1- Barbara Ehrenreich, in “Serving in Florida,” gives us a glimpse of the life of what economists and social commentators call the “working poor.” Ehrenreich’s text differs from the others we read in that it is a largely a narrative. She gives example after example of people struggling to survive in the world of low-wage employment. What is the point Ehrenreich is trying to make in her chapter? What is her main idea? In which category of employees Reich describes (symbolic analysts, in-person service providers, routine production services providers) do Erhenreich and her co-workers fit? How do you know?
2- What does Cowen mean when he says on page 28 of the reader, “Labor markets are tough, and not always fair, but intelligence will be rewarded for a long time to come.” Who is he talking about? What type of intelligence is Cowen discussing? In Reich’s classification system, which category of employees (symbolic analysts, in-person service providers, routine production services providers) would be those to whom Cowen might be referring? Why? Use information from our texts to support your opinions.
3- What does Gregory Mantsios mean when he says, on page 56, “When we look at society and try to determine what it is that keeps most people down–what holds them back from realizing their potential as healthy, creative, productive individuals–we find institutional forces that are largely beyond individual control. Class domination is one of these forces.â€ Members of which classes do you think would hold positions in what Reich calls the employment category of symbolic analyst? In-person service providers? Routine production service providers?
4- What does Reich mean when he says on page 14 of the course reader, “The only true competitive advantage lies in skill in solving, identifying, and brokering new problems?” Which of Reich’s three categories of employment (in-person service providers, routine production service providers, symbolic analysts) would include occupations that would be in a position of doing this? In other words, who is it that will identify and solve new problems in business and industry? When you post your comments or responses to others’ comments, use information from Reich’s article to support your points.