Getting Ready

Discussion Questions

  1. How does the author’s background prepare her to succeed in the low wage workforce?
  2. Why doesn’t the author simply pay herself a low wage and charge herself a low rent and stay at home?
  3. Why doesn’t the author go to New York City or Los Angeles to conduct her low wage experiment?
  4. What does the author mean when she says that wageworkers are no more homogeneous than people who write for a living?
  5. Why weren’t the author’s co-workers more surprised when she told them she was writing a book about the working poor?
  6. Are there any characteristics that might give the author away, revealing that she is not a full time wageworker?
  7. Is it easy to tell if someone has a lot of education? Why or why not?
  8. Do you think there are distinct classes in this society?
  9. If you believe a class structure exists in America, does social mobility make it more tolerable?
  10. It used to be that rich college kids would have to work for low wages in the summer. Is this an important experience for teaching how people on a low income survive?