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Description - Getting By on the Minimum by Jennifer Johnson

Earning the minimum wage, scrambling to pay the bills, living from paycheck to paycheck, worrying about how to put food on the table, such is life for most working-class women. Many have not graduated from high school, let alone college. They are married to working-class men and live with their kids in poor, working-class neighborhoods. Very often the same neighborhoods they grew up in and will likely never leave. These are the women profiled in Jennifer Johnson's extraordinary new book, Getting By On the Minimum . Women who work as grocery-store cashiers, assembly-line workers, bus drivers, secretaries, house-cleaners, beauticians, cooks, and childcare providers. This first intimate portrait of such women gives voice to their lives and the work they do which is so often invisible. Johnson profiles the real-life stories of more than sixty women who have no college education, are married with kids, and earn an average of USD16,000 per year, giving us an important window into a large, poorly understood segment of our society. Johnson knows the reality of the working-class world because she herself grew up in a low-income neighborhood and was the first in her family to go to college. Through the words of these women, Johnson captures the essence of women's working-class experience: from job stagnation, low self-esteem, and social isolation to camaraderie among coworkers, loyalty to one's roots, and even pride in a job well done. This compassionately told book offers a captivating and emotional study of the difference class makes in women's lives, and the problems, restrictions, and rewards common to all women.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780415928014
ISBN-10: 041592801X
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x mm)
Pages: 278
Imprint: Routledge Member of the Taylor and Francis Group
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Publish Date: 9-Aug-2002
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Jennifer Johnson

Jennifer Johnson is a Research Scientist in the Department of Sociology at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. She is the Co-Principal Investigator of a two-year research project funded by the National Science Foundation.

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