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Sacrifice and distinction in dirty work: men’s construction of meaning in the butcher trade

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journal contribution
posted on 02.02.2015, 15:31 by R. Simpson, Jason R. A. Hughes, N. Slutskaya, M. Balta
Through a study of the butcher trade, this article explores the meanings that men give to ‘dirty work’, that is jobs or roles that are seen as distasteful or ‘undesirable’. Based on qualitative data, we identify three themes from butchers’ accounts that relate to work-based meanings: sacrifice through physicality of work; loss and nostalgia in the face of industrial change; and distinction from membership of a shared trade. Drawing on Bourdieu, we argue that sacrifice and distinction help us understand some of the meanings men attach to dirty, manual work – forming part of a working-class ‘habitus’. Further, these assessments can be both ‘reproductive’ and ‘productive’ as butchers reinforce historically grounded evaluations of work and mobilize new meanings in response to changes in the trade.

History

Citation

Work, Employment and Society, 2014, 28 (5), pp. 754-770 (16)

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCE/Department of Sociology

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Work

Publisher

SAGE Publications (UK and US) for British Sociological Association

issn

0950-0170

eissn

1469-8722

Copyright date

2014

Available date

07/03/2015

Publisher version

http://wes.sagepub.com/content/28/5/754

Language

en

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