Across the U.S., there are infinite employment opportunities available from one person to the next. Of course, the opportunities become more and more limited according to the employees’ education and skills. The higher the education, the higher number of opportunities
presented to them; the lower the education, the lower number of possible job positions available to them. When comparing upper middle-class employments and lower-class employments, the differences are significant and symbolic of the existing hierarchies in the U.S., despite popular belief.
In Barbara Ehrenreich’s memoir, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, the social constructs of the working class in the U.S. are revealed by the author, Ehrenreich herself, returning to her grass roots and becoming a member of the working class in 1998. A journalist, Ehrenreich became accustomed to an arguably affluent lifestyle, but was interested in pursuing the realities of minimum wage workers and their inability to provide for themselves and their families. Through out the course of her experiment, she acquired five traditional low wage positions; a waitress, hotel maid, house cleaner, nursing-home aide, and Wal-Mart Associate. In each position, Ehrenreich discovered not only the difficulties the workers had to face at the job, but also the ones th...
... middle of paper ...
...g to put herself on the line.
Although Ehrenreich attempted to immerse herself in the daily life of someone who has a low-income job, she was as successful as someone in her position could be. At the end of the day, she does have her heavily educated background to guide her through employment opportunities; she has her healthy as a distinct factor in the opportunities available to her; her race plays an important role in determining which job options she can receive. Despite that,
Ehrenreich was successful in educating her readers in the actualities of people who live off of love-income jobs and her message came across in numerous ways. From her ability to be personal about her experiences, bringing up a conversation of discrimination, and exhibiting her leadership role; all were used to execute her overall meaning of her memoir: the truth behind low-income workers.
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