Currently in society, many individuals consider blue-collar workers unintelligent and uneducated. Blue-collar workers are seen in this perspective because of their hands on jobs in which many individuals assume that intelligence is not required. “Our cultural iconography promotes the muscled arm, sleeve rolled right against biceps, but no brightness behind the eye, no image that links hand and brain. ” (Rose 98) In Mike Rose’s text, he explains how being a blue-collar worker does not mean an individual is unintelligent. Rose shows how knowledge can be gained from many years of personal and work experiences.
Mike Rose grew up in a cultural background of blue-collar workers who did not get a chance to obtain a formal education. This makes Rose credible for his purpose, because Rose does have personal experiences with blue-collar workers. However, Rose did go to college and did obtain a college degree in psychology. Even though Rose did receive his education, it does not make him less credible for his purpose, because what he wants to portray is that the blue-collar workers are not less intelligent compared to the white-collar workers who an education background. Rose grew up in a family of blue-collar workers that started working at a young age.
When Rose was younger, he was able to observe first-hand how blue-collar workers did their jobs. This can be used as evidence to show he has knowledge about blue-collar workers and personal experience with them too. His mother, Rosie, who was a waitress when Rose was younger showed him that being a waitress was not just a hands on job, but however a job where psychology and memorization was involved. “Rosie devised memory strategies so that she could remember who ordered what” (Rose 97).
Without going to college or obtaining any former knowledge about psychology, Rosie was still able to read er customer’s and co-worker’s behaviors. For example, she had to study her co-worker’s behaviors to see how they felt and what their mood is. This told her either or not she should request more from them or leave them alone. “… when problems arose-technical or human—she solved them within the flow of work, while taking into account the emotional state of her co-workers. ” (Rose 97). This evidence proves that Rosie was still able to study her co-worker’s actions and emotions, even without a base knowledge of psychology in her educational background.
Instead of going to school to learn, Rosie was able to use her environment to study skills that were important for her job. “The restaurant became the place where she studied human behavior, puzzling over the problems her regular customers and refining her ability to deal with people in a difficult world. ” (Rose 97) Another form of evidence that Rose provides for his stance is his uncle Joe. Joe is also a blue-collar worker that started working at a young age and was not able to obtain a proper education. He started out by working on the assembly line at General Motors and was later promoted to supervisor of paint and body.
Joe did not have a chance to gain formal education, but he was still able to obtain his promotions in his job because he had learned skills from his personal experiences. “He lacked formal knowledge of how the machines under his supervision worked, but he had direct experience with them, hands-on knowledge…. ” (Rose 99). With Joe’s story, Rose proves that education is not the only way to obtain knowledge and skills. An example given is that Joe never learned about the equipment at his work, but with years of experience, Joe is able to experiment and understand the equipment he has to work with.
Another example is that during his job, Joe had to solve problems and plan accordingly to the problems. “… Joe constantly faced new problems and became a consummate multi-tasker, evaluating a flurry of demands… ” (Rose 99) These are some of the example, that can be evidence that shows how even without an education blue-collar workers are still able to adapt to their work environment and also learn about foreign equipment or information without learning about it formally. Lastly, Rose also mentions how society believes that intelligence is associated with formal education and that blue collar workers are considered “dummies”.
However, Rose later shows that blue-collar workers do not need a formal education to have knowledge. He gives multiple examples on how in many cases having hands-on knowledge about a job is more useful than a formal education. “A worker must also know the characteristics of the material one is engaging… ” (Rose 101) Rose gives evidence from his study about how the blue collar workers have certain skills such as speech, mathematical, and literacy. He mentions how the skills are important to the workers to communicate with other workers and also to do their jobs efficiently.
Rose uses these facts from his study to show that knowledge is not only obtained from the education, but also a person’s job. His study shows that he is credible with his statement that blue-collar workers are skilled even though they have not obtained any serious form of education. Lastly, Rose mentions how problem solving is one of the core element to knowledge. “Planning and problem solving have been studied since the earliest days of modern cognitive psychology and are considered core elements in Western definitions of intelligence. (Rose 101)
This can directly connect to the statement Rose made about how his mother and uncle had to solve problems on the spot during their jobs and also how they had to sequence their every move to work effectively. This is another evidence that can be used to defend Rose’s credibility, because it shows that even without the education or learning the blue-collar workers are capable to problem solve on the spot or sequence out their moves according to the environment. Throughout this text, Rose claims that intelligence does not come only in the form of formal education, but it can also be taught by an individual’s job.
Rose grew up in a family of blue collared workers where he experienced and saw them work. He knows how they work and how their thoughts are processed during their jobs. Rose has studied the cognitive psychology of the blue collar workers and seen how they work and function during their jobs. Even though Rose was able to obtain a proper education is psychology it does not mean he is not credible for his topic because Rose wants to show that blue collar workers are intelligent. Rose’s purpose is not to compare the working classes, but rather to show that blue collar workers are intelligent, even without an education.