No Shame in My Game: The Working Poor in the Inner City

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9780375703799: No Shame in My Game: The Working Poor in the Inner City

"Powerful and poignant.... Newman's message is clear and timely." --The Philadelphia Inquirer

In No Shame in My Game, Harvard anthropologist Katherine Newman gives voice to a population for whom work, family, and self-esteem are top priorities despite all the factors that make earning a living next to impossible--minimum wage, lack of child care and health care, and a desperate shortage of even low-paying jobs. By intimately following the lives of nearly 300 inner-city workers and job seekers for two yearsin Harlem, Newman explores a side of poverty often ignored by media and politicians--the working poor.

The working poor find dignity in earning a paycheck and shunning the welfare system, arguing that even low-paying jobs give order to their lives. No Shame in My Game gives voice to a misrepresented segment of today's society, and is sure to spark dialogue over the issues surrounding poverty, working and welfare.

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Review:

Harvard anthropologist Katherine S. Newman explodes the myth of America's unmotivated poor in No Shame in My Game, a study of low-wage workers and their job-seeking peers in central Harlem. This is a frontline perspective: in addition to hundreds of interviews, Newman also put her research assistants behind the counters of the fast-food restaurants alongside the study's subjects. The results show that America's largest group of impoverished citizens is not the unemployed, but the working poor. But what will move readers most is the struggling workers themselves, who suffer the indignities, exhaustion, and low compensation of jobs as "burger flippers" because, as one fast-food restaurant employee, Larry, says, "It's my job. You ain't puttin' no food on my table; you ain't puttin' no clothes on my back. I will walk tall with my Burger Barn uniform on." Newman explains how obstacles such as cuts in welfare, lack of health insurance (almost half of employed Americans under the poverty line have no coverage), and substandard education undercut even the most determined efforts of working poor like Larry. Fortunately, she also offers a thick list of old and new potential solutions to this crisis, from Earned Income Tax Credits to new training programs linking private industry to public schools with at-risk youth. An essential, eye-opening read. --Maria Dolan

From the Publisher:

"Anyone wanting to understand the plight of America's working poor--a group far larger than those on welfare, posing a problem far more challenging than just getting people into jobs--must read this penetrating account. With the eye of a talented anthropologist and the ear of a gifted writer, Katherine Newman shows us people who are playing by the rules yet failing to make a living--and tells us what America must do to give them a second chance."
--Robert B. Reich, author of Locked in the Cabinet and The Work of Nations, University Professor and Hexter Professor of Social and Economic Policy, Brandeis University

"Katherine Newman has written a timely book. No Shame in My Game impressively spells out the incredible obstacles confronting the working poor in high-risk urban neighborhoods. It is a sensitive and moving portrayal of people struggling in low-wage, dead-end jobs to meet the social norms of citizenship. No book provides a greater awareness of the need to link discussions of work obligations and family values with access to opportunities for advancement."
--William Julius Wilson; author of When Work Disappears; Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor, Harvard University

"The working poor do most of the dirty jobs in our society; they also work far harder, with less security, and for much smaller paychecks than the rest of us. They work equally hard, however, trying to retain their dignity, self respect, and pursuit of the American dream, even if most will never be able to afford it.
"Katherine Newman, a talented anthropologist, looks at their jobs and their lives in this story-filled and surprisingly hopeful book. Written for the general reader and social scientist alike, No Shame in My Game should be required reading in every corporate and governmental executive suite."
--Herbert Gans, author of War Against the Poor; Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology, Columbia University

"A truly enlightening study of the hardworking poor in the inner city that instantly takes its place as a sociological classic alongside William Julius Wilson's telling research on the jobless poor. Full of facts and insights running counter to much popular belief, it brings into focus the social costs of a broken opportunity structure. Not least, it is fully accessible to the general reader."
--Robert K. Merton, University Professor Emeritus, Columbia University

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Book Description Random House USA Inc, United States, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Powerful and poignant. Newman s message is clear and timely. --The Philadelphia Inquirer In No Shame in My Game, Harvard anthropologist Katherine Newman gives voice to a population for whom work, family, and self-esteem are top priorities despite all the factors that make earning a living next to impossible--minimum wage, lack of child care and health care, and a desperate shortage of even low-paying jobs. By intimately following the lives of nearly 300 inner-city workers and job seekers for two yearsin Harlem, Newman explores a side of poverty often ignored by media and politicians--the working poor. The working poor find dignity in earning a paycheck and shunning the welfare system, arguing that even low-paying jobs give order to their lives. No Shame in My Game gives voice to a misrepresented segment of today s society, and is sure to spark dialogue over the issues surrounding poverty, working and welfare. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780375703799

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Book Description Random House USA Inc, United States, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Powerful and poignant. Newman s message is clear and timely. --The Philadelphia Inquirer In No Shame in My Game, Harvard anthropologist Katherine Newman gives voice to a population for whom work, family, and self-esteem are top priorities despite all the factors that make earning a living next to impossible--minimum wage, lack of child care and health care, and a desperate shortage of even low-paying jobs. By intimately following the lives of nearly 300 inner-city workers and job seekers for two yearsin Harlem, Newman explores a side of poverty often ignored by media and politicians--the working poor. The working poor find dignity in earning a paycheck and shunning the welfare system, arguing that even low-paying jobs give order to their lives. No Shame in My Game gives voice to a misrepresented segment of today s society, and is sure to spark dialogue over the issues surrounding poverty, working and welfare. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780375703799

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