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“Waging a Living.” Weisberg, Roger. DvD, 2006
The thesis of these works is to establish the reason the working poor exist as they do even though they put so many hours into their jobs. It focuses on determining what conditions exist to make creating a good life such a difficult undertaking. In proving his findings, the first author, Roger Weisberg shoots a film that documents the struggles of various people who are experiencing hardships. In producing this revealing documentary, Weisberg finds that he has to revise his notions as to what life is all about.
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Having grown up in a much more privileged background, he also points out that there was a mood of positivity and progress in the era of his childhood that is sadly lacking in today’s society. That idealism saw the realization of civil rights for every minority race implemented by government and trips to the moon. Roger Weisberg seems to have benefited greatly from this positivism which he freely admits, prompts him to seek to improve life for those who have not had the privileges that he has.
The main subjects of Wisberg’s documentary are low-wage workers who sincerely believe that hard work will ultimately bring rewards. Even when their lives seem to indicate the opposite, they hold onto this hope with a burning fervor. They comprise of a certified nursing assistant who earns 11 dollars an hour and supports even the grandchildren, and a recreational therapist earning 8 dollars an hour. The stories of a single mother of three who works as a waiter and earns two dollars an hour, and a security guard who earns 12 dollars an hour are also featured.
Keller, Bill. Class Matters. New York: Times Books, 2005. Print.
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As a producer for documentaries seen on public television, Roger Weisberg cannot be identified as a member of the working poor. By virtue of working in the mass media, he is in a better position to capture the struggles of the poor and highlight them in programs in a way that captures the sympathy of the public and generates a positive feedback. This can be in the form of revised policies to help the poor find jobs easily or grants for financial assistance in acquiring college education.
There is a similariity between this article and the one about Angela Whitaker’s climb as concerns her earlier life but not in the later period of her life. Angela’s story is heart-wrenching in that it displays the typical poor minority who is a victim of her circumstances. Seeking a relationship to supplement the missing father, Angela gets child after child, starting from the age of fifteen. Matters are not helped by the fact that she is also a drug addict. The lack of a father seems to have caused considerable stress in her life. She continues to have more children even when she is mature and can make the decision not to.
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However, Angela through sheer hard work and lots of luck finally becomes a nurse and can comfortably support her huge family with 83,000 dollars a year salary. There are utilities in the house that are not paid for. In spite of that, her family’s current predicament in no way begins to mirror that of individuals scrapping along on less than 10 dollars an hour. The author of this work, Isabel Wilkerson, is an acclaimed African American author who, through sheer hard work, found success just like her subject Angela did. She thus deeply relates to her subject matter.
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