Nickle And Dimed Term Paper

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Nickel and Dimed: On Not Getting By in America Annette VanIperen Intro to Sociology Spring 2011 Term Paper Instructor: E. Haberman Annette VanIperen Intro to Sociology Spring Semester 2011 Term Paper Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By In America Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed is one woman’s in depth, yet only temporary look into the working poor class of Americans. She infiltrates their society and attempts to make it just as they do in their daily lives. Using rules that she sets for herself she does the best she can to truly get a feel for how things are for the low wage working class who are employed in different service jobs that are available to them. Her self-inflicted rules (and her reasoning for them) were 1) not using her prior education and/or work experience to get or hold a job (lower class would probably not have these), 2) taking the highest paid job available and doing best to keep it (those in the lower class wouldn’t have the luxury of getting tired of a job or of management practices and just letting it go), 3) take the cheapest accommodations found (Ehrenreich wanted to make an honest effort into making it work out not just taking a higher rent room and then saying “oh well, guess I couldn’t make it work”). A down fall to Barbara Ehrenreich’s experiment was that she did use her car and had a first month’s rent and security deposit available. These are things that many from the working poor class wouldn’t have access to. Barbara Ehrenreich decided to start her experiment in a place familiar to her, Key West, Florida. She says that she chose this location “mostly out of laziness” on page 11 of her book. After three days of heavy job hunting she finds herself in a waitress job that pays only $2.43 an hour plus tips. Waitressing was actually one of the jobs that she had tried to rule out for herself due to how

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