On (Not) Getting By in America

I would find it almost impossible to live off of minimum wage even in Massachusetts where we have one of the highest at $8.00 an hour. Ehrenreicht says that according to the Coalition for the Homeless, in 1998 it took an hourly wage of $8.89 to afford a one bedroom apartment. Costs of living have only gone up since 1998.

When you add children to the equation, it becomes necessary to work more than one job to make ends meet unless you want to live in the crowded (and many times full) homeless shelters. It then becomes necessary to provide for child care which isn’t cheap. Welfare would be an option but providing for two kids takes money and no matter what aid a mother gets, if she is earning minimum wage, food and basic needs will go unmet.

As much as it would be great for minimum wage to go up, small business owners are strapped already and raising wages would put some businesses under which would be counterproductive.


The three theoretical models used to explain and treat eating disorders are the biomedical model, the psychological model, and the third model which says eating disorders are “gendered.” The biomedical model is tends to be very one-sided offering only physiological causes and potentially harmful treatments. It disregards societal and cultural factors that also may cause eating disorders. The psychological model is more multi-faceted asserting that eating disorders are “multidimensional disorders.” Although treatment has been found to be useful, it also ignores certain societal and cultural causes of eating disorders like the biomedical model. The third model which is feminist-based focuses on how the societal issue of sexism could relate to eating disorders. This model asserts that “thinness is a culturally, socially, and economically enforced requirement for female beauty.”

Class standing is also a factor in eating disorders. Some are intertwined with race as well. As different races began to become “mobile,” it became important to be like the white women and be thin. Even though, in many cultures like the Puerto Rican culture being thin is a sign of malnutrition or illness, in America it is the image of the rich white women. Since people who come to America seek the American dream, part of achieving it now is to not only play the part but to look the part as well. By Nicole