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Working as a Pariah in America . About the Author * B arbara E hrenreich * . Background : born in 1941, from Butte, Montana, family members are either miners or homemakers,

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about the author b arbara e hrenreich
About the Author *Barbara Ehrenreich*
  • Background:

born in 1941, from Butte, Montana,

family members are either miners or homemakers,

PhD in cell biology, quit teaching job and start to become a journalist and a activist for social change, a writer for Fourteen books and a columnist at the New York Times and Time magazine

  • Why Wrote the Book?

She was inspired in part by the rhetoric surrounding welfare reform, which promised that any job equals a better life.

  • You’re Short, Besides & Nickel and Dimed:

similar writing style: both include the oral English such as “Cripple! Cripple!”, “Bullshit”. The narrative style

Chan is focus on how she as a disabled student want to be successful at school , was discriminated as the handicapped

Ehrenreich depicts her fake blue collar life of pursuing success, was discriminated as a working class woman

  • Introduction: Getting Ready
  • Chapter 1: Serving in Florida

- waitress

  • Chapter2: Scrubbing in Maine

- dietary aide

- maid

  • Chapter3: Selling in Minnesota

- seller

  • Evaluation
quotes 1 2
Quotes 1 & 2
  • In poverty, as in certain propositions in physics, starting conditions are everything. (27)
  • There are only two forms of rebellion I have seen any evidence of and neither of them challenges the vaulting social hierarchy above us. (107)
quotes 3 4
Quotes 3 & 4
  • Low-wage workers are no more homogeneous in personality or ability than people who write for a living, and no less likely to be funny or bright (8).
  • The poor have disappeared from the culture at large, from its political rhetoric and intellectual endeavors as well as from its daily entertainment (117)
a paragraph
A paragraph
  • Maids, as an occupational group, are not visible, and when we are seen we are often sorry for it. On the way to the Martha Stewart-ish place, when Holly and Marge were complaining about her haughtiness in a past encounter, I had ventured to ask why so many of the owners seem hostile or contemptuous toward us. “They think we’re stupid,” was Holly’s answer. “ They think we have nothing better to do with our time.” Marge too looked suddenly sober. “ We’re nothing to these people,” she said. “We’re just maids.” Nor are we much of anything to anyone else. Even convenience store clerks, who are $6-an-hour gal’s themselves, seem to look down on us… …May be it occurs to me, I’m getting a tiny glimpse of what it would be like to be black
  • A picture of low-wage working lives

- dark and heartbreaking side of working class in America

  • The traditional idea “too lazy to work” & “a job will defeat poverty.”
  • A lot of social issues, but…
  • Low-wage work is mentally and physically challenging.

Thank you!!

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