Baldissarri, C., Valtorta, R. R., Andrighetto, L., & Volpato, C.
Workers as objects: The nature of working objectification and the role of perceived alienation
The aim of the present study is to advance the research on working objectification by analyzing its nature and the mechanism underlying this process. In particular, we hypothesized that working objectification involved an automatic association of the worker with an object and a full denial of humanness related to both agency and experience. Further, we expected that perceived alienation could explain the relationship between critical working conditions and objectifying perceptions. Results showed that, compared to an artisan, a factory worker was automatically associated with the object-related words rather than with person-related words. Furthermore, the factory worker was perceived as having less agency and experience than the artisan. Finally, the perception of the factory work as fragmented, repetitive, and other-directed was related to a view of work as being more alienating, which, in turn, led to the increased objectification of the worker. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.Back