"After bricklaying for 30 years, my father promised himself I’d never pile bricks and blocks into walls for a living. He and my mother figured that an education—genie-like and benevolent—would somehow rocket me into the rarefied trajectory of the upwardly mobile and load some serious loot into my pockets. My desire to work at something interesting to me rather than merely profitable was hard to fathom. Here I was breaking blue-collar rule number one: Make as much money as you can, to pay for as good a life as you can get. My father would try to teach me what my goals should be when I was 19, my collar already fading to white. I was the college boy who handed him the wrong wrench on help-around-thehouse Saturdays."She also sent along an NPR radio interview with the author, including calls from listeners -- thanks, Betzi.
Wednesday, March 02, 2005
Blue Collar to White Collar Limbo
Betzi e-mailed me an excerpt from a book about social mobility that looks to be worth reading. This topic fascinates me -- it bundles up aspirations, abilities, beliefs about the value of education, socioeconomic factors and the American Dream itself: