I am presently reading a novel in present-day India about an outcast (Dalit) woman who has to clean the latrines of her neighbors in a small village.

This brought back to my mind a story I read very long ago. In an isolated space colony there is one man who is an outcast because he deals with feces (or the other way round). They have advanced technology so in fact all the "dirty" job is really done by machinery and the guy really only deals with supervising the machinery, but he is an outcast all the same.

I tried to google
"science fiction" + outcast + feces
and also with "excrement" in 3rd position, and also with a synonym in four letters, to no avail. (SF sends me to San Francisco)

Rings a bell ?

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    not very helpful.... and I carefully avoided using thsi word ;) – Alfred Oct 15 '19 at 21:47
  • Was the story from the perspective of a visitor to the station who was affronted by the shunning of the waste-worker? I recall reading something like that in a short story collection. – import random Oct 15 '19 at 21:50
  • Quite possibly, but I don't remember, I read it long ago. But yes, it seems to ring a bell, a visitor... Sounds right. – Alfred Oct 15 '19 at 21:52

STRIKEBREAKER by Isaac Asimov (1957)

On the asteroid colony of Lamorak, the family who deals with sewage are outcasts. One fine day they go on strike, and the colony faces destruction. A visiting galactic anthropologists cannot just stand by and watch the colony die. So he becomes a strikebreaker and operates the sewage treatment plant.

enter image description here

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  • Yes ! The strike ! I had forgotten the strikr but now you mention it, it perfectly fits. – Alfred Oct 15 '19 at 21:57
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    Hmmmm. Only after my question was answered, the site showed me an earlier duplicate scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/197586/… which did not appear in the box above my typing, while I was typing the question, I kept checking that box before asking it. – Alfred Oct 15 '19 at 22:05
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    Can I call it a "duplicate" myself ? I don't see any link for this action. – Alfred Oct 15 '19 at 22:52
  • I'm not sure, apparently it can be marked as duplicate when the question is closed. But only if one has enough points. – Winchell Chung Oct 15 '19 at 23:18
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    I thought that people had more leeway on their own question, but I went ahead and closed it for you. – FuzzyBoots Oct 16 '19 at 0:12

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