J.D Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis is a personal psychological, cultural and sociological analysis of poor white working-class Americans. Specifically, Hillbilly Elegy examines the life of the author in Middletown Ohio, a once booming post war steel town that today has a struggling economy, diminishing family values and a rapid increase in drug abuse. At the beginning of the memoir, Vance perfectly situates the reader to the uniqueness from his life in Middletown. Vance repeatedly wrote throughout the memoir that the youth living in this Ohio steel town has a bleak and troubling future. Vance illustrates the statistics that children like him living in these towns were lucky if they just manage to avoid welfare or unlucky by dying from a heroin overdose. However, the outcome of Vance’s life was different as he was graduated from Yale Law School, able to get a well-paying job and currently living the American Dream with his wife Usha. The purpose of the author in this memoir was to understand the reader of how social mobility feels and more importantly, what happens to the lives of the white working-class Americans, in particular the psychological impact that spiritual and material poverty has on their children. J.D Vance provides an explanation for the loss of the American dream to poor white Americans living in a toxic culture in this Ohio steel town. Throughout his early childhood of Vance’s life can be described as chaotic. This was
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Poverty is difficult to fully understand without experiencing it directly. Sociologist Matthew Desmond attempts to provide a different perspective on this issue through the lens of those struggling with poverty. This ethnography covers the lives of eight families and many others living in the College Mobile Home Park, a poverty-stricken area in Milwaukee, one of the poorest cities in the U.S.; Desmond lived there for one year, diligently taking notes and recording the experiences of the people he encountered. In Evicted, Matthew Desmond describes the interconnectedness of housing and poverty and highlights the exploitation of the poor through the scope of eviction. Throughout the book, he describes the factors contributing to the cyclical nature
The “Mama might be better of dead” is a book that has an ethnographic story of the life of four generations of African American families who live in one of the poorest communities in Chicago. It takes place in the 1990’s in the North Lawndale and it is located in the Westside Abraham (2013). The story discusses in detail how the health care system does not work for most low income families. The story states that the Banks family is going through many challenging and traumatic situations where they do not have all the necessary health care due to low income. This story deliberates that Jackie Banes is head of household and she takes care of her grandmother, Cora Jackson who suffers from a diabetes, high blood pressure and had her leg amputated due to not getting treatment right away.
Immigrant, Harry Bernstein, in his memoir, The Dream, recounts the many struggles that he and his family endured while living in poverty in England and later on settling into their new and strange home in Chicago. Harry Bernstein's reason for writing this moving memoir is to show how anything is possible if the correct amount of zeal is applied. He creates an exciting atmosphere with the use a relate-able mood using an ethos rhetorical strategy. Adults and teenagers are able to relate to this piece of writing by applying ourselves to the struggles that he went through and relating them to our own lives.
The books, Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward, and The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, are exemplary models of an American family in poverty, and their journey and struggle to survive. They had to live off of what they had and they thought their lifestyles were normal until realizing others have it easier. Each of these families used different strategies in order to survive their insolvent circumstances and hardships. In Salvage the Bones, Esch and her family kept moving and giving each other strength to survive, during a devastating storm in which left them homeless. In The Glass Castle, even though the Walls family was in poverty and didn’t have a permanent home and were always moving.
The book “Mama might be better off dead” was an eye opening story that brought awareness to readers on the downfalls and limitations of the health care system in America. Mama might be better off dead, talks about a poverty stricken African American family who lives in one of the poorest neighborhoods on the Westside of Chicago. The Banes family faces life threatening illnesses and issues that are causing them to question their position in the health care system. Jackie Banes a wife, mother, granddaughter, and the glue that kept her family together, shows in this book her level of strength, vulnerability, concern, hurt, love, and care throughout the entire story. The book also shun a light on the role reversal of the family dynamics in America.
The novel, The American Way of Poverty: How the Other Half Still Lives by Sasha Abramsky is about how he traveled the United States meeting the poor. The stories he introduces in novel are articles among data-driven studies and critical investigations of government programs. Abramsky has composed an impressive book that both defines and advocates. He reaches across a varied range of concerns, involving education, housing and criminal justice, in a wide-ranging view of poverty 's sections. In considering results, it 's essential to understand how the different problems of poor families intermingle in mutual reinforcement.
In the book, American Exodus: The Dust Bowl Migration and Okie Culture in California, James N. Gregory attempts to change readers perspective of stereotypes created by artist during the Great Depression, such as those created by John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath and Dorthea Lange’s photograph of the “Migrant Mother”. In his book, Gregory “takes us back to the dust bowl migration” to reveal that there is more to Oklahoman, Arkansan, Texan, and Missourian immigrants than economic hardship. He focuses on regionalism, and an “Okie” subculture that was created due to the high rate of migration to California. Gregory sets out to prove that they also had a mass effect on Californian culture and social patterns. Using extremely efficient primary
Herman Koch delivers a riveting commentary on affluenza in his novel “The Dinner”, in which the deleterious effects of affluence play a crucial role in the unfolding events. The term ‘affluenza’ was recently popularized in the 2013 Ethan Couch trial; prior to the twentieth-century, it was heretofore unheard-of. Symptoms include extreme materialism and materialism in the pursuit of status to the detriment of one’s relationships, mental and/or emotional health, and more. When found in youth raised in privilege, such as Ethan Couch, and Koch’s Michael and Rick Lohman, affluenza manifests as an extreme disregard for others’ well-being. Today, the average level of wealth per household, and thus per child, has multiplied since the past decades, evidenced by anecdotes from elders, while affluenza has become a relevant social issue.
On top of this, he argues that the white middle class are unrelenting with their methods of depriving black advancement in American society. Knowledge of this incites many blacks to occupy dead-end jobs, or to settle for mediocrity in the face of adversity. A large number of black males in America find themselves forced to take jobs that offer no security, or socioeconomic growth. He also contends that many blacks are not very literate and therefore left behind in cultural revolutions like the information age. For twelve months between 1962 and 1963, Liebow and a group of researchers studied the behavior of a group of young black men who lived near and frequently hung around a street corner in a poor black neighborhood in downtown Washington, D.C. Liebow’s participant observation revealed the numerous obstacles facing black men on a day-to-day basis, including the structural and individual levels of racial discrimination propagated by whites in society.
Not all the citizens equally enjoyed the prosperous years. The blooming nation of the 50s was veiled by security, enjoyment and happiness. Despite the national prosperity, precariousness and social misery prevailed. The suburban white middle class, which emblematized the prosperity of the era, was only a drop in the sea compared to reality. Beyond the suburban treetops laid the “other America.”
“Coordination refers to that process by which persons collaborate in an attempt to bring into being their visions of what is necessary, noble, and good, and to preclude the enactment of what they fear, hate, or despise” (Pearce, 1989, pp. 32-33). “The events and objects of the social world should be viewed as situated, conjoint accomplishments of an inherently imperfect process of coordination” (Pearce, 1989, p. 33). Essentially, coordination is people getting together to create a joint meaning of good and evil. In Hillbilly Elegy, Vance discusses that when he used to get into fights his Mamaw would always change when he was or was not able to fight.
Mantsios’ compares the profiles of different Americans lifestyles in his text and develops the idea that an individual’s class standing can affect their livelihood in detrimental ways, “The lower one’s class standing, the more difficult it is to secure appropriate housing, the more time is spent on routine tasks of everyday life, the greater is the percentage of income that goes to pay for food and other basic necessities, and the greater is the likelihood of crime victimization” (293). Mantsios explains that one’s class standing can affect the chances of survival and success. Ehrenreich describes her own housing experiences as a low income worker. To reduce her overall costs and to obtain a second job, Ehrenreich moves closer to Key West. Ehrenreich has just enough money to pay the rent and deposit on a tiny trailer at the Overseas Trailer Park.
The story takes place at the height of the Civil Rights Movement in America, when desegregation is finally achieved. Flannery O’Connor’s use of setting augments the mood and deepens the context of the story. However, O’Connor’s method is subtle, often relying on connotation and implication to drive her point across. The story achieves its depressing mood mostly through the use of light and darkness in the setting.
The United States during the late 1800’s through the early 1900’s was a dreamer’s paradise. It was a time where it seemed as though anyone could leave the life they once led to achieve the goals they felt led to pursue. America may have attempted to maintain the facade of a nation that was wealthy, prosperous, and accepting of anyone who had a passion. However, this progressive ideology turned out to be more of an impulse than a national movement. Millions of people gambled their stable lives for lives of excitement and luxury, and relatively few succeeded in achieving their “big break.”
Across time, Okies faced hardships and difficulties like discrimination. This problem comes along for Okies in Jerry Stanley's Children of the Dust Bowl. This book extends with Okies traveling to California which was described as a paradise but instead was greeted with hostility and prejudice. Despite all that, the Okies worked together with Leo hart to build Weedpatch school. Jerry Stanley tries to inform the reader about how the Okies worked together to change their hardships into hope.