Blue-Collar Life

Blue-Collar Life

Blue-Collar Life

Blue-Collar Life

Excerpt

America has a working class that is admired and even envied by people everywhere, but few of the admirers or envious really know very much about this country's blue- collarites. America is attempting to move millions of poverty dwellers into the ranks of its stable blue-collarites, but few decision makers are really acquainted with the life style they would have millions adopt. America anticipates the gradual disappearance of its blue-collarites into the lower middle-class, but few seers can really distinguish between the casual and the intransigent components of the blue-collar style of life. And America trusts in the power of incremental reforms to meet the deepest crisis of the times, but addresses few reforms to either the more casual or serious of underrecognized blue- collar problems.

Accordingly, my goal in this book is to help answer four related questions: Is the working class as well off as others believe? Is the life style of stable blue-collarites an unequivocal answer to the plight of the nation's poor? Is the American manual worker truly disappearing as a separate and distinct social, psychological, and political entity? And is there anything that social planning and deliberate social change can contribute to the blue-collar pursuit of the "good life"?

The American worker with whom I am concerned is the Caucasian male blue-collarite and his dependents, basically a group of 21 million men (including service workers not engaged in private household work). I do not discuss 5 million . . .

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