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Title: Sacrifice and distinction in dirty work: men’s construction of meaning in the butcher trade
Authors: Simpson, R.
Hughes, Jason R. A.
Slutskaya, N.
Balta, M.
First Published: 7-Mar-2014
Publisher: SAGE Publications (UK and US) for British Sociological Association
Citation: Work, Employment and Society, 2014, 28 (5), pp. 754-770 (16)
Abstract: Through a study of the butcher trade, this article explores the meanings that men give to ‘dirty work’, that is jobs or roles that are seen as distasteful or ‘undesirable’. Based on qualitative data, we identify three themes from butchers’ accounts that relate to work-based meanings: sacrifice through physicality of work; loss and nostalgia in the face of industrial change; and distinction from membership of a shared trade. Drawing on Bourdieu, we argue that sacrifice and distinction help us understand some of the meanings men attach to dirty, manual work – forming part of a working-class ‘habitus’. Further, these assessments can be both ‘reproductive’ and ‘productive’ as butchers reinforce historically grounded evaluations of work and mobilize new meanings in response to changes in the trade.
DOI Link: 10.1177/0950017013510759
ISSN: 0950-0170
eISSN: 1469-8722
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Archived with reference to SHERPA/RoMEO and publisher website. ‘The final, definitive version of this paper has been published in Work, Employment and Society, 28 (5), March 2014, by SAGE Publications Ltd, All rights reserved. © the authors. Version of record:
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Sociology

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