White-collar worker
Overview
 
The term white-collar worker refers to a person who performs professional, managerial, or administrative work, in contrast with a blue-collar worker
Blue-collar worker
A blue-collar worker is a member of the working class who performs manual labor. Blue-collar work may involve skilled or unskilled, manufacturing, mining, construction, mechanical, maintenance, technical installation and many other types of physical work...

, whose job requires manual labor. Typically white collar work is performed in an office or cubicle.
The term refers to the white dress shirt
Dress shirt
A shirt, or dress shirt in American English, is a garment with a collar, a full-length opening at the front from the collar to the hem, and sleeves with cuffs. Shirts are predominantly used by men, since women usually wear blouses...

s of male office workers common through most of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries Western countries as opposed to the blue shirts, uniforms or cover-alls of manual or service workers.

The term "white collar" is credited to Upton Sinclair
Upton Sinclair
Upton Beall Sinclair Jr. , was an American author who wrote close to one hundred books in many genres. He achieved popularity in the first half of the twentieth century, acquiring particular fame for his classic muckraking novel, The Jungle . It exposed conditions in the U.S...

, an American writer, in relation to modern clerical, administrative and management workers during the 1930s, though references to "easy work and a white collar" appear as early as 1911.
Encyclopedia
The term white-collar worker refers to a person who performs professional, managerial, or administrative work, in contrast with a blue-collar worker
Blue-collar worker
A blue-collar worker is a member of the working class who performs manual labor. Blue-collar work may involve skilled or unskilled, manufacturing, mining, construction, mechanical, maintenance, technical installation and many other types of physical work...

, whose job requires manual labor. Typically white collar work is performed in an office or cubicle.

Etymology

The term refers to the white dress shirt
Dress shirt
A shirt, or dress shirt in American English, is a garment with a collar, a full-length opening at the front from the collar to the hem, and sleeves with cuffs. Shirts are predominantly used by men, since women usually wear blouses...

s of male office workers common through most of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries Western countries as opposed to the blue shirts, uniforms or cover-alls of manual or service workers.

The term "white collar" is credited to Upton Sinclair
Upton Sinclair
Upton Beall Sinclair Jr. , was an American author who wrote close to one hundred books in many genres. He achieved popularity in the first half of the twentieth century, acquiring particular fame for his classic muckraking novel, The Jungle . It exposed conditions in the U.S...

, an American writer, in relation to modern clerical, administrative and management workers during the 1930s, though references to "easy work and a white collar" appear as early as 1911. Examples of its usage in the 1920s include a 1923 Wall Street Journal article that reads, "Movement from high schools to manual labor in steel plants is unusual, as boys formerly sought white collar work."

Demographics

Formerly a minority in the agrarian and early industrial
Industry
Industry refers to the production of an economic good or service within an economy.-Industrial sectors:There are four key industrial economic sectors: the primary sector, largely raw material extraction industries such as mining and farming; the secondary sector, involving refining, construction,...

 societies, white-collar workers have become a majority in industrialized countries
Developed country
A developed country is a country that has a high level of development according to some criteria. Which criteria, and which countries are classified as being developed, is a contentious issue...

 due to modernization and exportation of manufacturing jobs.

The blue collar/white collar descriptors as it pertains to work dress may no longer be an accurate descriptor as office attire has broadened beyond a white shirt and tie. Employees in office environments may wear a variety of colors, may dress business-casual
Business casual
Business casual is a popular dress code in professional and white-collar workplaces in Western countries. In the United States, 43% of non-self-employed workers commonly wear casual business attire. Casual street wear is the next most common work attire , closely followed by uniforms...

 or wear casual clothes all together. In addition work task have blurred. "White-collar" employees may perform "blue-collar" tasks (or vice versa). An example would be a restaurant manager
Restaurant management
Restaurant management is the profession of managing a restaurant. Associate, bachelor, and graduate degree programs are offered in restaurant management by community colleges, junior colleges, and some universities in the United States.-Floor management:...

 who may wear more formal clothing yet still assist with cooking food or taking customers' orders or a construction worker who also performs desk work.

See also

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    Mad Men is an American dramatic television series created and produced by Matthew Weiner. The series premiered on Sunday evenings on the American cable network AMC and are produced by Lionsgate Television. It premiered on July 19, 2007, and completed its fourth season on October 17, 2010. Each...

  • The Office
  • Office Space
    Office Space
    Office Space is a 1999 American comedy film satirizing work life in a typical 1990s software company. Written and directed by Mike Judge, it focuses on a handful of individuals fed up with their jobs portrayed by Ron Livingston, Jennifer Aniston, Gary Cole, David Herman, Ajay Naidu, and Diedrich...

  • Dilbert
    Dilbert
    Dilbert is an American comic strip written and drawn by Scott Adams. First published on April 16, 1989, Dilbert is known for its satirical office humor about a white-collar, micromanaged office featuring the engineer Dilbert as the title character...

  • Salaryman
    Salaryman
    refers to someone whose income is salary based; particularly those working for corporations. Its frequent use by Japanese corporations, and its prevalence in Japanese manga and anime has gradually led to its acceptance in English-speaking countries as a noun for a Japanese white-collar...

  • The Theory of the Leisure Class
    The Theory of the Leisure Class
    The Theory of the Leisure Class: An Economic Study of Institutions is a book, first published in 1899, by the Norwegian-American economist and sociologist Thorstein Veblen while he was a professor at the University of Chicago....

  • Middle class
    Middle class
    The middle class is any class of people in the middle of a societal hierarchy. In Weberian socio-economic terms, the middle class is the broad group of people in contemporary society who fall socio-economically between the working class and upper class....


  • White-collar crime
    White-collar crime
    Within the field of criminology, white-collar crime has been defined by Edwin Sutherland as "a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation" . Sutherland was a proponent of Symbolic Interactionism, and believed that criminal behavior was...

  • White Collar: The American Middle Classes
    White Collar: The American Middle Classes
    White Collar: The American Middle Classes is a study of the American middle class by sociologist C. Wright Mills, first published in 1951. It describes the forming of a "new class": the white-collar workers. It is also a major study of social alienation in the modern industrialized world and...

  • White Collar (TV series)
    White Collar (TV series)
    White Collar is a USA Network television series created by Jeff Eastin, starring Matt Bomer as con-man Neal Caffrey and Tim DeKay as Special Agent Peter Burke. It premiered on October 23, 2009. In December 2009, White Collar was renewed for a second season that began on July 13, 2010...

  • Gold-collar worker
    Gold-collar worker
    Gold-collar worker is a neologism which has been used to describe either young, low-wage workers who invest in conspicuous luxury, or highly-skilled knowledge workers, traditionally classified as white collar, but who have recently become essential enough to business operations as to warrant a new...

  • Knowledge worker
    Knowledge worker
    Knowledge workers in today's workforce are individuals who are valued for their ability to act and communicate with knowledge within a specific subject area. They will often advance the overall understanding of that subject through focused analysis, design and/or development. They use research...

  • Yuppie
    Yuppie
    Yuppie is a term that refers to a member of the upper middle class or upper class in their 20s or 30s. It first came into use in the early-1980s and largely faded from American popular culture in the late-1980s, due to the 1987 stock market crash and the early 1990s recession...

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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