Higher education is being challenged as is the unionization of faculty. This combination could create a climate where faculty may need to strike. The purpose of this research is to describe the lived experiences of striking faculty to bring a greater understanding of what faculty may incur. This research utilized a phenomenological approach with a combination of composite narratives and in vivo coding to describe the lived experiences of striking. With the number of layoffs, strikes and threats of striking, this research is timely in understanding what striking entails and how it can best be navigated for the benefit of the faculty. There were 333 striking faculty of which twenty-seven were interviewed. Three themes developed and will be discussed. First, how the faculty's perception of the Union can influence their experience and willingness to remain on the picket line. Second, realizing a striker's experience is not monolithic, as realized in the differing experiences of the two campuses of Wright State. Lastly, surprising themes emerged, such as mental health issues surrounding financial, work and family struggles throughout the duration of the strike.


mental health, strike, Union, phenomenology, Regional Campus

Author Bio(s)

Giovanna Follo is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Wright State University - Lake Campus. She conducts qualitative research in a variety of areas such as aging and student retention in higher education. Her main area of research examines gender in martial arts and self-defense. Please direct correspondence to giovanna.follo@wright.edu

Diane Huelskamp is an Associate Professor in Education Sciences. She focuses on the areas of pedagogy and educational issues. Please direct correspondence to diane.huelskamp@wright.edu

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