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Invisibilized dirty work

Invisibilized dirty work
Invisibilized dirty work
This paper builds upon Heather Höpfl’s intellectual contributions in the areas of identity, dirt, and study of the unseen at commercial air carriers, by examining US airline pilots’ work over the decade between 2000 and 2010. Challenging assumptions about pilots being an elite group of unemotional professionals, findings here reveal how a once prestigious profession devolved into ‘invisibilized dirty work’ in the occupational rhetoric of employees. In contrast to dirty work definitions in which the associated taint is static, externally applied, and predates employees’ entry into their occupation, this study finds pilots’ emotional dirty work involves a changed sense of occupational identity due to industry restructuring and increased managerialism in which employees were forced to perpetuate a charade of safety in a system they believe has become increasingly risky.
occupational identity, dirty work, airlines, pilots
1475-9551
131-148
Fraher, Amy L.
5c2ad136-717b-43b1-be85-c7a970f85116
Fraher, Amy L.
5c2ad136-717b-43b1-be85-c7a970f85116

Fraher, Amy L. (2017) Invisibilized dirty work. Culture and Organization, 23 (2), 131-148. (doi:10.1080/14759551.2016.1244825).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This paper builds upon Heather Höpfl’s intellectual contributions in the areas of identity, dirt, and study of the unseen at commercial air carriers, by examining US airline pilots’ work over the decade between 2000 and 2010. Challenging assumptions about pilots being an elite group of unemotional professionals, findings here reveal how a once prestigious profession devolved into ‘invisibilized dirty work’ in the occupational rhetoric of employees. In contrast to dirty work definitions in which the associated taint is static, externally applied, and predates employees’ entry into their occupation, this study finds pilots’ emotional dirty work involves a changed sense of occupational identity due to industry restructuring and increased managerialism in which employees were forced to perpetuate a charade of safety in a system they believe has become increasingly risky.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 30 September 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 2 November 2016
Published date: 15 March 2017
Keywords: occupational identity, dirty work, airlines, pilots

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 428064
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/428064
ISSN: 1475-9551
PURE UUID: 837f5106-86be-4b80-8b26-7c2010845505
ORCID for Amy L. Fraher: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2093-5164

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 07 Feb 2019 17:30
Last modified: 30 Jan 2020 01:50

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