1101-391 Language and Identity.

Sonia Aktar


Professor Hall


    The community I am surrounded by is my family, our tradition and culture. This community falls under Asian and South Asian immigrants. Although my family alone are very flexible with what career I choose, but the society and people from the community can change their thoughts. People in this community have a lot of competition in between each other. Most people believe that whoever gets an office job is the most successful. If someone does a job where they have to run around, build things, or move around then they do not have a well paid job or weren’t capable of an office job. The difference between white collar and blue collar labor in the community is very clear and intense. Children are forced to go for a high paying job. They aren’t really given the choice to choose what they like and want to do. People think education is all about white collar jobs. If someone wants to go for blue collar jobs then they don’t even need an education according to people in the community.

    Crawford mentions that schools do not teach students about blue collar labor. Which I agree with because there are really less classes and majors in schools that would teach you about blue collar labor. It’s always about white collar professions. Crawford states, “This possibility was brought to light for many by the best seller The Millionaire Next Door, which revealed that the typical millionaire is the guy driving a pickup,…” Crawford is in fear that blue collar labor is going to be one of the few paths chosen for a good living.

    I appreciate my family at times for giving me a choice to choose what I want to be and not force me to become a doctor or engineer because of the community. Most parents force their kids to become a doctor or engineer only so they can brag about it to the community. My parents want me to choose what I’d like to do because after all I am the one who has to do the job all my life and live through it.
    I think these biases toward one type of job comes from people often talking about a specific job. Also because of the pay and how much education it requires. When everyone talks about the same thing then it becomes very common and people start to give importance to it. The community thinks blue collar labor is for people who can’t get an education or fail to get an education. However people do admit that blue collar jobs are much healthier for people because of all the moving around instead of sitting all day at an office. There are some people in the community who believe that white collar and blue collar labor should not be given the difference just because of the way of working or how much money someone makes, but people are afraid to speak what they believe. They are afraid to be questioned. People will tell them that they are wrong and they should not think that. Most people follow what the society tells them, but other people learn about it as they go and they disagree with their community. People who disagree are considered a failure to the parents and community. People believe that blue collar labor should not be respected. It’s not a job that someone would be respected for. Crawford states, “I mention these economic rumors only to raise a suspicion against the widespread prejudice that such work is somehow not viable as a livelihood.” Crawford is saying that people don’t consider blue collar labor can be a good living for someone. Blue collar labor is not valued in society.

    Educational systems not teaching about blue collar labor and not helping students with experiencing those kinds of jobs as Crawford says makes the community confident about what they believe. Careers and different jobs should be under the same category no matter if they are white collar or blue collar. Although Crawford is right about schools, but now schools are improving and working to help students with whatever they choose to do as a job in life. Schools, Colleges and University are working to bring variety to their career options and help student make better decisions. Students are able to experience different jobs and see which one they like best. It makes it easier for students to choose their careers and make a better choice.

    Crawford is saying that someone’s level of intelligence is not based on their education level. Just because a person is in a certain workforce different from everyone else, does not make them any less intelligent than others or any less capable of doing other work and tasks. People have different thoughts on the same issue of white collar and blue collar labor, it has been changing over time as people are applying modern thinking and seeing the importance of every job. Society thinks that blue collar labor is more of a uneducated job and that anyone can do it, but it should be only a temporary job. Someone cannot make a career on blue collar labor. Blue collar labor is not for smart people. With a good education someone should get a white collar job. A blue collar job is understood as a “not a good type of job”. Most people don’t value blue collar jobs as much as they value white collar jobs. A job should not be given value according to how much education it requires or how much money someone earns from that job. Either someone sits at an office or is out there lifting things or is active in communicating with people. In fact I think blue collar jobs should be valued way more then white collar jobs. As Crawford says that something you built with your own hands makes you feel good about what you have done then using something someone else has built. Working with your own hands is something beyond people’s imagination. People who do jobs like that is far more smart and intelligent than someone with a white collar job. Blue collar jobs keeps people active to be able to work their minds and bodies faster and better. Crawford states, “The man who works recognizes his own product in the World that has actually been transformed by his work: he recognizes himself in it, he sees in it his own human reality, in it he discovers and reveals to others the objective reality of his humanity, of the originally abstract and purely subjective idea he has of himself.” Crawford explains why craftsmanship is important to him and people who do it. He explains why people should choose to do crafts.

    My community needs to understand that and value blue collar labor as much as white collar labor. There needs to be more experience opportunities for white collar jobs. It has definitely gotten better but more people need to understand it and one day everyone will. Crawford at the end of his article suggests people to go for a college education with the spirit to learn craftsmanship and learn manual trade during the summer session . He states, “In fact, approach college in the spirit of craftsmanship, going deep into liberal arts and sciences.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.