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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


GARBIN, Andréia De Conto  and  FISCHER, Frida Marina. Representations of workplace psychological harassment in print news media. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2012, vol.46, n.3, pp.417-424.  Epub Apr 24, 2012. ISSN 1518-8787.

OBJECTIVE: To analyze discourses on workplace psychological harassment in print media. METHODOLOGICAL PROCEDURES: Documental study on workplace psychological harassment that analyzed news stories published in three major newspapers of the State of São Paulo (southeastern Brazil) between 1990 and 2008. Discourse analysis was performed to identify discursive practices that reflect the phenomenon of psychological harassment in today's society, explanations for its occurrence and impact on workers' health. RESULT ANALYSIS: This theme emerged in the media through the dissemination of books, academic research production and laws. It was initially published in general news then in jobs and/or business sections. Discourses on compensation and precautionary business practices and coping strategies are widespread. Health-related aspects are foregone under the prevailing money-based rationale. Corporate cultures are permissive regarding psychological harassment and conflicts are escalated while working to achieve goals and results. Indifference, embarrassment, ridicule and demean were common in the news stories analyzed. CONCLUSIONS: The causal explanations of workplace harassment tend to have a psychological interpretation with emphasis on individual and behavioral characteristics, and minimizing a collective approach. The discourses analyzed trivialized harassment by creating caricatures of the actors involved. People apprehend its psychological content and stigmatization which contributes to making workplace harassment an accepted practice and trivializing work-related violence.

Keywords : Social Behavior; Working Environment; Psychology; Social; News; Newspapers; Qualitative Research; Moral harassment.

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