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Nickel and Dimed

Nickel and Dimed

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Nickel and Dimed

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  1. Nickel and Dimed On (Not) Getting by in America

  2. About the Author • Barbara Eherenrich • Originally from Butte, MT, but moved all over the country as she grew up. • Father was a coal miner, but later worked in the engineering aspect of the business. • Mother was a homemaker.

  3. How Nickel and Dimed changed her life: • [This book] changed my life in important and unexpected ways. Nickel and Dimed plunged me into the nascent living wage movement, traveling to union rallies, picket lines and organizing meetings around the country. Once terrified of public speaking, I became comfortable addressing crowds through a bull horn, with no notes at all. I got arrested at a protest with Yale workers; I joined picket lines with hotel workers in Santa Monica and janitors in Miami; I leafleted for a living wage in Charlottesville and marched with ACORN in Michigan.

  4. Undercover journalism • Undercover journalism is a form of journalism in which the writer tries to infiltrate a social group by posing as someone friendly to that particular community. • Often this takes months and years to do effectively.

  5. Social Issues in the Book • Attacks the following notions: • Low-wage workers are “too lazy to get real jobs”. • Employment will defeat poverty. • Low-wage jobs require “unskilled labor”. • Help Wanted ads mean an employer is hiring. • Low-wage jobs offer enough income to support a single person without children or a spouse.

  6. Who is really being generous? • “When someone works for less pay than she can live on ... she has made a great sacrifice for you ... The "working poor" ... are in fact the major philanthropists of our society. They neglect their own children so that the children of others will be cared for; they live in substandard housing so that other homes will be shiny and perfect; they endure privation so that inflation will be low and stock prices high. To be a member of the working poor is to be an anonymous donor, a nameless benefactor, to everyone” (p. 221).

  7. Books With Similar Themes • Bait and Switch by Barbara Eherenreich • Scratch Beginnings: Me, $25, and the American Dream by Adam Shepard.

  8. Arguing to Inquire • “The author’s goal is to open up an issue for careful inquiry, to convince readers that the issue is worth their attention and to encourage them to consider the writer’s perspective on the issue” (The Informed Argument, p. 14).

  9. Look for use of classical appeals • How does the very nature of this book establish ethos? • What kinds of facts create logos? • How does this book use pathos? • What rhetorical devices does she use? • Any fallacies? • Consider her diction, syntax, and other stylistic features…