Low-wage Workers In Nickel And Dimed

June 22, 2022 by Essay Writer

The film ‘Nickel and Dimed: From the American Ruling Class shows the life of low-wage workers in America’s society. In this video, Barbara Ehrenreich went about trying to mimic their lifestyle and work ethic firsthand, living as a low-wage worker. I was very impressed at her angle of perspective to consider low-wage workers as the major “philanthropists” of our society. Often we say we serve someone or something, but everything comes from our own pride and superiority. After all, we are living with help from the people we thought we were serving. Also, I was able to look back on the American-style class and economic system through this video. Ehrenreich said that “people are living in a state of emergency, not even at a sustainable level of suffering in many cases due to a lack of food, inadequate housing, and insufficient childcare (means of production, 2007).” Many of these people are hard workers who give of their time, energy, and talents without receiving fair compensation. I think there should be a change in social structure and paradigm because there is a limit to government support. All members of our society will have to think through their better lives and find a solution.

Barbara Ehrenreich is a prominent journalist and writer who went undercover as a low-wage worker to find out whether they can maintain the basic standard of life. She worked in a restaurant, retail store, nursing home, and for a house cleaning service to get an in-depth analysis of her question and experienced a poor life that fits her salary level. She wrote about all the other things that accompany minimum-wage work, such as budget crises, stress, housing insecurity, and so forth. She pointed out the extreme poverty and unfair treatment of the working poor, and the structural problem of sustaining their poverty. What she recorded and presented allowed people to rethink the working poor, change their perspectives on their working conditions and ignite many protests against unjust working places. Her work has exerted a beneficent influence on the working class.

Barbara Ehrenreich’s main research methodology in this study is participant observation. She jumped into the lives of low-wage workers who struggle to make ends meet and researched whether she could maintain her life at the minimum wage. The information she gathered during this research is mostly qualitative, rather than quantitative, the result she drew was that minimum wages were not enough to help workers maintain a decent standard of living. She came to understand their plight by putting down her successful social status and experiencing the lives of the low-wage class.

Barbara Ehrenreich’s research methodology can be considered both sociological and scientific. Sociology is considered a scientific discipline. Sociological research includes empirical evidence and scientific methods such as logical theory and observation. These sociological studies should conform to systematic and scientific methods, as opposed to philosophy or personal belief. Also, there is the notion that its theory should be testable. Therefore, participant observation can be seen as both sociological and scientific research.

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