Killing Them ‘Softly’ (!): Exploring Work Experiences in Care-Based Animal Dirty Work

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Tallberg, L
Jordan, PJ
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2021
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https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Abstract

Working with animals is a daily occurrence for millions of people who often complete tasks which are tainted, in spite of the work being seen as essential in modern society. Animal shelter-work is such an occupation. This article contributes to a deeper understanding of the caring–killing paradox (a dissonance that workers face when killing animals they are also caring for), through an insider ethnographic study. We find that care-based animal dirty work consists of unique ambiguities and tensions related to powerlessness, deception and secrecy in the work based on a ‘processing-plant’ framework which informs how workers deal with unwanted animals. We find competing ideologies of care and control to be foundational in this work.

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Work, Employment and Society
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© The Author(s) 2021. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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Applied and developmental psychology
Applied economics
Sociology
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Tallberg, L; Jordan, PJ, Killing Them ‘Softly’ (!): Exploring Work Experiences in Care-Based Animal Dirty Work, Work, Employment and Society, 2021
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