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Old 02-10-2009, 05:58 PM
 
3,596 posts, read 7,710,711 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishtom29 View Post
A nurse can consider herself either working or middle class, same with teachers, some of whom embrace the unions they belong to while others feel ashamed of being unionists and call their union an "association". And of course much depends on your definition of class; one can be middle class economically and working class socially.

Many white-collar people today are IMO working class; college is the new vocational school and the office is the new factory and there's not much special about either as there might have been a couple of generations ago. It seems that many white-collar people are realizing this now.

I've a very expansive view of the working class; if your name isn't over the door where you work you're working class.
I think there's still a very clear definition between white and blue collar, I just feel that people have a very poor understanding of what blue collar really is.

As I think Lookout Kid noted in the Chicago subforum, what is labeled as "blue collar" today is not really blue collar. Rather, they're working poor. Blue collar indicates someone who works with their hands on something skilled. It's highly skilled labor, labor that needs education parallel to a college education with advanced degrees.

As for working class, I think that definition has always been the same: If you have to work, you're working class. What frightens me is how difficult, if not impossible, it is for anyone to get to the point where they don't have to work.
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Old 02-10-2009, 07:59 PM
 
Location: Chicago - mudhole in the prairie...
1,624 posts, read 2,909,282 times
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Originally Posted by Ben Around View Post
. Are you paid by the hour or with a salary? By the hour = working class, salary = white collar. Do .
What about consultants then?
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Old 02-10-2009, 08:09 PM
 
2,958 posts, read 5,668,731 times
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Originally Posted by dementor View Post
But we make them the elite! By "we" I mean the general population that buys their records, watches their shows or buys tabloids posting their pictures. And if in fact the general population is so interested in their private lifes despite their obnoxious behaviour than maybe any complains about them are simply "out of touch with the general public" elitist requests? Maybe general public wants them to act this way so they have something to read and talk about?
This is very true too. Its getting on a whole other tangent and pretty off topic, but this is a gripe of mine as well. They have God complexes b/c consumers deify them.

But you've got to admit, they are prime examples of people with tons of money and not even a tiny bit of class!
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Old 02-10-2009, 08:19 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
10,238 posts, read 18,764,946 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coldwine View Post
As I think Lookout Kid noted in the Chicago subforum, what is labeled as "blue collar" today is not really blue collar. Rather, they're working poor. Blue collar indicates someone who works with their hands on something skilled. It's highly skilled labor, labor that needs education parallel to a college education with advanced degrees.

I disagree, blue collar means (and has meant) far more than skilled trades work. It includes assembly, mill work, warehouse and docks, truck driving and general laboring among other things.
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Old 02-11-2009, 10:51 AM
 
5,859 posts, read 14,060,263 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishtom29 View Post
Class is a moving target in this country and not one people are very comfortable talking about; thus we see people making $25,000 AND people making $2,500,000 describing themselves as "middle class".
So true! (Though part of that is confusing class with income. While income is how much you get paid, class has to do with social status and values.)
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Old 02-11-2009, 10:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by dementor View Post
What about consultants then?
They are a different animal--they set their own scale, unlike a traditional wage earner where the best you can hope is that your union will help you get a living wage.
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Old 02-11-2009, 11:03 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coldwine View Post
I think there's still a very clear definition between white and blue collar, I just feel that people have a very poor understanding of what blue collar really is.

As I think Lookout Kid noted in the Chicago subforum, what is labeled as "blue collar" today is not really blue collar. Rather, they're working poor. Blue collar indicates someone who works with their hands on something skilled. It's highly skilled labor, labor that needs education parallel to a college education with advanced degrees.

As for working class, I think that definition has always been the same: If you have to work, you're working class. What frightens me is how difficult, if not impossible, it is for anyone to get to the point where they don't have to work.
I agree with what you say about "blue collar". I hear this term bandied about, equivalent to poor. (See especially, impoverished neighborhoods being described as "blue collar", when the last person earning a living wage moved out 30 years ago!)

I don't agree with your definition of "working class", I've never heard the term used this way before. Sociologists coined the term to define those who do manual labor. They further divide by skill level, so it includes everyone from ditch diggers and sanitation workers, to firemen and cops, to highly trained, highly skilled crane operators.

I think it is certainly a confusing term, because it implies that only manual work is "real" work. Those of us whose work is intellectual in nature would certainly disagree. WE certainly have to work, or most of us wouldn't be doing it!
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Old 02-11-2009, 05:36 PM
 
Location: Chicago - mudhole in the prairie...
1,624 posts, read 2,909,282 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Around View Post
I think it is certainly a confusing term, because it implies that only manual work is "real" work.
Yes. And although surgeons works with their hands it would be hard to qualify them as "blue collar"
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Old 02-12-2009, 12:09 PM
 
5,859 posts, read 14,060,263 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dementor View Post
Yes. And although surgeons works with their hands it would be hard to qualify them as "blue collar"
Exactly! it's not just a single dimension. In the case of surgeons, it is their ultra-high level of academic training that trumps the "works with hands" aspect.
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Old 02-12-2009, 02:09 PM
 
Location: Chicago - mudhole in the prairie...
1,624 posts, read 2,909,282 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Around View Post
Exactly! it's not just a single dimension. In the case of surgeons, it is their ultra-high level of academic training that trumps the "works with hands" aspect.
Exactly. And that's why defintions such as blue collar, white collar, middle-class, working class are so vague and outdated that almost useless. Even traditionally blue collar professions can now require lots of training that make the term incompatible. For instance airplane technicians...
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