If you’re one of the 90% of lucky Americans currently employed, then you can probably define your job as either white collar or blue collar. You may not know where your job falls but you’ve probably heard the terms on the news more than anywhere else. Even though the definitions are generally used to represent types of crimes, there’s actually a history that dates pretty far back as to why some jobs are considered white collar and others, blue collar.
The term white-collar is often credited to novelist Upton Sinclair, who used the term to refer clerical, administrative work. But, the term was used as early as 1911 and the Wall Street Journal used the term as early as 1923. ‘White collar’ is generally used to refer to work that doesn’t require strenuous physical labor. Sinclair’s version of the term refers to the dress code-required white collared shirts male office workers were required to wear during the 19th and 20th centuries. Typically, white-collar workers are paid a salary, rather than an hourly wage.
White collar crime was first coined by criminologist Edwin Sutherland, who defined it as “a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation.” In common parlance, white-collar crime typically refers to non-violent crimes, such as bribery, money laundering, fraud, electronic theft, embezzlement, copyright infringement, identity theft, income tax evasion, and insider trading. As a rule of thumb, the term generally refers to crimes only available to white-collar workers. That is, chances are that blue collar workers won’t have the opportunity to launder money across international borders. That sort of infraction generally requires the involvement of high-level bank officials.
Five common white collar jobs are:
- IRS Auditor
The term blue collar, conversely, refers to workers whose work requires manual labor. Their work can be skilled or unskilled and can fall into any number of industries. Welders, road crews, factory assemblymen, construction workers, miners, loggers, and many other types of laborers are all considered blue collar. Blue collar workers are generally paid an hourly wage rather than a salary. Most union ranks are filled with blue collar workers. The term is said to be derived from the clothing typically worn by manual laborers. Blue collar labor typically requires durable clothes able to withstand reasonable wear and tear. At one point, a key feature of such clothing was a durable navy or light blue work shirt. (Think of the dark blue coveralls often worn by repairmen and mechanics.)
Blue-collar crimes generally refer to crimes against others or against others property like vandalism, burglary, home robbery, and shoplifting. To get an idea what blue-collar crime usually refers to, think of the obvious crimes likely to prompt a police officer’s attention.
Five common blue collar jobs are:
Both terms can also be used to describe areas, establishments, and clientele. A blue-collar neighborhood could refer to a community mostly inhabited by manual laborers, for example. A blue-collar bar refers to a place frequented by local wage-paid employees. A white-collar suburb might be filled with administrators, accountants, and so on.
Formerly, the assumption used to be that (legitimate) white-collar workers out earned (also legitimate) blue-collar ones. Though still largely true, that distinction seems to be changing as labor jobs become more and more technically demanding. Blue-collar jobs that require much training and skill can pay higher than some white-collar ones. Electricians, cable-line repairmen, and other highly technical, mentally exhausting blue-collar jobs can be highly compensated for.Topics:Personal Finance
Leave a Reply
Blue Collar vs. White Collar Work
1420 WordsFeb 7th, 20136 Pages
Throughout history the lives of the people in the working class have not always been easy. People always work hard to earn money and support their families; however, people don’t always work in a suitable working area. The term “Blue Collar” is jobs that require manual labor from people. The problem with these kinds of jobs is that the places the people work in can be extremely unsanitary and may cause a bad working environment for the people in it. Blue collar work is also the work most people do not want to do but it is needed for the people who do white collar jobs to prosper. Also blue collar workers are known as people who did not do well in school or people that aren’t smart. Well that is not the case with these workers because…show more content…
The treatment of workers is a growing issue and it’s going to keep on growing and growing if people don’t realize what these big companies are doing and put a stop to it. For example the shoe company Nike employs many people but the thing people don’t know is that there are 12,000 young women in Indonesia making the lowest amount of money and working long tiring shifts. Every $80 sneaker Nike makes it only costs them 12 cents for the labor. This shows the unfair treatment of these workers and how the company is taking advantage of them and it is not only Nike doing this but any major company uses the same force of labor. In “Who Makes the Clothes We Wear?” it says “Government officials raided a sweatshop filled with immigrant Thai women laboring as little as 59 cents per hour.”Also not only were they being taken advantage of the discipline was enforced by threats of rape and beatings.(26) This goes to show the little care they have for these workers and the actions that are being taken against them. It also shows a dark side to these companies in which the workers are being treated worst than dogs.
In the article “Reapers” by Jean Toomer it says that “Black horses drive a mower through the weeds and there, a field rat, startled, squealing bleeds, His