Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream [Barbara Ehrenreich] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The New York Times. Bait and Switch has ratings and reviews. Trevor said: Part of ” Barbara Ehrenreich is our premier reporter of the underside of capitalism.” — Dorothy. 5 quotes from Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream: ‘This advice comes as a surprise: job searching is not joblessness; it is a jo.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Bait and Switch by Barbara Ehrenreich. The New York Times bestselling investigation into white-collar unemployment from “our premier reporter of the underside of capitalism”–The New York Times Book Review Americans’ working lives are growing more precarious every day.
Corporations slash employees by the thousands, and the benefits and pensions once guaranteed by “middle-class” jobs are a thing of the past. In Ba The New York Times bestselling investigation into white-collar unemployment from “our premier reporter of the underside of capitalism”–The New York Times Book Review Americans’ working lives are growing more precarious every day.
In Bait and SwitchBarbara Ehrenreich goes back undercover to explore another hidden realm of the economy: Armed with the plausible resume of a professional “in transition,” she attempts to land a “middle-class” job. She submits to career coaching, personality testing, and EST-like boot camps, and attends job fairs, networking events, and evangelical job-search ministries.
She is proselytized, scammed, lectured, and–again and again–rejected. Bait and Switch highlights the people who have done everything right–gotten college degrees, developed marketable skills, and built up impressive resumes–yet have become repeatedly vulnerable to financial disaster.
There are few social supports for these newly disposable workers, Ehrenreich discovers, and little security even for those who have jobs. Worst of all, there is no honest reckoning with the inevitable consequences of the harsh new economy; rather, the jobless are persuaded that they have only themselves to blame.
Alternately hilarious and tragic, Bait and Switchlike the classic Nickel and Dimedis a searing expose of the cruel new reality in which we all now live.
Paperbackpages. Published July 25th by St. Martin’s Press first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Bait and Switchplease sign up. Lists with This Book. Jan 25, Trevor rated it really liked it Shelves: I mean, if I have enjoyed spending time with a writer over the couple of days it has taken me to read their book, well, that goes a long way towards me thinking that their book was wonderful and worthwhile.
This book was wonderful and worthwhile and it was written by someone who can both write and be nice at the same time. Over the last couple of decades I have been either employed in a corporation, a government corporation, a local government authority or a trade union reacting to the corporate nonsense that is so beautifully discussed in this book.
One of the things that amuses me most about corporate capitalism is how incredibly seriously it takes itself. There are members of all families that seem to have been born with a disproportionate sense of entitlement. Others never seem to get the rewards they deserve according to the contribution they make in keeping the peace or the trouble they prevent happening to everyone around them. The last eight years of my life were spent representing people faced with the really yucky side of the corporate world — the part where the people I was representing were being disciplined or threatened with the sack.
It has been a journey into the hideous side of human nature, a place where people show their worst sides – some more gleefully than others. On Not Getting By in America. In that book Barbara joined the ranks of minimum wage earners and showed how hard they were expected to work and how little rewarded they were. But white collar people then told Barbara she should write a book about their experience — after all, they had done all the right things: Barbara decides to try to get a job in the corporate world — she tries for a year.
What this book really is, is a book about the scary world of white collar unemployment and recruitment. There are proselytising Christians who think that unemployment is as good a time to become converted to Jesus as any other.
Bait and Switch
There are would be gurus on how to become employed whose sole advice seems to be that you should network and dream big. If you ever needed proof the internet was designed by boys The big lesson in her excursion into attempting to be employed in the corporate world is how insecure everyone is — and not just the poor bastards who end up out of a job, but also those anticipating a restructure or a downsizing event or right sizing or an exercise in focusing on a corporations key competencies or core business or whatever the latest phrase for sacking people is.
That is – everybody! Marx says in Wage-Labor and Capital that the alienation of labour is due to capitalism reducing all skills down so that every job becomes unskilled.
White collar workers are facing that experience today too, I think. One of the things I was involved with in my endless years as a trade union ratbag was reviewing position descriptions and job classification structures.
It soon became clear that these were virtually identical to each other and more or less interchangeable. They always said something about excellence and something about commitment.
She sums up my experience with the corporate world beautifully. They can think for themselves. They love abstract ideas. They can look dispassionately at the facts. Humbug is their enemy. Dissent come easily to them, as does complexity. These are traits that are not only6 unnecessary for most business jobs, they are actually a handicap when it comes to raising through the ranks of large companies.
Bait and Switch – Barbara Ehrenreich – – Allen & Unwin – Australia
This is a fascinating book — one I brabara very much. There is something very sick about our society and the best way to see where the deeply sick and troubling parts of our society are is to watch where the victim is being blamed the most. View all 13 comments. Jun 05, Meg rated it it was ok Recommends it for: OK, so it may be that the blue and pink collar work force is easier to love than middle management.
It may be that the real heroism in this country is found closer to the poverty line then to middle management. Certainly, it is clear that Barbara Ehrenreich believes this to be true.
A comparison of Bait and Switch with her earlier Nickel and Dimed demonstrated that while Ehrenreich finds much to lament in the plight of the working class, she generally finds the corporate world laughable and the Ajd, so it may be that the blue and pink collar work force is easier to love than middle management.
A comparison of Bait and Switch with her earlier Nickel and Dimed demonstrated that while Ehrenreich finds much to lament in the plight of the working class, she generally finds barbafa corporate world laughable and the white collar unemployed closer to pathetic than tragic. Perhaps these are defensible stances, but not when you present yourself, which she shamelessly and unironically does at one point, as deeply compassionate and empathetic, or as the scholarly investigative writer she equally believes herself to represent.
I am always at least a bit put off by investigative writers and documentarians who put themselves at the heart of the story they tell. While it may be necessary to assume a disguise when penetrating a secretive organization or particularly shadowy corporation, surely at least some of the middle class unemployed are not unwilling to speak frankly about their experiences and expectations. Why would stories told in the real voices of the unemployed be less compelling or insightful than Ehrenreich’s own?
But, putting this initial, and only slight objection aside it is fun, after all, to read the narrative of a complete outsider penetrating a new world, even if not entirely convincing my major objection to this book is how callously Ehrenreich dismisses the unemployed workers she interacts with as bwrbara and gullible fools. However, more subtly but equally insidiously, Ehrenreich spends much of the bzit engaging in equally cold victim blaming: Unlike the working class, Ehrenreich seems to suggest, these people should know better.
I have known a few of the barbaa middle class, at least one of whom was swihch without work for more than a year, and none used the myriad methods Ehrenreich so condescendingly employs. But more importantly, are those who do ad such methods really to be mocked rather than pitied? Desperation makes even very smart, very capable people fall pray to illogical behavior.
Surely this is a demonstration of how much these people want to find employment, not of their congenital stupidity. But by far the most barbbara assumption made by Ehrenreich is that she is not only utterly qualified for a corporate position, but that she is over-qualified.
I noticed a similar, although slightly less pervasive, suggestion in Nickel and Dimed. In that book, she mentions that nobody who interviewed or hired her ever commented on her education or that she was a writer. In this newer book, Ehrenreich is even more insulting. Bxrbara seems to think that people should be lining up to hire someone with her not very impressive sounding and MADE UP credentials.
Bait and Switch Quotes by Barbara Ehrenreich
I wonder how she would react to a typical corporate-type who showed up at her door, insisted they were qualified to be a co-author on her next project, and then provided a falsified resume to strengthen their assertion. Surely, she would explain the many hours, even years, which went into honing her craft. She would talk about training and education, the commitment needed to get up every day and write a book. But, she thinks so little of the profession she attempts to enter that she assumes her skills are not only transferable, but better than.
Alright, admittedly, this is a really long review and diatribe. And all this being said, I do think there is a great deal in the corporate world that should be changed.
Bait and Switch Quotes
I agree with Ehrenreich that we should be marching for health care coverage, and to remove more bias from the workplace. The state of the unemployed from all walks of life is lamentable, and I hope never to find myself back in the grind of job-hunting or working in the corporate world, either as a member of middle management or a blue-collar worker. But, I also think that the academic and non-profit worlds are generally out of touch and condescending.
I find it hypocritical to assume that anyone with half a brain, or a conscience, would follow the same path you yourself have taken. There are good people who end up corporate managers, born-again Christians, and Republicans. View all 10 comments. Aug 05, Skywalker rated it liked it. I don’t really understand all of the vitriol that some of the other reviewer’s are expressing about this book.
I biat two stars because I felt that overall she “touched” on the investigative journalism rather than threw herself into it, and it wasn’t her most passionate work. That being said, I have to say as a former job seeker during the California recession ehremreich, this book and it’s assertions are right on the money.
Ehrenreich details the struggle that middle class, otherwise well equipp I don’t really understand all of the vitriol that some of the other reviewer’s are expressing about this book.
Ehrenreich details the struggle that middle class, otherwise well equipped job candidates have to face in getting any sort of employment.