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The Effect of Social Recognition

Ahmed Abdel Aziz

Salt Lake Community College


Social recognition is often something people wish for. Judging people’s intelligence by

the work they do, however, can be demoralizing for blue-collar workers, they would receive less

social recognition since they have been identified as less intelligent. In the article “ Blue Collar

Brilliance.” author Mike Rose challenges the stereotype of the blue-collar workers being less

intelligent because their work requires less schooling (2009). In the article “Shop Class As

Soulcraft,” author Matthew B. Crawford argues that craft work in schools is important for

students and the dismantling of shop classes in schools is a big mistake (2006). Crawford asserts

that working with your hands builds the relationship between humans and their material culture

and how that gives people a connection to their belongings (2006). Rose and Crawford both use

the rhetorical strategy of storytelling and claims of fact. While Rose uses storytelling to

emotionally appeal to his audience and draws a picture to show the cognitive skills of blue-collar

workers, he also uses claims of fact to support his claim. Crawford on the other hand, uses

storytelling to back up his point of view. He also uses claims of facts to emphasize the value of


Rose uses the storytelling to emotionally appeal to his audience. He says (2009) “My

mother quit school in the seventh grade to help raise her brothers and sisters.” he talks about his

mother’s noble action towards her siblings. Rose tries to emotionally invite his readers to see the

noble side of his mother. Rose knows that story about “the mother” gets people’s attention and

emotion and that what he tries to achieve. On the other hand, Rose wants to show the main

reason of why Rosie did not finish school not because she is not intelligent, but because she cares

about her siblings, which he adds another dose of pathos to emotionally appeal to his audience.

Rose on another hand, uses claims of fact to support his point that blue-collar job requires

intelligence (2009) “intelligence is closely associated with formal education” Rose argues the

stereotype of blue-collar workers are being labeled as less intelligent because of the work they

do. This argument appeals to his readers that intelligence should not be associated with school

rather it should be linked to the overall understanding of how they [blue-collar workers] do their

jobs. Which shows the mistake of assumption and how that could be demoralizing to the manual

worker. Rose does not stop there, he provides another fact to backs up his claim “...therefore

incapable of participating in government (2009)” Rose talks about why blue-collar workers are

not able to involve in politics and decision making, and that because of the assumption that they

are not intelligent. Which appeals to his audience the overall wrong generalization. Rose delivers

a strong emotionally message when he shows the unfair recognition that blue-collar workers get

from their society.

Crawford uses storytelling to provides more evidence to his audience to support his point

of view about the importance of craftsmanship to build a moral connection and responsibility for

the things that we create. “I felt I was in the presence of some genius (2006).” Crawford

carefully paints a picture of an electrician who bent electric conduit in one of the buildings he

visits to show how works with hands can result in relating to our belongings and how the

electrician conscious is still present there, even though, it is kind of work that hides from the

public eye. Crawford claims that people more deeply relate to their material culture when they

manually involve fixing things or creating them (2006). Crawford appeals to his audience the

overall understanding of the value of craftsmanship. He delivers a strong message to his readers

when he shows them the beautiful side of craftsman work.


Crawford also uses claims of fact to show that the education system in modern life shifts

the young toward kinds of work that does not carry moral values. Crawford argues the notion

about craftsmanship and trades are somehow identified as jobs of the past. Crawford (2006) “ It

is irresponsible to educate the young for the trades” he tries to show the negative outcome when

schools steer a young people toward jobs in the future that does not carry the values of

craftsmanship, he describes them as “ghostly” to point out the emptinesses of these kinds of jobs.

Crawford steers his audience focus toward what is going on in the education system today. He

speaks to the parenthood inside his readers when he talks about “young people (2006)”. It is

important for every parent to secure their children’s future, Crawford tries to show the better

future for the young generation. He delivers a good argument which leads his reader to consider

the importance of shop classes in schools.

Rose’s use of storytelling helps him to emotionally appeal to his audience and shows the

cognitive skills of blue-collar workers. Crawford instead, provides clear descriptions and facts

beyond the anecdotal to support his claim. Every claim he makes gets supported by empirical

data which strengthen his arguments and logically delivers his point to his audience. In contrast,

Rose provides other people’s experience [Rosie and Joe], while Crawford provides his own

experience in both fields of white-collar and the blue-collar job. He reports from inside and talks

about his surroundings doing both jobs [white-collar and blue-collar] and his thoughts about

them, which adds another layer of credibility and reliability to his claim.


Crawford, M.B (2006). Shop class soulcraft. The New Atlantis, 13, 7-24. Retrieved from

Rose, M. (2009). Blue- Collar brilliance. The American Scholar. Retrieved from