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working class

What is the working class?

“Working class” is a socioeconomic term used to describe people in a social class marked by the provision of low-paying jobs that require limited skills or manual labor. Often, working-class jobs have reduced educational requirements. The unemployed or those supported by social welfare programs are usually included in the working class.

key takeaways

  • Working class is a socioeconomic term that describes people in a social class characterized by the provision of low-paying and limited-skilled jobs.
  • Often, working-class jobs have reduced educational requirements.
  • Today, most working-class jobs are in the service sector, including clerical, retail and low-skill manual labor occupations.

understand the working class

While “working class” is often associated with manual labor and limited education, blue-collar workers are vital to every economy. American economists generally define “working class” as adults without a college degree. Many members of the working class are also defined as middle class.

Sociologists such as Dennis Gilbert and Joseph Carr Professor of Sociology Cornell University and author of the 1957 textbook American class structure,Identify the working class as the most populous class in the United States.

Other sociologists, such as William Thompson, Joseph Hickey and James Hensling, say the lower middle class is the largest. In the class model devised by these sociologists, the working class makes up 30 to 35 percent of the population, roughly the same number as the lower middle class. According to Dennis Gilbert, the working class includes people in the 25th to 55th percentile of society.

Karl Marx described the working class as the “proletariat” who ultimately created the goods and provided the services that created the wealth of society. Marxists and socialists define the working class as those who have nothing to sell but labor and skills. in some meaning, working class Includes all types of white-collar and blue-collar workers, manual laborers, and manual laborers, except individuals who earn income from business ownership and the labor of others.

types of working class jobs

Working-class jobs today are nothing like the working-class jobs of the 1950s and 1960s. The number of Americans working in factories and industrial jobs has been declining over the years. Today, most working-class jobs are found in the service industry, which often includes:

  • language homework
  • food industry jobs
  • retail sales
  • Low-skilled manual labor occupations
  • low-level white-collar workers

Working-class jobs typically pay less than $15 an hour, and some of these jobs don’t include health benefits. In the United States, the demographics surrounding the working-class population are becoming more diverse. About 59 percent of the working-class population is made up of white Americans, down from 88 percent in the 1940s. African-Americans make up 14%, while Hispanics currently make up 21% of working-class America

History of the European Working Class

In feudal Europe, most were part of the working class; a group made up of different professions, trades and occupations. For example, lawyers, artisans, and farmers were members—neither members of the nobility nor religious elites. Similar hierarchies exist in other pre-industrial societies outside of Europe.

The social status of these working classes was seen as determined by natural laws and shared religious beliefs. Peasants challenged this perception during the German Peasant War. In the late 18th century, under the influence of the Enlightenment, the ever-changing Europe could not be reconciled with the notion of the immutable social order created by God. Wealthy members of society at the time sought to suppress the working class, claiming moral and ethical superiority.

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