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Challenges for the Working Class and the Poor to Make It in a Postindustrial Economy

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Essay title: Challenges for the Working Class and the Poor to Make It in a Postindustrial Economy

Challenges for the Working Class and the Poor to Make It in a Postindustrial Economy

In the last quarter century the environment that people have relied on to provide them with jobs has gone through some major changes to accommodate the needs that society rely on for everyday function. In the past, the major means for a family to have a reliable, steady income job was usually found through goods-producing jobs such as being a steel worker, seamstress, etc. But throughout time and the changing nature of the world, the jobs once considered ‘dream jobs’ for the country’s educated workforce have now become based on overwork, job insecurity, and increasing stress that affects relationships, families, and friends.

With the decline of goods-producing jobs, service-producing jobs have soared because of the choices we make. As a society we want cheap consumptions ‘now and super sized,’ and with this attitude we are forcing people to take low wage jobs to produce the services we want. This is evident through statistics that estimated that in 1950 service-producing jobs accounted for 45% of the jobs, whereas in 2004 they increased to 74%. With the increase of service-producing jobs, goods-producing jobs have decreased from 45% in 1950 to 26% in 2004. In this paper I am going to use various statistics, examples and readings to support these thoughts and provide evidence to the reader on exactly how these changes in the last century have affected low-wage workers in a variety of ways.

With service-jobs increasing, they’re estimated to account for 18.7 million jobs in the work force, which has inevitably forced both parents in working class families to seek employment to make ends meet. With these jobs only paying a little more that minimum wage, families with children are having a hard time paying for child care therefore, having to make other arrangements to accommodate the needs of their children. In the article “Families on the Fault Line,” Lillian Rubin discusses how the family is struggling to maintain positive, healthy relationships when both parents are working, sometimes different shifts, to care for their children with each parent having a different view on whose responsibility it is to maintain household functions (laundry, dishes, shopping, etc.) while the other one is at work. Most men see household chores to be a woman’s responsibility, while others believe that they should be divided equally between the parents and their work schedules. With these conflicting opinions, the article discusses how work, instead of home, is seen as more relaxing for a woman than being at home because at work she is appreciated, has friends (a social life), and her only job there is to work. Rather when she is at home her duties never end, including taking care of the family, fixing dinner, solving quarrels and complaints of her children, and having intimate relationships with her husband. With women being so busy with life, an area that seems to struggle between couples is sex. If a couple works different schedules they maybe see each other for an hour, which kind of puts a damper on the time for spontaneity and intimacy for sex. This seems to be a complaint that men and women often express because sex becomes a bigger problem that needs attention rather than that a time out for pleasure and renewal. Consequently, husbands and wives have been forced to individually invent solutions (ex: different work schedules) to the common problem of both parents having to work to support the family and sometimes adapting in ways that hurt themselves, their marriages, and/or their children. Additionally, the general public has failed to see the real shift in women’s responsibilities and thus continues to support ways of organizing social life that assumes women’s responsibilities are primarily in the home, which in the end has affected the way people look at a woman’s role in society and her commitment that she has to separate between the two of them.

To enforce how the economy is changing, it is estimated the highest number of jobs on the increase from 2004-2014 number-wise are waitresses, food prep workers, and customer service representatives

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