BLUE-COLLAR ARISTOCRATS: Life Styles at a Working Class Tavern by E. E. LeMasters

BLUE-COLLAR ARISTOCRATS: Life Styles at a Working Class Tavern

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Sooner or later it was bound to happen: a Professor of Sociology enters a bar, orders a Budweiser and listens to the boys shooting the breeze. This is called research. In this case and for purposes of this study, the bar is The Oasis; LeMasters' subjects are workers in the construction industry, the ""blue-collar aristocrats"" who make good bread (at least they did before the current depression), like to fish and hunt with their chums and spend evenings shooting pool. The most conspicuous thing about them is their hostility to women, whom they fear and distrust, and whose society they shun. They are mostly married but look upon marriage as an infringement on boozing with their pals. They are also--would you believe it?--hostile to blacks, college students, welfare recipients, union officials, politicians, women's liberationists. But LeMasters finds that they do not dislike their jobs; on the contrary they voice considerable job satisfaction; as a group they're content with their position in American society and aren't social climbing to move out of the working class. Class lines, notes LeMasters, aren't as blurred as we think; the degree of homogenization has been exaggerated. You'll meet Old Charlie. The Wild Irishman, the Blond Bomber, Harry the owner-bartender and others. Academics will shelve it alongside the work of Herbert J. Gans and Mirra Komarovsky. The rest of us will keep watching Archie Bunker. Was this book necessary?

Pub Date: May 28th, 1975
Publisher: Univ. of Michigan Press