Saturday, 25 February 2012

Nickel and Dimed Critique

Here is a review by Kya Ogyn from 2005. In this review of Nickel and Dimed, Ogyn has argued two problems in which they have with the book by Barbara Enrenreich. These being that; one the way in which Enrenreich classes the personalities of low wage earners 'although she writes, "low-wage workers are no more homogeneous in personality
or ability than people who write for a living, and no less likely to be funny or
bright," she comes to the conclusion that Barb, who works for Wal-Mart, is
"meaner and slyer" than Barbara the writer, and "more cherishing of grudges, and
not quite as smart as I'd hoped." Although poverty can have a brutalizing effect
on some people, there are demonstrably grudge-holders among the rich and
powerful who are not very smart.'
Ogyn's second issue is Enrenreich's comments or attitude towards obesity. 'It is unfortunate that a political writer of her caliber has not only not
examined fat hatred, but has contributed to it.'
In regards to the first criticism, the job identity and persona is being highlighted. When working you have a different persona to the one you have when you are at home as you are taking on the role of the job which you are doing. Certain jobs may change a person and I feel that Ogyn is being harsh in their criticism, as to survive in the world of low paid jobs you need to have a certain toughness about you. Whilst Enrenreich may not be the nicest person when working in Walmart, I don't blame her due to the circumstances she is in but the are plenty of examples of her showing kindness, particularly when working for 'The Maids' in Maine.
As for Ogyn's second criticism which basically describes Enrenreich as being vain, I do agree with for the most part. However it is my view that Enrenreich was thinking like that due to being so fed up with that working environment. If that was the case then I feel in part, a bit sympathetic as that working environment was bringing out the worst in her.
In this review there are some agreements such as when discussing the purpose of the working class. In as much that the working class make life easier for the middle classes. Whilst this may not be the intentional purpose of the working class it is inevitably the way things have become. This is not necessary a fair thing but after all America is a capitalist society and a communist society may sound all well and fair in theory, the practicalities of it are just not realistic. A degree of unfairness needs to happen in order for society to work as a whole.

No comments:

Post a Comment