stOr@ Drive

Victor aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Sun Jul 19 20:43:43 UTC 2009

This is an interesting point, because IMO it appears to be something of
a Marxist/Weberian distinction--there is an implication in it that
"working" means blue collar (or lower). There are several SES
distinguishing criteria that *might* play into this, including the skill
set (manufacturing blue collar vs. service vs. low-rank white collar),
education and income. There has certainly been a lot of reporting (as in
"journalism") on "decline of lower middle class" as represented by
auto-workers in Michigan (and, occasionally, in other states). The same
phrasing has entered political discourse as well. And auto-workers used
to make more money than teachers, who are (absent a much larger second
income) unquestionably middle class. One also has to wonder if the
"working poor" (as opposed to unemployed poor) is a part of the "working
class". I am wondering if these categories are actually orthogonal
rather than parallel. If "middle class" is usually defined by income and
"working class" by skill-set and [relative lack of] education, it is
understandable how a particular neighborhood can have both and yet have
the two somewhat distinct. But if one tries to make a rank order out of
it, it becomes a muddle, a lot like the fruit/vegetable distinction for
tomatoes (two distinct glosses for "fruit").

Others, of course, would disagree...


James A. Landau <JJJRLandau at> wrote:
> On Sat, 18 Jul 2009 at the almost witchng hour of 11:03:26 Zulu minus 0700
> Arnold Zwicky <zwicky at STANFORD.EDU> wrote:
>> <snip> but a significant number of my neighbors were lower middle class (and
>> some working class).
> The distinction between "lower middle class" and "working class" quite escapes me.

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