The question at hand is what stereotypes and social norms are revolving around manual labor and blue-collar work. Being the victim of stereotypes when working in manual labor is extremely common and is usually deemed socially acceptable. However, what most don’t realize is that these stereotypes and social norms that are deemed acceptable actually impact workers in several harmful ways. The first being that it affects their performance at work. A study was done by Jennifer Flanagan and Raymond Green from Texas A&M University(2011) to prove this statement. They determined that there is something known as a stereotype threat which can impact the productivity of workers. According to the study,
” Stereotype threat is ultimately the presence or perception of a stereotype. Stereotype threat concludes that not only is there a stereotype present, but that there is a fear that one’s behavior will confirm a stereotype of a group that one identifies with is something more and has different consequences. It is the threatening feeling that arises when self-stereotypes are activated and that the activation of such stereotypes, as theorized, can lead to poor performance.”(p.113)
Now taking this knowledge into consideration, how do you think this would affect you if the sides were reversed? People have to love with this stereotype threat looming over them on a day to day basis, and it’s completely harming not only the workers but society as a whole. The fact that our society condones and approves that such behavior and way of thinking is appropriate is a testament to how cruel humans can be to one another. Moreover, the fact that these workers are used to and expect such treatment, according to the definition, is terrible.