Day 1

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America Lesson Plan

Discussion of Thought Questions

  1. 1

    Ehrenreich notes in the introduction that she decided to do this experiment to test out a theory about the impossibility of low-wage work making ends meet, not to pretend that she knows what it's "really like" to be poor. Why do you think she emphasizes this distinction?

    As the project begins, quantitative research has already been done—and it’s shown that Ehrenreich will be facing an uphill battle in her attempt to match income to expenses. If she decided simply to complete the project by adding up wages and expenses on a piece of paper, she already knows that she would fail. Given the apparent impossibility of living on minimum-wage profits, Ehrenreich concludes that...

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