Professional and working class conflict in the United States


Professional and working class conflict in the United States

stems from the embedded feelings of anti-intellectualism. When combined working class workers seem to often be under the impression that their better paid, professional managers are not actually "doing anything" as most of their duties are to conceptualize and outline their ideas.cite book | last = Ehrenreich | first = Barbara | authorlink = | coauthors = | year = 1989 | title = Fear of Falling, The Inner Life of the Middle Class| publisher = Harper Collins | location = New York, NY | id = 0-06-0973331]

The student movement

In the 1960s tensions between the professional middle class and working class flared up again. The student protestors, many of whom had deferments and were therefore exempt from fighting in the Vietnam War, were almost without exception the youth of the professional middle class. Even though the student protestors used solidarity towards the working class as the means to rebel against the "establishment" of the professional middle class, the student protestor's unwillingness to fight in the Vietnam conflict, as well as the widespread non-patriotic sentiment alienated the working classes. The student's lack of patriotism and refusal to endure the same war-time experiences as working class youth caused strong resentment on the sides of the working class. A great realization of this came in the late 1960s when polls and extensive research revealed that the working class was not in support of the student protestors but actually favored the sometimes brutal means used by some US law enforcement agencies to keep the young middle and upper-middle class protestors under control. Furthermore the working class also tends to be quite conservative on social issues which added to its disdain with the behavior of the professional middle class youth.cite book | last = Ehrenreich | first = Barbara | authorlink = | coauthors = | year = 1989 | title = Fear of Falling, The Inner Life of the Middle Class| publisher = Harper Collins | location = New York, NY | id = 0-06-0973331] cite book | last = Vanneman | first = Reeve | authorlink = | coauthors = Lynn Weber Cannon | year = 1988 | title = The American Perception of Class| publisher = Temple University Press | location = New York, NY | id = 0877225931 ]

Current disconnect

In modern day America, a misperception on parts of the working class or less privileged members of the statistical middle class is that while the professional middle class is paid better, they do not work or contribute as much as the working class workers. This difference in pay the misconception that professionalas and managers do not work as much often evokes an image of unearned privilege on part of professional in the minds of working class persons. One must also consider that most professionals tend to work in their fields of interest; thus work may not be as perceived as dreadful and menial by them. For working class persons, however, the contrary may be true. This difference in job satisfaction tends to be perceived by working class persons as further proof of unearned privileged among their professional managers, further adding to class tension.cite book | last = Ehrenreich | first = Barbara | authorlink = | coauthors = | year = 1989 | title = Fear of Falling, The Inner Life of the Middle Class | publisher = Harper Collins | location = New York, NY | id = 0-06-0973331] cite web|url=http://www.classism.org/home_definition.html|title=Unearned privilege|accessdate=2006-08-12]

Additionally many working class persons lack informal interaction with members of the professional middle class. Commonly the interactions between both classes are subject to rather strict social norms which tend to put the professional in a position that is perceived by the working class person as one of exercising authority. Examples other interactions between both classes other than the rather iconic worker/manager interaction include that of consultations with physicians or therapists. cquote
"Relative to the working class, the holders of middle class occupations are in positions of command or, at the very least authority. Their job is to conceptualize, in broad terms, what others must do. The job of the worker... is to get it done. The fact that this is a relationship of domination-and grudging submission-is usually invisible to the [professional] middle class but painfully apparent to the working class." -Barbara Ehrenreich
Overall working class Americans are most likely to encounter a professional middle class persons in a situation where the latter either directs or advises the former. Meaning that working class persons usually do not converse with professionals unless they are receiving instructions or being given advice. These circumstances might lead to the development of classism in terms of relatively unfounded feelings inferior towards the members of the professional middle class.cite book | last = Ehrenreich | first = Barbara | authorlink = | coauthors = | year = 1989 | title = Fear of Falling, The Inner Life of the Middle Class| publisher = Harper Collins | location = New York, NY | id = 0-06-0973331] citeweb|url=http://www.classism.org/home_definition.html|title=Unearned privelege|accessdate=2006-08-12]

ee also

*Social structure of the United States
*American middle class
*Household income in the United States
*Income quintiles
*Labor unions in the United States
*Educational attainment in the United States

References

US related topics


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