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Blue Collar vs White CollarBlue collar refers to jobs that have a physical component. This is typically contrasted with white collar jobs that take place in an office or office-like environment that involve little or no physical work.
Blue Collar vs Working ClassBlue collar refers to a specific type of working conditions, namely jobs that involve physical labor. Working class is a socioeconomic group that depends on their labor to survive and earns little or no discretionary income. This doesn't allow the working class to save significant sums, accumulate capital or invest in quality of life improvements. Whether a blue collar job is working class depends entirely on salary relative to essential costs such as basic housing, food, clothing, transportation, education and healthcare. Jobs that earn considerably more than these basic costs are middle class. In the past, white collar was heavily associated with the middle class and blue collar with the working class. This has changed as a large number of low paying white collar jobs have emerged with the knowledge and service economies. It is possible for white collar jobs to be working class. Likewise, many blue collar professions are middle class.
EtymologyAn analogy to the blue shirts supposedly worn by workers who perform physical labor. Apparently coined in a 1924 newspaper article from The Times of Alden, Iowa.
NotesBeyond work, blue collar can be viewed as a culture whereby it is associated with a set of norms, expectations, values and shared experiences.Some definitions of blue collar focus on industrial workers and trades such that they exclude professions such as firefighter and farmer.As a political class, blue collar workers can be referred to the proletariat.
|Overview: Blue Collar|
Professions that involve physical labor, also known as manual labor.