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Gerais : Revista Interinstitucional de Psicologia

On-line version ISSN 1983-8220


LIMA-SILVA, Frankleudo Luan de; ZAMBRONI-DE-SOUZA, Paulo César; ARAUJO, Anísio José da Silva  and  PINTO, Francinaldo do Monte. When work requires dealing with death: the case of necrotomists. Gerais, Rev. Interinst. Psicol. [online]. 2021, vol.14, n.2, pp. 1-22. ISSN 1983-8220.

This article aimed to know which defensive strategies the necrotomists develop to deal with death in their professional activity performed in the context of the Department of Legal Medicine (DML), an organization that has death as a triggering factor of the work process. The main approach was the Psychodynamics of Work, allied to the concept of dirty work. Methodologically, individual semi-structured interviews and observations of the activity in the necropsy room were combined. The six necrotomists of the DML from a Brazilian Northeast capital participated in the study. The results indicated the following defensive strategies: objectification of corpses, use of jokes, appreciation of religious feeling and attempt to neutralize interactions between private and working spaces. It was found that professional experience mitigates the impact of images, odors and manual contact with the corpses. It was also evident that the living with death seems to induce positive perspective changes in relation to personal life.

Keywords : Work psychodynamics; Dirty work; Work clinics; Defensive strategies; Necrotomists.

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