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Passion and [Exploitation At Work]
Researchers at Duke University have found that passion for one's work is viewed as legitimizing exploiting workers
The researchers found that people consider it more legitimate to make passionate employees leave family to work on a weekend, work unpaid, and handle unrelated tasks that were not in the job description.
The team found passion exploitation consistently across eight studies with more than 2,400 total participants. The studies varied in design, in the participants (students, managers, random online samples) and in the kinds of jobs they considered.
In one study, participants who read that an artist was strongly passionate about his job said it was more legitimate for the boss to exploit the artist than those who read the artist wasn’t as passionate. This finding extended to asking for work far beyond the job description, including leaving a day at the park with family and cleaning the office bathroom.
In another study, participants rated it more legitimate to exploit workers in jobs more traditionally associated with passion, such as an artist or social worker, than in jobs not generally seen as a labor of love, such as a store clerk or bill collector.
While this can come across as "duh", it's good to see research pointing this out directly. Showing that passion can and is used against workers to force them to take on further work without appropriate compensation is the first step in pushing back. Furthermore, we how this mentality, when left unchecked, helps turn entire industries toxic - one need only look at the games industry to see evidence of this, with permanent crunch the norm across wide swaths of it.
Just because someone is passionate about their employment doesn't mean that it's free game to take advantage of them.
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