M asked in Social ScienceSociology · 2 months ago

Why do blue collar workers think they are so cool?

I am a recent college graduate ('17) and a process engineer at a factory.  A lot of people around me are white male blue collar workers w/o college degrees.

I've made some observations about them:1.  It's a less intellectual crowd than a corporate office would be.  Many of them are hard working and skilled - but much less intelligent.2.  They haven't been exposed to much in the world.  They don't seem to know much about ethnic food or other cultures.  I get that they probably haven't traveled much - but how do they have zero curiosity about what the rest of the world is like?3.  They act macho.  They make fun of me for being health conscious, for having a skin care routine (I wear sunscreen when I have to be outside), and the jokes they tell are crass and bawdy.  I'm not offended by them, but do they really feel more manly because they tell those kinds of jokes?4.  They whine about people who went to college.  A lot.  They think we have never worked for anything, that we're all entitled and lazy, that we're brainwashed, that we're elitist, yadda yadda.  I get it.  College isn't for everyone, and they found a trade they got good at, and it pays good money.  Fantastic for them.  But that doesn't make us inferior to them.5.  They tend to marry and have kids at a young age.  This may be a more urban/rural thing, but they don't understand people who want to live as single professionals.What causes this mindset?


JJ - Was I asking for advice?  No.  I was asking for an answer to my question.  Why did you fail to provide one?

Update 2:

Steve H - Good point, and thank you for being the only one (so far) to actually answer the question.  But feeling better about oneself by putting others down seems really pathetic and low-life.

Update 3:

Swampy - You failed to answer my question.  I doubt you have an IQ of anywhere near 130 based on your "answer".  I don't care where you have been or what you have done.  I never said that college automatically makes one intelligent.  

3 Answers

  • 2 months ago

    I would work for a company that made us where blue collars...  

  • Swampy
    Lv 4
    2 months ago

    Your comment "Many of them are hard working and skilled - but much less intelligent." is the definition of a elitist snob. 

    I also work in the process and controls industry as a engineer. I did not go to college and I have an I.Q. well above 130, I have travelled to many countries and experienced the cultures in different parts of the world first hand. 

    I also learned that having a degree from a college or university does not automatically make an individual intelligent or smarter than anyone else. Once you learn this you might just succeed in the process engineering field. Until then you will always be treated like you treat them, inferior.

  • 2 months ago

    Everyone wants to feel valued. What they're doing by criticising others is self elevating their own status. When office / admin staff criticise floor staff, they're doing the same thing actually. Who is correct about their own status doesn't really matter. 

    People who feel better about themselves and the job they do, are more likely to be productive, punctual, reliable workers and less likely to commit suicide. It's better to let people be happy no matter what you think about their position in the company. If you wouldn't do the work they perform, yet they're willing to engage the task, then everyone wins.

    Edit: As per your update -

    Identifying the problem is just the beginning. Of course people shouldn't put others down, but changing people's behaviour which was learned and refined over an entire lifetime, is the tricky bit.

    Consider your own life and how many times you personally may have done this. It happens far more often than we realise. It's beneficial to be mindful of unfair criticisms and adjust our judgemental narrative accordingly. If you can achieve this in yourself then it increases the chance others will follow your lead.

    However some will never change for the better and may even become worse in their criticisms. The thing is to not buy into their mentality. Influence for the better what you can and the world will incrementally become a happier place.

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