Dirty Work, Social Theory At Work Bachelors Essay Management

3399 words - 14 pages

Personal Reflection 13
Dirt and Animal-Human Work: Personal Reflection
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Dirt and Animal-Human Work: Personal Reflection
In this paper, I reflect on my personal experiences in orientation to the concept of dirt work. By definition, dirty work refers to occupations, tasks, and roles that are likely to be perceived as degrading and disgusting. Examples of dirty work include occupations about cleaning, garbage collection, and animal care. Despite advances in technology and occupations, dirty work is still an inherent feature of modern human societies (Noon and Blyton, 2007, p. 69). That notwithstanding, dirty work remains one of the areas that have been neglected in organizational studies, with and theory failing to capture trends in the demand and nature of dirty work. In this paper, I will adopt a relational approach to examine the construction of dirty work in an organizational context.
Literature Review
Dirty work is described in the literature as an occupation that is stigmatized because of associations with problematic moral, physical and social issues (Simpson, Hughes, Slutskaya and Balta, 2014, p. 750). Such occupations are subjects of stigmatization because they may involve danger, garbage, servile relationships, engagements, confrontations and encounter with refuse. Although the spectrum of occupations that are classified is very broad and may involve the more conventional clean occupations such as dentistry and nursing, they all share the element of visceral repugnance among the public. In other words, members of the public tend to view these occupations as being out of place in the modern world. The revulsion, however, does not mean that the public dislikes the services and products of dirty work. Rather, the object of indignation is the process itself and not the outcomes. As an example, the public may love meat but dislike the process of slaughtering livestock and all the mess associated with it. In this regard, there is no contention that while dirty work may be beneficial in society, the presence of taint attracts stigma and reduces the prestige associated with the work.
According to Tyler (2011, p. 1479), the perception of dirty work is a social construct. Thus, there are no conventionally agreed upon standards for delineating dirty and clean work. Accordingly, it is important to understand how social contexts and the associated expectations, values, and norms contribute to the perception of dirty work. Tyler has defined social context as situational constraints and opportunities that underlie the meanings attributed to behaviors and the development of functional relationships between different variables. Simply put, a social context is an immediate environment or situation within which a particular phenomenon or entity is conceived and embedded. Social context has an import...


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