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white-collar worker

Definition of White-collar Worker

(noun) An individual who works in an office or has a professional career such as banker or lawyer.

White-collar Worker Pronunciation

  • IPA Pronunciation
    • American English
      • /ˈ(h)waɪtˈˌkɑlər ˈwərkər/
    • British English
      • /ˌwʌɪtˈkɒlə ˈwəːkə/
  • Syllabification: (white col·lar work·er)

Usage Notes

  • Plural: white-collar workers
  • White-collar refers to the dress shirts worn by white-collar workers in office environments.
  • Blue-collar work is contrasted to white-collar worker.

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Additional Information

Related Terms


Kendall, Diana. 2011. Sociology in Our Times. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Smith, Murray. 2008. “credentialism.” Pp. 166–67 in International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. 2nd ed., edited by W. Darity. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA.

Works Consulted

Bilton, Tony, Kevin Bonnett, Pip Jones, David Skinner, Michelle Stanworth, and Andrew Webster. 1996. Introductory Sociology. 3rd ed. London: Macmillan.

Cite the Definition of White-collar Worker

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “white-collar worker.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved September 18, 2019 (https://sociologydictionary.org/white-collar-worker/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

white-collar worker. (2014). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/white-collar-worker/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “white-collar worker.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed September 18, 2019. https://sociologydictionary.org/white-collar-worker/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“white-collar worker.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2014. Web. 18 Sep. 2019. <https://sociologydictionary.org/white-collar-worker/>.