Hamilton, LA and McCabe, D (2015) The Kill Programme: an ethnographic study of the Dirty Work of meat inspectors in a slaughterhouse. New Technology, Work and Employment, 30 (2). pp. 95-108. ISSN 1468-005X

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It has been argued that ‘dirty work’ is characterised by strong occupational and workgroup cultures. This literature has mainly focused on direct workers, but this article largely attends to indirect ‘dirty’ workers, specifically meat inspectors, through ethnographic research conducted in a UK slaughterhouse. Four arguments are developed; the first is that ‘dirty workers’ may not all display group cohesiveness; indeed, individualisation may be more evident depending upon the technology used, internationalisation and employment conditions. Second, there is complexity and diversity within ‘dirty work’ and even single occupations can contain considerable variety, rendering generalisations problematic. Third, we argue that much greater attention needs to be given to the wider contextual issues affecting ‘dirty work’, specifically changing labour markets, itinerant labour, economic conditions and technologies. Finally, we argue that stigmatised work may become more so if it is equated with the low wage economy and/or undercutting conditions of employment through exploiting migrant labour.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: culture, dirty work, economics, ethnography, group cohesion, identity, migrant Labour, technology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Keele Management School
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2015 12:20
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2019 14:46
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/989

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