Nickel and Dimed analysis Essay

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For me, i'm that the composer of “Nickel and Dimed”, Barbara Ehrenreich, had ethical motives when creating the choice to investigate “poverty” by emerging herself into the “low-wage lifestyle”. The ethical concern, however, is by using her approach. Personally I think your manner in which it was conducted could be viewed as degrading to those who don't have an alternative for this way of living.

True, hopeless poverty doesn't have those “reassuring limits” that Ehrenreich had the capability to utilize whenever she was at a position that made the woman uncomfortable with the consequences of poverty she had been attempting to learn.

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By keeping her vehicle, she writes, “Yes, i really could have walked more or limited myself to jobs accessible by public transport,” and “i simply figured that a tale about awaiting buses wouldn't be extremely interesting to learn.” The only real allowance of the access to transportation, although she also maintained other activities including the woman ATM card in circumstances that subject her to hunger or homelessness, was in the interest of activity versus technology.

I actually do feel, though, that Ehrenreich ended up being conscious that she ended up being never going to be capable completely invest in this endeavor when she writes, “With most of the real-life assets I’ve developed in center age—bank account, IRA, medical insurance, multiroom home—waiting indulgently inside history,” she admits, “there had been no chance I was gonna ‘experience poverty’ or find out how it ‘really feels’ become a long-term low-wage worker.” I applaud the woman efforts to whole-heartedly work the low-wage jobs she acquired and submerge by herself you might say of life which was completely international to her. In doing so, personally i think that the research, despite its flaws, succeeded in exploring the plight associated with the low-wage worker inside our culture in those days.

The woman inability to budget the woman costs utilizing the minimal income that she received, alone, ended up being a testament to the trials and tribulations that people ladies face on a cyclic basis in their most of the life situations your characters in “Nickle and Dimed” were working with aren't commonly discussed in today’s society. Media portrays “the poor” with stereotypical images. In accordance with an article by Bullock et al. (2001), “women getting public assistance are stereotyped as sluggish, disinterested in training, and promiscuous.” America is depicted as either a classless culture or one in which the most of people are middle class citizens.

Despite the insufficient understanding of this sort of poverty, i really do believe their arrangements are, regrettably, not uncommon at all. Ehrenreich’s experience with low-wage work with Florida had been somewhat diverse from her expertise in Maine. She reports that in Maine, “Even convenience shop clerks, that are $6- an-hour gals themselves, seem to look down upon united states.” Inside predominantly white Maine, the maid occupation is viewed at in an almost servant-like means, they're the ones who should do the dirty work with the “wealthy” and therefore are not viewed as equals. The annals of maid work had been often provided to minorities, which may explain with this therapy. For Key western, Ehrenreich did not have the same difficulties with regard to degradation, but she suffering keeping the woman low- wage life style.

The waitressing job at Hearthside paid almost no so she had to grab an extra job to help make ends meet. Because both jobs were so emotionally and actually taxing, Ehrenreich ended up being only capable keep this for just two weeks versus the 30 days that she was in fact able to endure in Maine. Although the woman task as a maid in Maine ended up being also strenuous, and even though she also had another work, I believe that her experience in Florida had been tougher on her behalf since it was her first attempt at residing this lifestyle. By the time she arrived in Maine, i believe she had internalized that a lot of just what she was enduring ended up being the every day life of ladies who she had reached know throughout her experience and relented toward existence of poverty.

The drastic upsurge in affluent households utilizing maid solutions are explained by a number of things. Based on Ehrenreich, using the influx of women to the workforce, tensions arose over housework. When females began working and would not solely rely on their husband’s wages, ladies began to expect more from their husbands. Once the idea of this “equal partnership” had not been being fulfilled, it caused numerous disagreements within households. The maid services “even spared marriages” and took benefit by getting agreements from all of these domiciles by taking advantage of this concept, to intervene and resolve their problems by removing the need for a disagreement over housework. In her statement, “For the first time in my own life as a maid, i've an intention more compelling than wanting to meet with the visual criteria of brand new England bourgeoisie”, i really believe that Ehrenreich ended up being fed up with assisting the folks she worked for “keep up with the Joneses”.

She had arrived at the realization that neither her manager, nor the families whoever domiciles she worked in, saw her or the women she caused as “human”. When they were feeling sick these people were told to “work through it” regardless of the extenuating circumstances that surrounded their own health dilemmas as well as the scenario maintaining them. This estimate represents her “purpose” when needing to work to pay for her ailing teammate and aided explain her views on the injustices these women had been enduring. Besides worrying all about the dirt under the carpet which was put as a test by a house owner or the dirt regarding countless unread books on shelves, she must take one step right back from robotic, day to day work associated with the “maid”.

This aided the girl undoubtedly see the individual suffering that she ended up being witnessing firsthand and enraged the lady to wish to advocate for these females to ensure that others had the ability to notice it too.


Bullock, H.E., Wyche, K.F., & Williams, W.R. (2001). Media Photos associated with the Poor. Journal of Social Issues, 57(2), 229–246. Ehrenreich, B. (2001). Nickle and Dimed. Ny: Picador.

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