Day 4

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

Discussion of Thought Questions

  1. 1

    In her evaluation, Ehrenreich explains some of the ways in which she tries to make middle- and upper-income people rethink their understandings of low-wage work. How does she do this?

    As Ehrenreich explains, though one might think someone who has a Ph.D. could easily hold down a low-wage job, the first thing Ehrenreich learned is that no job is “unskilled": each requires concentration, new terms, new tools, and new skills. Through this, Ehrenreich seeks to show a middle- or upper-class reader the complexities of low-wage labor.

    In addition, throughout the book, Ehrenreich has chronicled in detail just how much brutal physical labor is required in jobs like the ones she...

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