What life is like to be poor and homeless in nickel and dimed by barbara ehrenreich

Buy the book The New York Times bestseller, and one of the most talked about books of the year, Nickel and Dimed has already become a classic of undercover reportage.

What life is like to be poor and homeless in nickel and dimed by barbara ehrenreich

Of the few I have seen since working with them: She had gained some weight a good thing in her casefound a new boyfriend, and seemed in good spirits. How did you choose the cities you went to? I started in Key West, just because I lived near there.

I choose Portland ME because I knew it would be mostly white, thus removing the element of white-skin privilege from my job options. I remembered the Twin Cities having nice, affordable, working class neighborhoods, although that impression was 20 years out of date.

Nickel and Dimed: Reading Group Guide – Barbara Ehrenreich

Rural areas were excluded because of the scarcity of jobs. As an undercover journalist, how could you know what it really feels like to be poor?

I tried to make this clear in the introduction to the book.


My own past experiences with poverty or near-poverty occurred long ago, when I was a child and when my own children were small, and the overwhelming feeling was of anxiety.

As a middle-aged person with a home to return to, some savings, etc. Not in any serious way. The revival preachers clearly preferred the dead and risen Christ to the living Jesus — who did indeed drink wine and could even make it out of water.

As for the vagrancy charge: Did you really live like a low-wage worker or did you ever cheat? I cheated when I got an uncontrollably itchy rash on the housecleaning job, probably from the cleaning fluids. So I called my dermatologist friend in Key West and begged him for a prescription, sight unseen.

I did pay for the ointment out of my earnings.

Post-meltdown poverty

What shocked you most? One, the totalitarian nature of so many low-wage workplaces. On two jobs, for example, there was a rule against talking with your fellow employees. The other major surprise to me was that the jobs were all mentally as well as physically challenging — and I have a Ph.

What are the ethical problems with this kind of journalism?

What life is like to be poor and homeless in nickel and dimed by barbara ehrenreich

On the one hand, there is clearly some deception involved in this kind of work — pretending, for example, that I needed a waitressing job for the money. What was your audience for this book? It would be too inhibiting. What was the first thing you did when you returned from your low-wage life? I think the expectation here is something involving hot tubs and champagne.

Nickel and Dimed Quotes by Barbara Ehrenreich

In fact, what I did was write. I would return from each city with up to 40 pages of raw journal entries, and the challenge was to turn them into a coherent chapter while every conversation, every smell and ache, was fresh in my mind.

I was able to put a nephew in his 30s through college and to help several individuals not related to me. How did working on Nickel and Dimed change your life? It made me angrier. I was angry about poverty before, but now I am in a permanent, low-level, rage — leavened, of course, by the knowledge that I am part of a large and growing movement for economic justice.Aug 09,  · Nickel and Dimed ( Version) The most shocking thing I learned from my research on the fate of the working poor in the recession was the extent to .

In Nickel and Dimed, Ehrenreich expertly peels away the layers of self-denial, self-interest, and self-protection that separate the rich from the poor, the served from the servers, the housed from the homeless.

What life is like to be poor and homeless in nickel and dimed by barbara ehrenreich

This brave and frank book is ultimately a challenge to create a less divided society.”. Oct 10,  · To Ms. Ehrenreich, the reliance on one’s personal disposition shifts attention from the larger social, political and economic forces behind poverty, unemployment and poor health care.

Essay Nickel And Dimed By Barbara Ehrenreich. you can survive it.” To be in poverty is the condition of having little to no money, goods, or any means of support; basically the state of being poor. Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America is a book written by Barbara Ehrenreich.

Written from her perspective as an undercover journalist, it sets out to investigate the impact of the welfare reform act on the working poor in the United States. The events related in the book took place between spring and summer .

Here's a down and dirty assessment of Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich: First the positive: While I was glad to see a popular book addressing the problems of the working poor, I couldn't help but feel like she'd taken a vacation in my life and then made a bunch of money writing a book about it, something she could only have achieved /5.

Nickel and Dimed - Wikipedia