On not getting by in america summary

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Nickel and Dimed Quotes by Barbara Ehrenreich

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Politics Book Review: Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich

When one is charged a little bit at a time until the expense grows beyond expectations, that is called being "nickel and dimed.

Introduction & Overview of Nickel and Dimed: On Not Getting by in America

Ehrenreich cannot imagine how these people survive on these low wages and sets out to see first-hand how they get by. She has three rules and parameters for her experiment. First, in her search for jobs, she cannot fall back on any skills derived from her education or usual work. Second, she had to take the highest-paying job that was offered to her and do her best to keep it. Third, she had to take the cheapest accommodations she could find, with an acceptable level of safety and privacy. When presenting herself to others, Ehrenreich was a divorced homemaker reentering the workforce after many years. She told others that she had three years of college at her real-life alma mater.

When one is charged a little bit at a time until the expense grows beyond expectations, that is called being "nickel and dimed. She argues that their spirit and dignity are chipped away by a culture that allows unjust and unlivable working conditions, which results in their becoming a de facto, or actual without being official, servant class. Spurred on by recent welfare reforms and the growing phenomenon of the working poor in the United States, Ehrenreich poses a hypothetical question of daily concern to many Americans: how difficult is it to live on a minimum-wage job? For the lower class, what does it take to match the income one earns to the expenses one must pay? Rather than simply listen to other people's accounts, Ehrenreich herself assumes the role of a minimum-wage worker. In different states and in several different jobs, she attempts three times to live for one month at minimum wage, giving up her middle-class comforts to experience the overlooked hardships of a large sector of America. While she freely admits that hers is an unusual situation, she stresses it is also a best-case scenario; others face many more difficulties in their daily lives, such as the lack of available transportation.

Ehrenreich begins her book by discussing her preparations for her endeavor. The idea is to enter the low-wage workforce for a period of time as a way of investigating poverty in the age of welfare reform.
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Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America

Genre: Investigative Journalism. To find out how humans live and survive in minimum-wage America--particularly women who were at the time about to be pushed into the labor market because of "welfare reform"--writer Barbara Ehrenreich moved three times, from Florida to Maine to Minnesota, and worked as a waitress, a hotel maid, a house cleaner, a nursing home aide, and a Wal-Mart employee. The "rules" of her project 1 prohibited her from falling back on skills available to her because of her education a PhD in biology or previous work an essayist with 11 books ; 2 required that she take the highest-paying job offered to her and do her best to keep it; and 3 dictated that she take the cheapest accommodations she could find.

Everything you need to understand or teach Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich. When one is charged a little bit at a time until the expense grows beyond expectations, that is called being "nickel and dimed. She argues that their spirit and dignity are chipped away by a culture that allows unjust and unlivable working conditions, which results in their becoming a de Toggle navigation. Sign Up.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus. The experiment took place in Florida, Maine, and Minnesota, with the author finding a job and lodgings in each location. The experiment was to be held for one month in each location, working full time and living only off the amount of money earned in low-wage jobs. The first city chosen was Key West, Florida, due to the proximity to her home. Ehrenreich gets a job as a waitress in a diner-style restaurant, and finds a trailer to rent nearby. The income she receives from waiting tables is not enough to support her and to pay the next installment of rent, and Ehrenreich takes on a second job working as a hotel maid. The two jobs become too physically demanding for her to continue, and she vacates the maid position after one day.

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