The COVID-19 pandemic brought with it untold disruptions to the hospitality and related services industries, and it also prompted a dramatic shift in public perceptions towards line-level workers. Normally associated with unskilled and ‘dirty’ labor, these workers were embraced as ‘heroes’ by providing essential services in the face of a severe and frightening public health threat. This phenomenon provided a rare opportunity for researchers in the fields of hospitality and psychology to examine how those workers, and the society they served, made sense of this perceptive shift.
Mejia, C ; Pittman, R; Beltramo, JMD; Horan, K; Grinley, A; Shoss, MK; (2021) Stigma & dirty work: In-group and out-group perceptions of essential service workers during COVID-19. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 93, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhm.2020.102772.
"Essential Worker Heroes,"
Rosen Research Review: Vol. 2:
3, Article 3.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/rosen-research-review/vol2/iss3/3