CHAPTER 4

Why Does the Working Class Resent Professionals but Admire the Rich?

MEMBERS OF THE ELITE tend to assume that working-class people want to join their ranks. This is not always true.

Professionals aren’t necessarily admired. Many are seen as suspect. Managers are seen as college kids “who don’t know shit about how to do anything, but are full of ideas about how I have to do my job.”48 Barbara Ehrenreich recalled in 1990 that her blue-collar dad “could not say the word doctor without the virtual prefix quack. Lawyers were shysters . . . and professors were without exception phonies.”49 Sociologist Annette Lareau also found mistrust of doctors and other health professionals. She also found resentment against teachers by working-class parents, ...

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