What is it about?
There is a cultural divide in how we view technology and people at work. In this discussion we look at the type of work typically associated with skilled, blue-collar occupations traditionally found in manufacturing. For example, these are not machine operators but machinists, not production line assemblers but electricians; they come from schools where education and training tends to be at least at the associates degree level at community colleges, some requiring higher math and computer programming so they can cut and form materials, usually metal alloys, in order to make a finished product—usually metal component parts or tools. Today's blue collar worker understands how to write specific software based on the specifications given to them to produce tangible … “things” that are likely to be assembled as larger machines and equipment. Perhaps by crossing this knowledge abyss we would be better off understanding how processes work, and who actually makes the “things” we crave in the postmodern, postindustrial global ecology.
Photo by Alexander Sinn on Unsplash
Why is it important?
Lacking what I call, “blue collar scholarship,” we could learn something about how others work so we may appreciate our privileged lifestyles. Mass consumerism is a double edged sword. We consume cheap, somewhat-reliable products when we want them - and we want them now. Although the lack of sustainability for such production and consumption is valid, let’s examine the production aspect here. Distinction is made here between blue-collar occupations and laborers. Blue-collar workers are often misidentified as “unskilled” workers, and confused with unskilled laborers or semiskilled workers. Blue-collar professionals tend to be highly trained and educated in their chosen tradecrafts. and we need to train & hire more of these valued professionals if we are to continue to live comfortable.
Read the Original
This page is a summary of: The Ontology of Globalization and Sensemaking of Industrial Work in the Age of Digital Electronics, Perspectives on Global Development and Technology, March 2020, Brill, DOI: 10.1163/15691497-12341542.
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