Blue collar voters

abc   Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:08 pm GMT
Where does the name come from?
Skippy   Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:19 pm GMT
Sorry I'm not much help with the etymological origin, but it comes from the distinction between "white collar" and "blue collar" referring to office-workers and manual-laborers.

In the US the term "blue collar" typically comes around in election season when candidates are trying to appeal to places like Ohio, Pennsylvania, or West Virginia where there are a lot of miners and steel workers. Aside from a swing demographic, "blue collar" is a term that is used to refer to people that are considered "salt of the earth."

Especially in the South (in my opinion) "blue collar" (or, sometimes, "the working man") is meant to be the positive variant of what many refer to as "rednecks" or, in the words of Hank Hill's boss on "King of the Hill," "backwater hicks." In a way they refer to the same thing, especially in the South, but "blue collar" has a bit more positive connotation. The reason, of course, is that "hick" or "redneck" connotates "lazy" while the simple definition of "blue collar" requires one to have a job.
Guest   Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:52 pm GMT
For me it designates a manual labor job. White collar, on the other hand designates an office job, regardless of pay or region.
Guest   Sat Jun 28, 2008 12:16 am GMT
Why? Since when do workers wear blue shirts?
Guest   Sat Jun 28, 2008 2:02 am GMT
Those workers used to wear denim clothing, I guess.
Skippy   Sat Jun 28, 2008 2:11 am GMT
It probably stems from a distinction between denim work uniforms/jumpers or whatever and white button up shirts.
K. T.   Sat Jun 28, 2008 3:22 am GMT
I think Skippy is correct.
furrykef   Sat Jun 28, 2008 2:38 pm GMT
I'll just note that the term "blue-collar" is used in many contexts, not just in the context of voters. When no other noun is suitable, the noun used is "workers": white-collar workers and blue-collar workers.

Another frequent use of these terms is "blue-collar crime" and "white-collar crime". Blue-collar crime is things like mugging, robbery, assault, and so on... basically, street crime. White-collar crime is things like embezzlement, illegal insider trading, violating business regulations, etc.... basically, crime in the business world.

- Kef
Guest   Mon Jun 30, 2008 6:35 am GMT
<<Why? Since when do workers wear blue shirts?>>

January 1, 2002. The Blue Shirt Act was passed and mandates blue shirts for all workers. Noncompliance is punishable by a prison term of up to 25 years at the Soylent Green Wafer facility in Berkley, California. Subsequent convictions carry a mandatory sentence to *become* a Soylent Green Wafer.
furrykef   Mon Jun 30, 2008 9:44 am GMT
<<Subsequent convictions carry a mandatory sentence to *become* a Soylent Green Wafer.>>

Skippy   Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:40 pm GMT
You don't really hear the term "blue-collar crime" though... It seems like the distinction in this regard is typically "white collar crime" and "violent crime."
furrykef   Tue Jul 01, 2008 12:54 am GMT
You might hear it specifically to distinguish against white-collar crime, but yeah, you don't hear it very often outside that context.

- Kef
Humble   Tue Jul 01, 2008 4:00 am GMT
<"redneck" connotates "lazy">. Does it?
I thought rednecks were just uncouth people, lacking in refinement, dressing in a provincial way.
KC   Tue Jul 01, 2008 4:03 am GMT
No, rednecks refer to those particular people who are musically proficient, especially with the banjo.
Skippy   Tue Jul 01, 2008 10:45 pm GMT
Rednecks tend to people rural people from the South, but in one way or another they can be pretty much anyone who doesn't live in LA or NYC. It's a pretty loose term that tends to be a pejorative, but isn't always necessarily so.