Despite several important scholars (e.g. Arendt, 1958; Marx, 1844) reflected upon the perception and treatment of workers as mere objects, empirical research on this field is still in its infancy. For example, Gruenfeld and colleagues (2008) analyzed objectification in hierarchical working relationships, finding that participants in high power positions perceived their subordinates as mere instruments. Baldissarri, Andrighetto and Volpato (2014) expanded these results showing that the perception of being treated as an instrument by superiors was related with workers’ self-objectification. Even though these studies are particularly relevant as they analysed the motivational underpinnings of the phenomenon, objectification is a complex process and may emerge in the absence of asymmetrical power relations between the perceiver and the target. In particular, starting from different theoretical analyses, the present dissertation sought to demonstrate that the work activities that an individual performs represent per se an important cognitive source of other and self-objectification. In the first set of laboratory studies, we aimed to verify if the execution of an activity characterized by repetiveness, fragmentation and other-direction leads laypeople to objectify the worker who performs it. Results showed that each of the critical features of factory work significantly affected the view of the worker as an instrument and as less able to experience human mental states. Coherently, we found that factory workers, unlike artisans, were perceived as more objectified when participants were asked to focus on the target’s manual activities rather than on the target as a person. In the second set of studies, we analyzed if performing an activity with the same critical features leads participants to self-objectify. Furthermore, we considered a possible consequence of self-objectification: the reduction of belief in personal free will. We consistently found that performing a manual, or a computer, objectifying task led participants to objectify themselves in terms of both decreased self-attribution of human mental states and increased self-perception of being instrument-like. Crucially, this increased self-objectification mediated the relationship between performing an objectifying activity and the participants’ decreased belief in personal free will. Finally, we replicated and expanded the findings on self-objectification in two field studies, in which we considered, beyond the two already studied sources of objectification (i.e. the performed activity and the perception of being objectified by others), the perceived job insecurity. Furthermore, we introduced another possible consequence of self-objectification, that is the reduction of personal well-being. As expected, objectifying job conditions and perception of being objectified were related to high level of self-objectification that in turn led to a decreased belief in personal free will. Furthermore, self-objectification played the same mediational role in the relationship between objectifying job conditions, perception of being objectified, perceived job insecurity and the reduction of well-being.
(2017). Objectified Workers: Other and Self-Objectification in the Work Domain. (Tesi di dottorato, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, 2017).
|Data di pubblicazione:||5-giu-2017|
|Titolo:||Objectified Workers: Other and Self-Objectification in the Work Domain|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||M-PSI/05 - PSICOLOGIA SOCIALE|
|Corso di dottorato:||PSICOLOGIA SOCIALE, COGNITIVA E CLINICA - 63R|
|Citazione:||(2017). Objectified Workers: Other and Self-Objectification in the Work Domain. (Tesi di dottorato, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, 2017).|
|Parole Chiave (Inglese):||Objectification; Work; Factory Workers; Free will; Well-being; Mind Attribution; Job insecurity|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||07 - Tesi di dottorato Bicocca post 2009|