Definition of Blue-collar Worker
(noun) An individual who engages in manual labor, such as a construction worker or factory worker and is typically an hourly wage earner.
Examples of Blue-collar Worker
- factory worker
Blue-collar Worker Pronunciation
Syllabification: blue col·lar work·er
- American English – /blOO-kAHl-uhr wUHR-kuhr/
- British English – /blOO-ko-luh wUHR-kuh/
International Phonetic Alphabet
- American English – /blu-ˈkɑlər ˈwɜrkər/
- British English – /bluː-ˈkɒlə ˈwɜːkə/
- Plural: blue-collar workers
- Blue-collar is a reference to the durable blue denim shirts historically worn by manual laborers, referred to as blue-collar workers.
- The earliest listing for “blue-collar” in the Oxford English Dictionary is in 1929.
- “Blue-collar” is often used in a derogatory sense to indicate lower socioeconomic status to others. Conversely, it is used to indicate pride in ones own status.
- The term is sociologically complex because some highly skilled manual laborers (e.g., welders, repairmen) make more money, have more autonomy, and require more training than entry level white-collar workers.
- Variant spellings:
- blue collar worker
- bluecollar worker
Abercrombie, Nicholas, Stephen Hill, and Bryan Turner. 2006. The Penguin Dictionary of Sociology. 5th ed. London: Penguin.
Bilton, Tony, Kevin Bonnett, Pip Jones, David Skinner, Michelle Stanworth, and Andrew Webster. 1996. Introductory Sociology. 3rd ed. London: Macmillan.
Collins English Dictionary: Complete and Unabridged. 6th ed. 2003. Glasgow, Scotland: Collins.
Random House Webster’s College Dictionary. 1997. New York: Random House.
Scott, John, and Gordon Marshall. 2005. A Dictionary of Sociology. New York: Oxford University Press.
Turner, Bryan S., ed. 2006. The Cambridge Dictionary of Sociology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation. (https://en.wikipedia.org/).
Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wiktionary, The Free Dictionary. Wikimedia Foundation. (http://en.wiktionary.org).
Cite the Definition of Blue-collar Worker
ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “blue-collar worker.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved May 29, 2023 (https://sociologydictionary.org/blue-collar-worker/).
APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)
blue-collar worker. (2014). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/blue-collar-worker/
Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “blue-collar worker.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed May 29, 2023. https://sociologydictionary.org/blue-collar-worker/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
“blue-collar worker.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2014. Web. 29 May. 2023. <https://sociologydictionary.org/blue-collar-worker/>.