Response Paper

Topics: Social class, Working class, Blue-collar worker Pages: 3 (1141 words) Published: April 17, 2013
Blue Collar Workers Have Brains Too

Throughout our modern society there has always been a cultural divide between the upper class of white collar workers who have received higher education, and the blue collar workforce who make up the middle and lower class of society. It is the assumption of the white collar class that the blue collar force are a simple minded group who rely on manual labor jobs because they don’t possess the intelligence necessary to make it in the white collar world. In his article “Blue Collar Brilliance,” Mike Rose discussed how the working class of blue collar workers is often underestimated and not given enough credit from their white collar counterparts. He states that through his research and observations, the blue collar workers indeed exercise significant intelligence in their work, and that they shouldn’t be shrugged off by those of a higher social class simply because of their placement on the occupational ladder. Rose described that he was raised in a blue collar family, but that he sought a higher education a means for fulfillment and to make a solid living. What I found interesting were his observations through his studies after graduate school. Rose states, “Intelligence is closely associated with formal education-the type of schooling a person has, how much and how long-and most people seem to move comfortably from that notion to a belief that work requiring less schooling requires less intelligence” (Rose, 247) I agree with Rose in this statement because of my experience growing up, I was always taught that success in this life is tied directly with a formal education. If I wanted to make something of myself, I better go to college. Much to the chagrin of my parents, I put off college and entered the workforce as an apprentice meat cutter. Over the years I have worked my way up and was eventually made the manager of a meat department. I have found that through my experience in that occupation that I have learned more about...

Cited: Rose, Mike. "Blue Collar Brilliance." "They Say/I Say": The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing : With Readings. Ed. Gerald Graff, Cathy Birkenstein, and Russel K. Durst. New York: W.W. Norton &, 2012. N. pag. Print.
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