May 21, 2012

Pink-collar jobs

The American Dialect Society chooses its "Word of the Year" at the society's annual convention in January. Words are nominated in several categories. If it catches on, would like to nominate the expression "pink collar job" as WOTY in the category "most outrageous word." (Nominations can be sent to  woty@americandialect.org any time.)


I came across the expression in an article in the NY Times today, about more and more men working in jobs that are normally dominated by women, such as dental assistants or kindergarten teachers.
Even more striking is the type of men who are making the shift. From 1970 to 1990, according to a study by Mary Gatta, the senior scholar at Wider Opportunities for Women, and Patricia A. Roos, a sociologist at Rutgers, men who took so-called pink-collar jobs tended to be foreign-born non-English speakers with low education levels — men who, in other words, had few choices.
(When I did a Google search, I realized that "pink collar" workers have been around for quite some time, see, for example, this 2003 article in USA Today. Duh.)

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