white working classLast updated
In addition to being a combination of “white” and “working class,” the term often comprises the following identifications: a non-Hispanic white racial identification, without a four-year college degree, a non-salaried job, and frequently an association with a rural section of the country. In some contexts, the term now connotes a particular political stance that may not in fact be accurate; for example, the term has been heavily associated with the 2016 US presidential election as representative of Donald Trump’s supporters.
Discussion of labor considered working class should take care to avoid stereotyping it as racially homogeneous (or overly associated with men). If using a term like “white working class,” it’s also helpful to note how different speakers may use terms like working class and white working class for various rhetorical purposes. A politician invoking the working class, for example, may be doing so to set that kind of labor apart from white-collar labor in a different way than, say, a sociologist.
- What So Many People Don’t Get About the US Working Class (Harvard Business Review)
- The White Working Class is a Political Fiction (The Outline)
- The Lonely Poverty of America’s White Working Class (Atlantic)
- Working class? Or white working class? (NPR)
White working class refers to non-Hispanic white workers or laborers, particularly associated with manual labor jobs or occupations. The term was heavily associated with the 2016 US presidential election and in some contexts now connotes a particular political stance that may not in fact be accurate.