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Nickel and Dimed: On Not Getting by in America Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 78 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Nickel and Dimed.
This section contains 1,914 words
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Themes

Shame and humiliation keep low-wage workers in their place.

The author admits that she comes from a blue-collar family, so although she's a successful, rather wealthy writer, she does not bring prejudice against people who work with their hands to her assignment. What surprises Ehrenreich is that many people do exhibit a negative attitude toward servers, retailers and especially maids. Frequently those who have just moved up the social and economic ladder themselves are the worst culprits. For example, a housewife who recently worked in a low wage job becomes the harshest boss of the maids she employees. Recently promoted workers strike out at others who rank below them but show sympathy for those above. The owners of miserable, failing motels warn residents not to steal, and housewives who must pick up after their children all day cast clothing around with reckless abandon so that workers must pick it...

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This section contains 1,914 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Nickel and Dimed: On Not Getting by in America Study Guide
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Nickel and Dimed: On Not Getting by in America from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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