Dignity of labour

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The dignity of labor is the philosophy that all types of jobs are respected equally, and no occupation is considered superior and none of the jobs should be discriminated on any basis. Regardless of whether one's occupation involves physical work or mental labour, it is held that the job deserves respect. Social reformers such as Basava and his contemporary Sharanas, as well as Mahatma Gandhi, were prominent advocates of the dignity of labor.[1]

The dignity of labor is one of the major themes in Christian ethics,[2] and as such, it is upheld by the Anglican Communion,[3] in Catholic social teaching, in Methodist principles,[4] and in Reformed theology.[5]

In Roman Catholicism, usually titled "The dignity of work and the rights of workers" the affirmation of the dignity of human labor is found in several papal encyclicals, most notably Pope John Paul II's Laborem Exercens, published September 15, 1981.[6] Simply put, any form of work, manual or intellectual, is called labor and respecting any kind of job (manual or intellectual) is called "dignity of labor".


  1. ^ Suryanarayanan, A. N. "Dignity of labor". The Deccan Herald.
  2. ^ Osborn, Andrew Rule (1940). Christian Ethics. Oxford University Press. p. 64. Retrieved 4 July 2016. This conception of the divine dignity of work is distinctive of Hebrew and Christian Ethics.
  3. ^ Norman, Edward (1 May 2003). An Anglican Catechism. A&C Black. p. 146. ISBN 9780826467003. The Church upholds the dignity of labor, whether it is in productive or service work, or whether it is in the rearing of children and the maintenance of the home.
  4. ^ Bundy, Colin (1979). The Rise and Fall of the South African Peasantry. University of California Press. p. 39. ISBN 9780520037540. Methodist teaching, especially, favored the creation of wage-earners and stressed the dignity of labor and desirability of manual skills.
  5. ^ Ogier, Darryl Mark (1996). Reformation and Society in Guernsey. Boydell & Brewer. p. 173. ISBN 9780851156033. Work discipline was engendered through such measures, and through the general (Calvinist-inspired) emphasis on the dignity of labor in one's calling.
  6. ^ "The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers". www.usccb.org.