Ehrenreich, By Barbara Ehrenreich Essay

Ehrenreich, By Barbara Ehrenreich Essay

Length: 1956 words (5.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In 1998, Barbara Ehrenreich, a prominent and prolific journalist in Florida, posed an interesting question to her editor: “How does anyone live on the wages available to the unskilled” (Ehrenreich, 2001, p. 1). In this idea, Ehrenreich set out on a journey to discover just how “the other half” lived on the low wages that they receive. During her project, Ehrenreich set out playing the role of a divorcee hoping to re enter the workforce by taking on the task of finding an unskilled, low paying job in hopes to see just how the poorer class made it with such low pay. Throughout the book, Ehrenreich takes jobs that pay typically between 5to 7 dollars per hour. It is interesting to look into how the attitude of Ehrenreich changes in respect to the emotional implications of her project as well as how well her research would now stand up next to our generation’s lower working class. Throughout the various phases and locations of Ehrenreich’s journey through the lower class, she goes through a complete transformation on how she views the lower class and how she presents their plight in her book; however, there are still many flaws in her research methods that limit what she could have done with the study.
Through reading ‘Nickel and Dimed’, I found my opinions of Ehrenreich along with her study to change drastically as the book went on. At the beginning, I was very skeptical of Ehrenreich and her set up of the study. She makes it very clear at the beginning of the book that she was not doing this for emotional reasons. She explains that, “My aim here was much more straightforward and objective—just to see whether I could match income to expenses, as the truly poor attempt to do every day (Ehrenreich, 2001, p. 6). This struck me as not on...


... middle of paper ...


...t as a member of the lower social class.
Though I see flaw in a few areas of Ehrenreich’s study, such as how she does not fully immerse herself into the lives of the poor, I still find that her research is thought provoking and humbling. To see someone who was willing to go out into the world I and many others grew up and continue to live in and try to make the best of it was a great study in the emotional side of impoverished life. Though Ehrenreich set out to do a concise study on how the lower class makes a living on such small earning, she ultimately wrote a harrowing novel on so much more. Nickel and Dimed: On Not Getting By in America is a emotional explanation of the true lives of the poor and the stigmatisms that come with the title. It is a novel that truly encompasses the story of the impoverished and helps to set straight just how the lower class lives.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about Barbara Ehrenreich's Research and Economic Findings in Nickel and Dimed

- For her book, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America, Barbara Ehrenreich, a middle-aged female investigative journalist, assumed the undercover position of a newly divorced housewife returning to work after several years of unemployment. The premise for Ehrenreich to go undercover in this way was due to her belief that a single mother returning to work after years of being on welfare would have a difficult time providing for her family on a low or minimum wage. Her cover story was the closest she could get to that of a welfare mother since she had no children and was not on welfare....   [tags: literary analysis, barbara ehrenreich]

Strong Essays
920 words (2.6 pages)

Review Of The Book Nickel And Dimed By Barbara Ehrenreich Essay

- The Life of Working to Survive Have you ever wonder what it really takes to live in todays world. For some people they are fortunate to live a lifestyle where they have steady jobs, healthcare, food, a home, and things in general to survive; sometimes even get things they really desire and even have a high social status among the society that surrounds them. Yet, not everything is as simple as it may seem for others. Some humans in this world have to fight through a daily struggle in order to make the wages they do to survive with basic needs and amount to nothing at times in the society that bases others off social status, which is described in the book Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenrei...   [tags: Wage, Working class, Barbara Ehrenreich]

Strong Essays
1352 words (3.9 pages)

Nickel And Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich Essay

- Nickel And Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich Why should we be the ones to pay for someone to sit around at home. The answer is one simple word, welfare. There are many reasons why people mooch on welfare, rather than going out and working. The only jobs these people are qualified for are minimum wage jobs. As Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed, worked at minimum wage paying jobs and reported the hardships that people had to go through on a day-to-day basis. A critic responded by saying, “This is simply the case of an academic who is forced to get a real job…” Ehrenriech’s reasoning for joining the working-class is to report why people who mite be on welfare, continue to stay on welfar...   [tags: Barbara Ehrenreich Nickel Dimed]

Strong Essays
1376 words (3.9 pages)

Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed Essay

-      Barbara Ehrenreich is a journalist who wrote the book Nickel and Dimed. She goes undercover to see how it feels to work for $6 to $7 an hour. She leaves her regular life to explore the experiences of a minimum wage worker. Ehrenreich travels to Florida, Maine, and Minnesota, looking for jobs and places to live on a minimum wage salary. At one point in time, she had to work two jobs to makes ends meet. As she worked all these jobs, she discovered many problems in the social world. The things she went through were not the types of situations that she usually experienced....   [tags: Barbara Ehrenreich Nickel Dimed Essays]

Strong Essays
1625 words (4.6 pages)

Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America Essay

- Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America Barbara Ehrenreich is a political/social journalist and writer. She is a best-selling author with a dozen book credits to her name. Her works include Blood Rites, The Worst Years of Our Lives, and Fear of Falling. She also has written articles for Time, Harpers, The New Republic, The Nation, and The New York Time Magazine. Her Ph.D. in biology endows her with the experience and discipline to approach as a scientific experiment the study resulting in her newest book, Nickel and Dimed....   [tags: Barbara Ehrenreich Nickel and Dimed]

Strong Essays
1005 words (2.9 pages)

The Importance of the Cell Phone Age: From Stone Age to Phone Age by Barbara Ehrenreich

- In “From Stone Age to Phone Age”, Barbara Ehrenreich describes that cell phones are not well suited to her even though they are fashionable. In her article, she points out cell phones are not used to connect people to each other but to isolate them from a big group of people. I think cell phones are very important to our daily life because they are convenient to manage our lives. Moreover, from the earlier cell phone age to nowadays, cell phones have been developed a lot; today many fancy phones are displayed on the market....   [tags: From Stone Age to Phone Age, Barbara Ehrenreich, c]

Strong Essays
763 words (2.2 pages)

Essay about Use of Rhetoric in Nickel and Dime by Barbara Ehrenreich

- Use of Rhetoric in Nickel and Dime by Barbara Ehrenreich In her expose, Nickel and Dime, Barbara Ehrenreich shares her experience of what it is like for unskilled women to be forced to be put into the labor market after the welfare reform that was going on in 1998. Ehrenreich wanted to capture her experience by retelling her method of “uncover journalism” in a chronological order type of presentation of events that took place during her endeavor. Her methodologies and actions were some what not orthodox in practice....   [tags: Nickel Dime Ehrenreich]

Free Essays
1545 words (4.4 pages)

Ehrenreich, By Barbara Ehrenreich Essay

- In 1998, Barbara Ehrenreich, a prominent and prolific journalist in Florida, posed an interesting question to her editor: “How does anyone live on the wages available to the unskilled” (Ehrenreich, 2001, p. 1). In this idea, Ehrenreich set out on a journey to discover just how “the other half” lived on the low wages that they receive. During her project, Ehrenreich set out playing the role of a divorcee hoping to re enter the workforce by taking on the task of finding an unskilled, low paying job in hopes to see just how the poorer class made it with such low pay....   [tags: Wage, Working class, Minimum wage, Social class]

Strong Essays
1956 words (5.6 pages)

Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed Essay

- Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed In the novel Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehnreich, there are many hurtles she must overcome to experience the life of a low income worker. She sets some ground rules for herself, such as always having a car, and starting out with a certain amount of money for her down payment on an apartment. Although the rules are doable, she admits that she broke all of the rules at least once. Even though Barbara didn't hold to her original plan, she was still able to reveal her appeals clearly....   [tags: Ehrenreich Nickel Dimed]

Strong Essays
1069 words (3.1 pages)

Barbara Ehrenreich's The Hearts of Men Essay

- Barbara Ehrenreich's The Hearts of Men Barbara Ehrenreich, in The Hearts Of Men, illustrates how gender roles have highly constricted men, not just women, and therefore have inhibited American society from developing its full potential. She deviates from conventional wisdom, which says that gender roles have been largely detrimental to only half the population, which is simultaneously confined to working in the domestic sphere and prevented from participating in the public realm. Her theory says that Americans subscribe to a "sexuo-economic system" which reduces men to "mere earning mechanisms" and forces women to "become parasitic wives" (6, 4)....   [tags: Barbara Ehrenrech Gender Equality Essays]

Strong Essays
938 words (2.7 pages)