The paper "Summary of Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich" highlights that before long Ehrenreich’s biggest problem becomes exhaustion as she overworks herself in the two jobs. After a short while, it all becomes too much for her that she quits her job at Heathside and begins taking drugs to relieve a stress pain in her back. …
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The effects of poverty during the era of welfare reform are a stack irony of the perceived and actual reality witnessed by the low-wage workforce. Ehrenreich begins her experiment by pondering on ways how people live on wages earned by unskilled persons. In addition, she is perplexed by how millions of women, who are shoved by welfare reforms into the labor market are able to live on measly $7 per hour. In order to complete the experiment successfully, Ehrenreich implements a set of rules, which guide her through the duration of the experiment. To begin with, Ehrenreich establishes that, in the course of the experiment, she will not go hungry, lack a place to sleep, gain access to a vehicle, both her own or one rented and paid for through her credit card. Moreover, the writer pledges not to use any skills she has acquired through her regular work. Her first destination is Key West, Florida, where she settles on an anticipated net income of $500-a-month to facilitate efficient living. While in Florida, she lands her first job as a waitress at the Heatrhside restaurant, who’s working hours and wages show significant disparities. Here, she has to work from 2.00 to 10.00 on a wage of $2.43. We note that Ehrenreich accepts this job from mere necessity as it is not her best possible choice. The irony of Hearthside restaurant is that, despite its minimalism, it is attached to a rather large chain hotel, which offers better work incentives to skilled workers, making it inaccessible for the poor, unskilled workers such as Ehrenreich and her colleagues such as George. The depiction of George, an immigrant unskilled worker who is falsely accused of stealing from his workplace because he is incapable of defending himself, owing to the lack of comprehension of English and the issues around him. This is evident of the injustices suffered by the low-wage workers whose wages render them incapable of seeking legal redress whenever they are confronted with problems such as George’s (Ehrenreich, p.99). Moreover, the hardships faced by low-income earners are compounded by the oppressive nature of those in their surroundings, especially ones who have authority over the former. In the story, Hearthside restaurant’s management employs oppressive tactics in their managerial roles. For instance, Stu is always on the lookout for employees who take time off to relax. At the same time, Stu is always allocating duties to ensure all restaurant employees are working even when there are no customers in the restaurant. In addition, Phillip, the restaurant’s manager humiliates the employees by lecturing them as one would lecture a first grader. He threatens to run impromptu locker searches and condemns employee communication terming it as gossip. Phillip exemplifies a significant problem encountered by unskilled workers trying to survive on a meager salary as he paints the grim picture of what low-wage workers contend with in order to secure their daily bread. The wanton disregard for workers’ rights to communication, as well as their right to privacy, is constantly impeded by those in authority.
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The author states that in the UK, health inequalities have been studied and well documented. Studies have indicated that there exists a difference in morbidity and mortality rates across the social spectrum. Health inequalities can be argued to be differences in health status or even distribution of health determinants.
She also discovered some of the reasons why poverty is so entrenched, from the fact that the poor do not negotiate their salaries and do not try to get jobs that pay more, for a variety of reasons, to the fact that the poor are made to feel so bad about themselves that they feel that they cannot do better.
As the report stresses the critical theory refers to pathways of intellectual inquiry that emerged with the end of the 18th century European enlightenment; particularly with the wide spread waning of intellectual confidence that explains that the newly hegemonic bourgeoisie society would eventually succeed in realizing the enlightenment ideals.
His aim was to find out how unskilled workers survived to make their ends meet. He conducted his experiment mainly in Minnesota, Floridra, and Maine. He focused on getting a job, and lodging in each location he went for his research. He conducted his research for the duration of one month in every location.
She uses her book to show that the poor in the community have to sacrifice a good lifestyle and work on minimum wages in order for the rich to maintain their luxurious lifestyles. Ehrenreich believes that the poor are doing a service to the rich because they are giving up their basic rights to sanitation, space and healthy food so that the rich could easily avail these rights.
It is interesting to read in Ehrenreich’s book Nickel and Dimed (2008) that there are large numbers of low wage workers in our society who are struggling to be socially and financially secure. We are separated by class, and by the earning potential that we have in society.
But how can someone stay alive, let alone flourish on $6 to $7 an hour To discover that, Ehrenreich moved from Florida to Maine, taking the cheapest accommodation obtainable and working as a waitress, lodge maid, house cleaner, nurture home assistant and Wal-Mart dealer.
Therefore, what she has narrated in Nickel and Dimed is an account of her bitter experience as a low-class worker. She worked in several places in America to find out whether the situation is the same for all such workers everywhere in America.
It is not the working poor’s fault, in this estimation, because they are poor basically because of circumstance.
In terms of who is at fault, the system can be blamed. Ehrenreich notes that many people think
hrows light, on the basis of her first hand experience, on the causes and consequences of the circumstances that lead the individuals towards economic instability and poverty. Ehrenreich worked as waitress, nurse, house keeper and in other positions attributed to the lower
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