City of Clerks: Office and Sales Workers in Philadelphia, 1870-1920

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University of Illinois Press, Oct 1, 2010 - Business & Economics - 232 pages
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Below the middle class managers and professionals yet above the skilled blue-collar workers, sales and office workers occupied an intermediate position in urban America's social structure during the age of smokestacks. Bjelopera traces the shifting occupational structures and work choices that facilitated the emergence of a white-collar workforce.  He paints a fascinating picture of the lives led by Philadelphia's male and female clerks, both inside and outside the workplace, as they formed their own clubs, affirmed their "whiteness," and even challenged sexual norms. By mapping the relationship between these workers' self-expectations and the shifting demands of their employers, City of Clerks reveals how the notion of "white collar" shifted over half a century.
 
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
1 Clerking and the IndustrialEra WhiteCollar Workforce
9
2 In the Office and the Store
32
Educating Clerical Workers at the Peirce School
59
How the Clerical Workforce Entertained Itself
79
Illustrations follow page 114
114
5 Workplace Virtues Rebellion and Race
115
6 Home and Neighborhood
142
Occupational Rankings
163
Notes
165
Index
203
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About the author (2010)

Jerome P. Bjelopera lives and works in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

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