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White Collor Workers,And Class Stratification Essay

1995 words - 8 pages

The nature of white-collar work is varying over time through the changes at different levels and influenced by social changes. Any explanation of changes could merely reflect them to certain extent and contribute to only part of the facts.White-collar work refers to 'employees who perform knowledge work, such as those in professional, managerial or administrative positions.' Comparing with blue -collar workers who act on materials, white-collar workers 'act with other people' (Haralambos, 2000, p701). Their work is much less physical than blue-collar worker whereas their performances are 'important for coordinating the activities of a company.'(Haralambos,2000, p701).During the recent years, the world of work is increasingly a white-collar world. To begin with, numerical changes have taken places. Between 1900 and 2000, the percentage of the work force that is white collar grew from less than 18% to almost 60%. While manual workers comprised 41% of the work force in 1950, by the start of the twenty-first century, their proportion had shrunk to less than 25% of the work force. This trend is expected to continue. In America, the number of professional workers such as technicians and related support workers is projected to increase in all major industrial sectors except mining sectors. In addition, 'executive, administrative, managerial, marketing, and sales occupations are expected to experience faster than average employment growth, further strengthening the dominant position of white collar work in the U.S. economy.'(Wilson.P, 2001, p13)Moreover, the professional specialty occupations accounted for 14.1% of total employment in 1998. It is anticipated that their share of total employment will increase to 15.6% in 2008. This is the largest such increase projected for any occupational category. 'Two-thirds of the job growth is expected among teachers, librarians, and counselors; computer, mathematical and operations research occupations; and health assessment and treating occupations. These occupations also registered the largest job gains among the professional specialties during the projection period from 1988-1998.'(Douglas.B, 1999,p15)While white collar work will continue to increase overall, the Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates that the effect of technological change will have a negative impact on the less skilled white collar occupations. For example, employment in administrative support, including clerical occupations, is projected to increase by only 9%, or 2,198,000 between 1998 and 2008. Consequently, the share of total employment represented by these workers is expected to decline significantly, from 17.4% in 1998 to 16.6% by 2008, the largest drop for a major occupational group.Secondly, there are many changes in gender. The last forty years have seen an enormous increase in working women, who now account for 46.5% of the labor force. In 2000, more than 60% of women age 16 or older worked outside the home, up from 37.7% in 1960....

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