Conceptualising ‘Within-Group Stigmatisation’ among High-Status Workers

Matthew Bamber, John McCormack, Brent J Lyons

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Abstract

This article explores the identity challenges facing teaching-only faculty (TOF), whose occupational self-perceptions are fundamentally contradicted by the way institutional others perceive them. We show how this manifests into a set of stigmatising practices and processes across two dimensions: contact (informal messaging) and contract (formal messaging). The sense of being unjustly stigmatised is amplified because the teaching-only role is generally seen as high-status by outsiders, and the work itself is relatively free from real or metaphorical dirt. Hence, we propose the concept of within-group stigmatisation. Next, we shine light on the implications of this form of occupational stigmatisation through the lens of organisational (dis)identification. In contrast to theoretical expectations, the analysis of our extensive survey and interview data shows that TOF identify with their role but disidentify with the organisation. Finally, we reflect on the importance and broader applicability of our concept of within-group occupational stigmatisation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)757-775
Number of pages19
JournalWork, Employment and Society
Volume37
Issue number3
Early online date18 Nov 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023

Keywords

  • occupational stigma
  • organisational (dis)identification
  • within-group stigma

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