Hall 1101-351

Rashell Aldas              

Professor Carrie Hall

English 1101

21 September 2018

                                            My Community and Crawford’s Bias     

            While reading “Shop Class as Soulcraft” written by Matthew B. Crawford, he shows the downside of both “blue collar” and “white collar” work. In other words, manual and mental work. With his information and knowledge, he gives out advice to young adults on what career they should choose.

            My community feels that “blue collar” is not viable if a person wants to live a comfortable life. As well as not really benefiting a person’s needs in life. By contrast, “white collar” is beneficial, viable, and is viewed as the person in the field being smarter than people in “blue collar”. My community believes that there are more jobs out there for “ white collar” workers than “blue collar” workers. In my community, “blue collar” work is not the best option for choosing a career. Since my community is made up of South American immigrants, specifically Ecuadorian immigrants. My community often considers “white collar” work as the best option when picking a career.  Their bias on “white collar” work comes from their experience and knowledge of work. The people in my community mostly work in jobs that are in the “blue collar” category. Coming from a lineage that is majority made up of hard working “blue collar” workers, many of them grew up doing manual work at a young age. Such as shoe cleaning, housekeeping, and working in factories. Their experience is that “blue collar” work is exhausting and feel that the amount of work being done and effort in the work should deserve a better amount of pay than the usual.

            Based on their experience they do not get paid well enough to live a comfortable life and they work hard and long hours which takes up most of their day hence not benefiting a person’s needs in life. They view “white collar” workers as smarter than “blue collar” workers because of the amount of education and memorization needed for the job. Which leads them to believe “white collar” is the best option for young adults who are not sure of what to pursue.

            As I was reading “Shop Class as Soulcraft”, I noticed that Crawford seemed biased towards “blue collar” work. His complaint is that manual work is not just a “job from the past” and can be a be a stable job. Crawford mentions, “…for fifty years now we’ve been assured that we are headed for a ‘post-industrial economy’… I mention these economic rumors only to raise suspicion against the widespread prejudice that such work is somehow not viable as a livelihood” ( page 8). Crawford’s point is that he wants to show how manual work can work well in a person’s livelihood. As well as complain that even though we might be headed toward a post-industrial economy, it is not the end of manual work. However, Crawford contradicts this by mainly criticizing “blue collar” rather than “white collar” making it confusing and hard to understand his view of where he stands with manual or mental work. He contradicts his idea that manual work has not ended by believing that technology is taking over jobs. Thus, criticizing most manual work as being repetitive and turning into a category of jobs made up of unskilled workers. Crawford states that “skilled workers can be replaced with unskilled workers at a lower pay of rate” (page 19). The essence of Crawford’s belief is that manual work has evolved in some type of way, making people that are in “blue collar” unskilled unlike back then. Then again he switches back to supporting “blue collar” by implying that “ White collar professions, too, are subject to routinization and degradation, proceeding by the same process as befell manual fabrication… (page 22)”. Crawford also believes that “white collar” is repetitive, in the same way, he believes manual work is as well. Yet, towards the end of the reading, Crawford clearly writes the advice he would give a young adult as well as showing where he stands. He is not biased towards either “blue collar” or “white collar”. Crawford’s writes “By all means, go to college. In fact, approach college in the spirit of craftsmanship, going deep into the liberal arts and sciences. In the summers, learn a manual trade.” (page 24). In mentioning this comment, Crawford tells young adults to do both, to learn something from “blue collar” and “white collar”.

            My Ecuadorian community, bais on “white collar” and Crawford’s belief of finding both “blue collar” and “white collar” important in choosing a career path, both have similar and different opinions. Both believe that technology is evolving. According to Crawford, “The degradation of work in the last century is often tied to the evils of technology in one way or another” (page 18). In other words, Crawford believes that technology is taking over “simple jobs” and my community believes this as well since they have seen machines do jobs people used to do. Which is why they believe that finding jobs in the “white collar” field is easier. However, my community disagrees with Crawford’s idea of working less in manual work. Crawford writes “…it is found that when employers would increase the piece rate in order to boost production, it actually had the opposite effect: workers would produce less, as they now could meet their fixed needs with less work (page 21).” My community would disagree with this because they believe they work extra hard and produce quality work while Crawford believes work less and produce less.

              Crawford mentions a few valid points on the downside of both sides. I agree with my community on “white collar” being the best option. Overall, the experiences and knowledge one has affects your view of work. Based on the community and environment you are brought up in you will be influenced on what career to have and what skills you should obtain without even knowing it.

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