Book Chapter

Examining the Public’s Desire to Punish Socially Stigmatized Service Workers in Crisis: Can Empathy Buffer Anger?

SJ Pervan, LL Bove

Developments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science | Springer International Publishing | Published : 2016


Service workers like child protective officers and mental health workers, are perceived overwhelmingly as valuable to society (Le Croy & Stinson, 2004). Yet, perversely, those who undertake these roles are also often socially stigmatized, seen as “dirty” by their communities, because they deal with “tainted” people (Ashforth, Kreiner, Clark, & Fugate, 2007). This dark side of public perception is most evident during crisis events when the media taps into the desire to blame workers for unfortunate occurrences, creating a frenzied environment in which individual accountability is often demanded. The negative portrayal of stigmatized service workers by the media has been linked to increased st..

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University of Melbourne Researchers