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“Out With The Old, In With The New”

973 words - 4 pages

Society is constantly changing and creating a new generation based on progression and promotion. People’s lives tend to be centered around working and bettering themselves. Most of the world is now based on a service and manufacturing economy. It is now survival of the fittest, which creates new groups of people looking for success. There is a new generation of Chinese migrants who aspire to break away from tradition and work in the city to become successful. Independence has become a new fad in the Chinese world instead of village life. These people have the option to work or stay in the village. However, there is a generation of people in America who must work to survive. Their lives consist of paycheck to paycheck. While miles apart, both generations are working harder than ever.
The book Factory Girls illustrates the story of young Chinese women who leave their village looking for success in the city. The women “go out and stay out” leaving village life behind (Factory Girls 11). While they want to earn money, that is not their only desire for breaking tradition. “In surveys, migrants [ranked] “seeing the world,” “developing myself,” and “learning new skills” as important as increasing their income” (Factory Girls 13). There is a constant need in these women to develop their education and skills as well as create a more independent life. Times have changed and the migrants find village life an old concept. Even though “migration is emptying the villages,” labor in the city is not an ideal situation (Factory Girls 13).
Working conditions in the factories are not pleasant. Sometimes there could be over ten people sharing a room. Work can last far beyond the legal limit, and the payment is low. However, there is more room for promotion in these factories, which is the motivation for these women. The factories also provide housing for the workers. Even though the pay is low, the migrants do not have to pay for many extra expenses. The migrant women are also very proud always doting on their new clothes. They work for themselves, not for their country or their families. They also do not settle. The migrants are constantly leaving factories and searching for better factory jobs. There is a stress for looking toward the future and finding success. Chunming, a migrant worker, believed, “We are not doomed to failure. Because we are all born winners” (Factory Girls 69). For migrant workers, this is a common theme in city life.
However, America is sometimes a different story. In the book Nickel and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich joined the working class to understand the life of poverty. She moved around and tried different minimum wage jobs. Ehrenreich met many people struggling to get by on her journey. She found it very challenging to find well paying jobs and housing. She immersed herself in the service world working at restaurants and Wal Mart as well as...

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