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

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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, Camilla; Whiley, Lileth A.

In: The Police Journal: Theory, Practice and Principles, Vol. 32, No. 5, 30.06.2022, p. 646-663.

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De Camargo, Camilla ; Whiley, Lileth A. / ‘There’s always got to be a villain’ : the police as ‘dirty’ key workers and the effects on occupational prestige. In: The Police Journal: Theory, Practice and Principles. 2022 ; Vol. 32, No. 5. pp. 646-663.

Bibtex

@article{15c495dc30ce40f1930c167c79292011,
title = "{\textquoteleft}There{\textquoteright}s always got to be a villain{\textquoteright}: the police as {\textquoteleft}dirty{\textquoteright} key workers and the effects on occupational prestige",
abstract = "The COVID-19 pandemic has afforded the opportunity for key workers in some traditionally {\textquoteleft}dirty{\textquoteright} 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 {\textquoteleft}villains{\textquoteright} of the pandemic, tasked with the {\textquoteleft}dirtier{\textquoteright} responsibilities of enforcing rules that transgress societal order (as opposed to {\textquoteleft}heroes{\textquoteright} 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 {\textquoteleft}dirt{\textquoteright} and occupational prestige.",
keywords = "Police, Dirty work, Occupational prestige, Taint, Pandemic, Policing, Coronovirus, COVID-19",
author = "{De Camargo}, Camilla and Whiley, {Lileth A.}",
year = "2022",
month = jun,
day = "30",
doi = "10.1080/10439463.2021.1928124",
language = "English",
volume = "32",
pages = "646--663",
journal = "The Police Journal: Theory, Practice and Principles",
number = "5",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - ‘There’s always got to be a villain’

T2 - the police as ‘dirty’ key workers and the effects on occupational prestige

AU - De Camargo, Camilla

AU - Whiley, Lileth A.

PY - 2022/6/30

Y1 - 2022/6/30

N2 - 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.

AB - 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.

KW - Police

KW - Dirty work

KW - Occupational prestige

KW - Taint

KW - Pandemic

KW - Policing

KW - Coronovirus

KW - COVID-19

U2 - 10.1080/10439463.2021.1928124

DO - 10.1080/10439463.2021.1928124

M3 - Journal article

VL - 32

SP - 646

EP - 663

JO - The Police Journal: Theory, Practice and Principles

JF - The Police Journal: Theory, Practice and Principles

IS - 5

ER -