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Inc.: 'Ragpickers' of Mumbai Use Entrepreneurship to Find Meaning, Study Shows

17 Apr 2023
It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it—with pride and hope.

Originally found at Inc.

Research on "dirty work" has focused on the fundamental challenge of finding positive meaning in work that is stigmatized because others perceive it as physically, socially or morally degrading.

However, for many people engaged in dirty work, this challenge extends well beyond making meaning of their work as their lives are stereotyped by facets including class, race or gender, and the work may be intractable—difficult, if not impossible, for a person to avoid doing it.

A new study from the University of Notre Dame considers meaning-making in the face of difficult dirty work by examining the "ragpickers" in Mumbai, India. These members of the lowest caste in Indian society live in the slums and dig through trash for food and necessities. And yet, they manage to embrace hope, destiny and survival.

"Intersectionality in Intractable Dirty Work: How Mumbai Ragpickers Make Meaning of Their Work and Lives" was published in the Academy of Management Journal from Dean Shepherd, the Ray and Milann Siegfried Professor of Entrepreneurship at Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business.

Continue reading the original article at Inc.

Read the original research in Academy of Management Journal.

Read the Academy of Management Insights summary.

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