Collar color is a set of terms denoting groups of working individuals based on the colors of their collars worn at work. These can commonly reflect one's occupation within a broad class, or sometimes gender;[1] at least in the late 20th and 21st century, these are generally metaphorical and not a description of typical present apparel. For the two terms of longest use, white-collar workers are named for the white-collared shirts that were fashionable among office workers in the early and mid-20th century. Blue-collar workers are referred to as such because in the early 20th century, they usually wore sturdy, inexpensive clothing that did not show dirt easily, such as blue denim or cambric shirts.

Various other "collar" descriptions exist as well, although none have received the kind of broad use in American English as the traditional white-collar/blue-collar distinction.

White collar

Main article: White-collar worker

The term "white-collar worker" was coined in the 1930s by Upton Sinclair, an American writer who referenced the word in connection to clerical, administrative and managerial functions during the 1930s.[2] A white-collar worker is a salaried professional,[citation needed] typically referring to general office workers and management.

Blue collar

Main article: Blue-collar worker

Bethlehem Steel in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania was one of the world's leading steel manufacturers for most of the 20th century. But in 1982, it discontinued most of its operations, declared bankruptcy in 2001, and was dissolved in 2003.
Bethlehem Steel in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania was one of the world's leading steel manufacturers for most of the 20th century. But in 1982, it discontinued most of its operations, declared bankruptcy in 2001, and was dissolved in 2003.

A blue-collar worker is a member of the working class who performs manual labor and either earns an hourly wage or is paid piece rate for the amount of work done. This term was first used in 1924.[3]

Pink collar

Main article: Pink-collar worker

A pink-collar worker is also a member of the working class who performs in the service industry. They work in positions such as waiters, retail clerks, salespersons, certain unlicensed assistive personnel, and many other positions involving relations with people. The term was coined in the late 1970s as a phrase to describe jobs that were typically held by women; now the meaning has changed to encompass all service jobs.[4][5][6]

Other classifications

There are a number of other terms used less frequently, or which translate to English from common use in other languages.[7] These categories include:

References

  1. ^ Benczes, Réka (2006). Creative Compounding in English: The Semantics of Metaphorical and Metonymical Noun-Noun Combinations. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. pp. 144–146.
  2. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, 3rd edition. Electronically indexed online document. White collar, usage 1, first example.
  3. ^ Wickman, Forrest. "Working Man's Blues: Why do we call manual laborers blue collar?" Slate.com, 1 May 2012.
  4. ^ Elkins, Kathleen (February 17, 2015) "20 jobs that are dominated by women" Business Insider
  5. ^ "Pink collar" Dictionary.com
  6. ^ Tennery, Ann (Mat 23, 2012) "The Term 'Pink Collar' Is Silly And Outdated — Let’s Retire It" Time
  7. ^ Van Horn, Carl; Schaffner, Herbert (2003). Work in America: M-Z. CA, USA: ABC-Clio Ltd. p. 597. ISBN 9781576076767.
  8. ^ a b c d e Biseria, Puneet (May 20, 2015) "Types of Collar" Archived 2018-04-22 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Red-Collars in Private Companies". Beijing Review. Jun 28, 2007. Retrieved 14 April 2015.
  10. ^ Feinberg, Daniel. "Recap: 'Survivor: Worlds Apart' Premiere – 'It's Survivor Warfare'". Hitfix. Hitfix, Inc. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
  11. ^ Pandeli, Jenna (2014). Orange-collar workers: an ethnographic study of modern prison labour and the involvement of private firms. Online Research @ Cardiff (PhD).
  12. ^ Friedrich, Thomas (2013) Hitler's Berlin: Abused City Spencer, Stewart (trans). New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-16670-5. p.12.