SOME GENERAL VALUES OF WORKING CLASS CULTURE

Developed by Dr. Larry Smith
BGSU Firelands College/ Director of Bottom Dog Press

[updated Feb. 1, 2009]
[These are some observations of general cultural values and tendencies,
and are not meant to be cultural stereotypes but recognitions
I welcome your responses at smithcours@smithdocs.net ]

1. COMMUNICATION: To the Point

Direct (even blunt), sometimes impassioned, accepts arguing

Functional (not reflective)--Getting down to things
Story Telling--Passing on values, history
Speak the truth (Yet keep it in the family)
Humor--Laugh to survive--Often sarcasm
Trust in old sayings.

2. FAMILY: Blood Ties

Support each other--Stay close to home
Parental rule--Often Patriarchy
Persistence and Ingenuity: Making do--Getting by
Sacrifice

3. COMMUNITY: Neighborhood

Mutual Respect and Cooperation
Democratic & Egalitarian--
Treat others fairly, especially the "little guy"
Often denial and anger
Difficulty is seeing multiple perspectives
Sports as important outlet--Cheer on home teams


4. RELIGION
Often extremes of devotion (God will answer)
or atheism (Don't let religion get too big in you)


4. WORK ETHIC: Work as fabric of life

Providing for family
Hard work and Follow through
Respect for tools & maintenance
Having a good job
Functional & Practical--Getting things done--Fix it yourself
 Time is money--Work sets the schedule

5. EDUCATION: Get One

Value basic education--
as a means of achieving "a good life"
as a means of achieving "freedom of choice
But not too much education-- "Don't forget where you came from."

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