Our sharpest and most original social critic goes "undercover" as an unskilled worker to reveal the dark side of American prosperity. Millions of Americans work full time, year round, for poverty-level wages. In 1998, Barbara Ehrenreich decided to join them. She was inspired in part by the rhetoric surrounding welfare reform, which promised that a job -- any job -- can be the ticket to a better life. But how does anyone survive, let alone prosper, on $6 an hour? To find out, Ehrenreich left her home, took the cheapest lodgings she could find, and accepted whatever jobs she was offered. Moving from Florida to Maine to Minnesota, she worked as a waitress, a hotel maid, a cleaning woman, a nursing-home aide, and a Wal-Mart sales clerk. She lived in trailer parks and crumbling residential motels. Very quickly, she discovered that no job is truly "unskilled," that even the lowliest occupations require exhausting mental and muscular effort. She also learned that one job is not enough; you need at least two if you int to live indoors. Nickel and Dimed reveals low-rent America in all its tenacity, anxiety, and surprising generosity -- a land of Big Boxes, fast food, and a thousand desperate stratagems for survival. Read it for the smoldering clarity of Ehrenreich's perspective and for a rare view of how "prosperity" looks from the bottom. You will never see anything -- from a motel bathroom to a restaurant meal -- in quite the same way again.
nickel and dimed
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THE STORY: Can a middle-aged, middle-class woman survive, when she suddenly has to make beds all day in a hotel and live on $7 an hour? Maybe. But one $7-an-hour job won't pay the rent: she'll have to do back-to-back shifts, as a chambermaid and a
A study guide for Barbara Ehrenreich's "Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America", excerpted from Gale's acclaimed Literary Newsmakers for Students series. This concise study guide includes plot summary; character analysis; author biography; study questions; historical context; suggestions for further reading; and much more. For any literature project, trust Literary Newsmakers for Students for all of your research needs.
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Instructional materials for use with Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed. Includes a synopsis, time line, author sketch, critic's corner, other works by Barbara Ehrenreich, bibliography, general objectives, specific objectives, literary terms and applications, importance of setting, cross-curricular sources, themes and motifs, related reading, how language works, across the curriculum, alternate assessment, a vocabulary test, two comprehension tests, and answer key.
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Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online. Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America is a book written by Barbara Ehrenreich. Written from the perspective of the undercover journalist, it sets out to investigate the impact of the 1996 welfare reform on the working poor in the United States. In some ways it is similar to George Orwell's much earlier Down and Out in Paris and London, German investigative reporter Günter Wallraff's Ganz Unten (The Lowest of the Low), and John Howard Griffin's Black Like Me. The events related in the book took place between spring 1998 and summer 2000. The book was first published in 2001 by Metropolitan Books. An earlier version appeared as an article in the January 1999 issue of Harper's magazine. Ehrenreich later wrote a companion book, Bait and Switch (published September 2005), which discusses her attempt to find a white-collar job. A stage adaptation by Joan Holden opened in 2002.