Why Should We Care
In her expose, Nickel and Dime, Barbara Ehrenreich shares her experience of what it is like for unskilled women to be forced to be put into the labor market after the welfare reform that was going on in 1998. Ehrenreich wanted to capture her experience by retelling her method of “uncover journalism” in a chronological order type of presentation of events that took place during her endeavor. Her methodologies and actions were some what not orthodox in practice. This was not to be a social experiment that was to recreate a poverty social scenario, but it was to in fact see if she could maintain a lifestyle working low wage paying jobs the way 4 million women were about to experience it. Although Ehrenreich makes good use of rhetoric (ethos, pathos, logos), she is very effective at portraying pathos, trying to get us to understand why we should care about a social situation such as this through, credibility, emotion, and logic.
Like most people whom conduct experiments, Ehrenreich must first establish credibility of her knowledge of this subject. She does this in her introduction in numerous ways. Ehrenreich comes out saying that she has a Ph.D in biology but has a fancy for writing. She starts off with her exposure to low wage paying jobs by using her sister and her husband a companion for over a decade. Her sister, who use to work for the phone company as a sales representative, a factory work and receptionist who described it her experiences as “the hopelessness of being a wage slave”. Her husband use to work for $4.50 an hour in a warehouse before he was fortunate enough to land a good paying job with the union workers the Teamsters. Ehrenreich’s use of statistical information also proves to her audience that she in fact has done her research on this topic. She admits that poverty is a social topic that she frequently talks about. She researched that in 1998 the National Coalition for the Homeless reported that nationwide on average...
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