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Factors of dehumanization of performers of "dirty" work: stigmatization and social status

On April 22 Maria Terskova (MA, Junior Research Fellow, Scientific and Educational Laboratory of Psychology of Social Inequality, National Research University Higher School of Economics) took part in the "Culture matters" research seminar with the report "Factors of dehumanization of performers of "dirty" work: stigmatization and social status".

The profession is an important part of social identity and takes up a significant part of an individual's life. However, some types of work can threaten positive social identity, in particular "dirty" work. Moreover, the performance of stigmatized work can lead to negative consequences for its performer: prejudice, dehumanization, discrimination. Such consequences in the future can affect not only the efficiency of the employee but also his health and well-being. The report explained the concept of "dirty" work and presented the results of two studies. The first study (N = 340) revealed how stigmatization on various grounds is associated with the dehumanization of performers of "dirty" work. In the discussion of the second study (N = 1060), additional factors of dehumanization of “dirty” workers were identified: multiple stigmatizations, social status, and gender.