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Love and Work are Hard for Working Class in America

3pQMn3pt8MsMtZm2Eg4hSmUtW75OR_aUu3RClxQ2PEX0AQAAmwEAAEpQ_260x196Which one is more important, love or work? The working class in America has given a helpless answer. On August 13, Sarah Corse, an associate professor of sociology in U.Va.’s College of Arts & Sciences noted in the research at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association that comparing with middle class, working class Americans who are lack of college degree is less likely to get married and have children.

The research was conducted through direct surveys and interviews with more than 300 working class and middle class Americans.  The research revealed that working class people have few and insecure work resources, little stability as well as no ability to plan for foreseeable future. Hence, they are very concerned with their own survival and become unable to think about being able to provide for others both materially and emotionally. “We hope we could let people know these results and how the influence from social structure could affect people’s life.” Corse noted: “This is not because the working class did something wrong, instead, the situation results from the entire economic structure, global market level, American political culture atmosphere. These social environments make it difficult for them to live a life like the last generations.”

Middle class people have college degrees and more stable work, and hence they express higher expectation for marriage. On the contrary, working class people without a college degree only have the opportunity to find jobs in service sector, many of which are part-time or short-term jobs that are often lack benefits. Therefore, they express feelings of distrust and even fear about intimate relations.

Corse noted that this distrust feeling exists in both women and men in working class, but in different ways. “Men don’t trust women because they are afraid that women just want to get financial support from them.” Corse said, “Many working class women suspect whether men can be responsible for their love and marriage. Minority of the women fear of losing ego or independency and thus resist intimate relationships.”

In addition to gender, age difference also influences the perspectives of working class towards marriage. The participants aging from 18 to 70 years old and among them, younger interviewees are more likely to take a dim view of future live. Corse said:” They have less possibility to get stable work, thus they can’t even do something representing adulthood  such as ‘moving out of parent’s home‘.”

Corse also mentioned about Chinese young people and he noted, “I think it is good to skip those expensive ceremony when getting married. In America, wedding is becoming more costly and sophisticated, which is a negative trend.” Corse said:” It will be great if people can spend less on a smaller wedding, and celebrate with family and friends.”


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