Social Construction of Teachers

Mon, April 12, 4:30 to 6:00pm EDT (4:30 to 6:00pm EDT), Division L, Division L - Section 1 Paper and Symposium Sessions


In 2018, thousands of teachers in three right to work states—West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Arizona—staged walkouts to advocate for increased salaries and school budgets. Teacher pay was a central issue in all three states, which were among those with the largest declines in teacher pay in the period after the recession. We analyze the print news media stories published about the strikes in the three states in 2018 using the social construction of target populations. In general, the framing of the strikes was positive and consistent with teachers’ status as a relatively advantaged target population although we might expect the print news media coverage of union organizing to be more negative in these states.