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    ‘There’s always got to be a villain’: the police as ‘dirty’ key workers and the effects on occupational prestige

    De Camargo, C. and Whiley, Lilith A. (2021) ‘There’s always got to be a villain’: the police as ‘dirty’ key workers and the effects on occupational prestige. Policing and Society: An International Journal of Research and Policy , ISSN 1043-9463.

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    Abstract

    The COVID-19 pandemic has afforded the opportunity for key workers in some traditionally ‘dirty’ occupations to experience elevated levels of prestige. Although public perceptions of certain key workers have evolved in this way not all occupations have benefitted from comparable narratives. Using data from 18 police officer interviews, we theorise that the police are constructed as the ‘villains’ of the pandemic, tasked with the ‘dirtier’ responsibilities of enforcing rules that transgress societal order (as opposed to ‘heroes’ performing the more prestigious functions such as saving lives). For this reason, they have not benefitted from the same esteem markers awarded to other key workers, which in turn has had a detrimental effect on their morale. Gratitude, especially experienced via public markers of esteem symbolic of the pandemic, was salient in participants negotiating their ‘dirt’ and occupational prestige.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis, available online at the link above.
    School: School of Business, Economics & Informatics > Organizational Psychology
    Depositing User: Lilith Whiley
    Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2021 10:07
    Last Modified: 15 Jun 2021 11:30
    URI: https://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/44409

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