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15 Years on the Bottom Rung/“AngelaWhitiker’s Climb”

15 Years on the Bottom Rung/“AngelaWhitiker’s Climb” Paper details: http://socialinequal…ela-whitikers-climb-extra.html and also tis article ……http://www.personal.psu.edu/noa51https://secure.livechatinc.com/licence/5580561/open_chat.cgi?groups=0&embedded=1&session_id=S1446075591.d2dee47990#02/blogs/nazs_hdfs_blog/2011/09/class-matters-chapter-8-fifteen-years-on-the-bottom-rung.html …….. these are the links to both articles*********(CONTRAST ESSAY)…..FIRST A BACKGROUND INFORMATION THEN FOLLOWED BY A THESIS………..THEN ALL 4 PARAGRAPHS MUST START WITH A TOPIC SENTENCE,THEN SUPORTING DETAILS,CONLUDING THNE SENTENCE ALL 4 PARAGRAPHS MUST FOLLOW THAT ORDER … Chapter 14: “AngelaWhitiker’s Climb” The main character, Angela Whitiker, is an African-American nurse who has had a difficult life trying to escape poverty, even though by becoming a nurse she becomes part of the middle class. Angela was born in the working-class as the third child out of five. Her mother was a cook, and her father was a laborer who had never stayed at home since Angela was ten. Due to her father’s absence during her adolescence, Whitiker used other men as substitutes for her father, so that she may feel men’s affection. For this reason, she had five children when she was 23 years old without a husband, where she had been both married and separated with men; she finally had the responsibility of taking care of five children by herself. However, she did not have a high school degree or skills. Thus, she could only work in the manual labor, such as a fast food restaurant clerk position, where these jobs paid the lowest. Fortunately, the father of her youngest child Christopher, Jonathan, paid the rent so that she could better her lifestyle. Furthermore, Jonathan supported her enrollment in a college pre-nursing program. However, she broke up with Jonathan soon after enrolling, and returned to being a poor single mom with children. While earning low wages, Angela met a guy named Vincent Allen. He had a college degree and came from a stable middle-class family. Based on his background, he knew how to fill the father role in the family, and also how to nurture the children as a parent. He also strongly supported Angela financially and emotionally so that she was able to become a nurse. The couple established a long-term plan to save money for a home and car in the future. To achieve these goals, Whitiker would become a nurse to receive a higher level of income, which would then lead them to become middle class. However, Vincent and Whitiker’s eldest son, Nicholas, had a serious conflict, since Vincent played role of “father,” which Nicholas had also done for his younger siblings. Eventually Nicholas left home and joined a drug dealer family. Angela sent Nicholas to his father’s home for protection. However, Nicholas wandered the streets for some time. Angela passed the state examination to get a nursing license. However, she could not receive employment in a good hospital, due to her lack of social connections, as well as her lack of an college degree. Due to this reason, she began to work for a small hospital, working extremely hard to build her career so that she could earn a higher income. She believed that she would be rewarded in accordance with her effort, even though other workers earned more. Due to class differences, Whitiker became stressed, for it was hard to integrate with other nurses, who mainly came from the middle class. These other nurses seemed to have more confidence and comfort in being nurses than Whitiker. This stress was caused by the fact that Angela judged herself as not fitting in the middle class, even though she made enough money to be considered a member, as well as to have a better lifestyle. Although Angela made enough money to enjoy a middle class life, she could not accumulate wealth because she still had to pay for her car and home. She also had to pay expenses for her five children, which included educational and subsistence fees. Furthermore, her relatives, friends, acquaintances and parents asked for financial help, since she earned more money. For this reason, she was unable to save money, which led her to be unable to ready for retirement. Compared to Whitiker, Vincent’s wage was relatively low. Thus, the salary was helpful to general subsistence, but it could not be the main source of wealth. In this situation, Angela tried to invest a lot of money for her children’s education, so that she could offer a better environment so that they could develop their abilities. For example, Whitiker encouraged her youngest son, Christopher, to participate in the gifted class to find and develop his potential abilities. While investing vast money for their education, Whitiker felt sorry for her two big sons, Nicholas and Willie, because they could not receive educational support from her due to her poverty and lack of attention. Due to this reason, two sons became criminals without a high school degree. Whitiker separated these two children from others because they were sources of bad influence. Whitiker was able to leave impoverished conditions and become part of the middle class by having a professional occupation. However, her present life did not become the perfect middle class life, since her two eldest sons had low levels of education and no professional jobs. Despite the fact that these children lacked education, Whitiker and her husband tried to offer the best environment for the children so that they could achieve higher education and eventually receive professional jobs. According to Walter Allen, a UCLA sociology professor, Angela could achieve upward mobility because she has two dimensions: human capital and social capital. Human capital signifies a “person’s education, job credentials, and employability.” Social capital is “emotional support and encouragement from a reliable stakeholder in one’s life” (230). Whitiker gained human capital by becoming a nurse by enrolling in a college nursing program. She also gained good social capital by marrying Vincent, who supported her in her endeavor in becoming a nurse. These two dimensions helped her escape poverty, but still left her unable to become part of the middle class. However, Whitiker’s middle class existence was still unstable, because she could not accumulate wealth, and there was also invisible racism toward African-Americans in the U.S. Despite this situation, sociologists predict that Angela’s children will become more stable and have higher social positions in the future, since Angela had a higher level of education and stability. As seen with Whitiker’s case, if social benefits such as educational programs are offered to highly motivated poor women such as Angela, they can overcome their poverty to nurture their children to move upward and become good workers for American society. 15 Years on the Bottom Rung By ANTHONY DePALMA Angel Franco/The New York Times Juan Manuel Peralta and his daughter, Heidi. His two children, born here, are citizens; he and his wife, Matilde, are here illegally. ________________________________________ In the dark before dawn, when Madison Avenue was all but deserted and its pricey boutiques were still locked up tight, several Mexicans slipped quietly into 3 Guys, a restaurant that the Zagat guide once called “the most expensive coffee shop in New York.” For the next 10 hours they would fry eggs, grill burgers, pour coffee and wash dishes for a stream of customers from the Upper East Side of Manhattan. By 7:35 a.m., Eliot Spitzer, attorney general of New York, was holding a power breakfast back near the polished granite counter. In the same burgundy booth a few hours later, Michael A. Wiener, co-founder of the multibillion-dollar Infinity Broadcasting, grabbed a bite with his wife, Zena. Just the day before, Uma Thurman slipped in for a quiet lunch with her children, but the paparazzi found her and she left. More Mexicans filed in to begin their shifts throughout the morning, and by the time John Zannikos, one of the restaurant’s three Greek owners, drove in from the North Jersey suburbs to work the lunch crowd, Madison Avenue was buzzing. So was 3 Guys. “You got to wait a little bit,” Mr. Zannikos said to a pride of elegant women who had spent the morning at the Whitney Museum of American Art, across Madison Avenue at 75th Street. For an illiterate immigrant who came to New York years ago with nothing but $100 in his pocket and a willingness to work etched on his heart, could any words have been sweeter to say? With its wealthy clientele, middle-class owners and low-income work force, 3 Guys is a template of the class divisions in America. But it is also the setting for two starkly different tales about breaching those divides. The familiar story is Mr. Zannikos’s. For him, the restaurant – don’t dare call it a diner – with its $20 salads and elegant décor represents the American promise of upward mobility, one that has been fulfilled countless times for generations of hard-working immigrants. But for Juan Manuel Peralta, a 34-year-old illegal immigrant who worked there for five years until he was fired last May, and for many of the other illegal Mexican> immigrants in the back, restaurant work today is more like a dead end. They are finding the American dream of moving up far more elusive than it was for Mr. Zannikos. Despite his efforts to help them, they risk becoming stuck in a permanent underclass of the poor, the unskilled and the uneducated. That is not to suggest that the nearly five million Mexicans who, like Mr. Peralta, are living in the United States illegally will never emerge from the shadows. Many have, and undoubtedly many more will. But the sheer size of the influx – over 400,000 a year, with no end in sight – creates a problem all its own. It means there is an ever-growing pool of interchangeable workers, many of them shunting from one low-paying job to another. If one moves on, another one – or maybe two or three – is there to take his place. Although Mr. Peralta arrived in New York almost 40 years after Mr. Zannikos, the two share a remarkably similar beginning. They came at the same age to the same section of New York City, without legal papers or more than a few words of English. Each dreamed of a better life. But monumental changes in the economy and in attitudes toward immigrants have made it far less likely that Mr. Peralta and his children will experience the same upward mobility as Mr. Zannikos and his family. Of course, there is a chance that Mr. Peralta may yet take his place among the Mexican-Americans who have succeeded here. He realizes that he will probably not do as well as the few who have risen to high office or who were able to buy the vineyards where their grandfathers once picked grapes. But he still dreams that his children will someday join the millions who have lost their accents, gotten good educations and firmly achieved the American dream. Political scientists are divided over whether the 25 million people of Mexican ancestry in the United States represent an exception to the classic immigrant success story. Some, like John H. Mollenkopf at the City University of New York, are convinced that Mexicans will eventually do as well as the Greeks, Italians and other Europeans of the last century who were usually well assimilated after two or three generations. Others, including Mexican-Americans like Rodolfo O. de la Garza, a professor at Columbia, have done studies showing that Mexican-Americans face so many obstacles that even the fourth generation trails other Americans in education, home ownership and household income. The situation is even worse for the millions more who have illegally entered the United States since 1990. Spread out in scores of cities far beyond the Southwest, they find jobs plentiful but advancement difficult. President Vicente Fox of Mexico was forced to apologize this month for declaring publicly what many Mexicans say they feel, that the illegal immigrants “are doing the work that not even blacks want to do in the United States.” Resentment and race subtly stand in their way, as does a lingering attachment to Mexico, which is so close that many immigrants do not put down deep roots here. They say they plan to stay only long enough to make some money and then go back home. Few ever do. But the biggest obstacle is their illegal status. With few routes open to become legal, they remain, like Mr. Peralta, without rights, without security and without a clear path to a better future. “It’s worrisome,” said Richard Alba, a sociologist at the State University of New York, Albany, who studies the assimilation and class mobility of contemporary immigrants, “and I don’t see much reason to believe this will change.” Little has changed for Mr. Peralta, a cook who has worked at menial jobs in the United States for the last 15 years. Though he makes more than he ever dreamed of in Mexico, his life is anything but middle class and setbacks are routine. Still, he has not given up hope. Querer es poder, he sometimes says: Want something badly enough and you will get it. But desire may not be enough anymore. That is what concerns Arturo Sarukhan, Mexico’s consul general in New York. Mr. Sarukhan recently took an urgent call from New York’s police commissioner about an increase in gang activity among young Mexican men, a sign that they were moving into the underside of American life. Of all immigrants in New York City, officials say, Mexicans are the poorest, least educated and least likely to speak English. The failure or success of this generation of Mexicans in the United States will determine the place that Mexicans will hold here in years to come, Mr. Sarukhan said, and the outlook is not encouraging. “They will be better off than they could ever have been in Mexico,” he said, “but I don’t think that’s going to be enough to prevent them from becoming an underclass in New York.” Different Results There is a break in the middle of the day at 3 Guys, after the lunchtime limousines leave and before the private schools let out. That was when Mr. Zannikos asked the Mexican cook who replaced Mr. Peralta to prepare some lunch for him. Then Mr. Zannikos carried the chicken breast on pita to the last table in the restaurant. “My life story is a good story, a lot of success,” he said, his accent still heavy. He was just a teenager when he left the Greek island of Chios, a few miles off the coast of Turkey. World War II had just ended, and Greece was in ruins. “There was only rich and poor, that’s it,” Mr. Zannikos said. “There was no middle class like you have here.” He is 70 now, with short gray hair and soft eyes that can water at a mention of the past. Because of the war, he said, he never got past the second grade, never learned to read or write. He signed on as a merchant seaman, and in 1953, when he was 19, his ship docked at Norfolk, Va. He went ashore one Saturday with no intention of ever returning to Greece. He left behind everything, including his travel documents. All he had in his pockets was $100 and the address of his mother’s cousin in the Jackson Heights-Corona section of Queens. Almost four decades later, Mr. Peralta underwent a similar rite of passage out of Mexico. He had finished the eighth grade in the poor southern state of Guerrero and saw nothing in his future there but fixing flat tires. His father, Inocencio, had once dreamed of going to the United States, but never had the money. In 1990, he borrowed enough to give his first-born son a chance. Mr. Peralta was 19 when he boarded a smoky bus that carried him through the deserted hills of Guerrero and kept going until it reached the edge of Mexico. With eight other Mexicans he did not know, he crawled through a sewer tunnel that started in Tijuana and ended on the other side of the border, in what Mexicans call el Norte. He had carried no documents, no photographs and no money, except what his father gave him to pay his shifty guide and to buy an airline ticket to New York. Deep in a pocket was the address of an uncle in the same section of Queens where Mr. Zannikos had gotten his start. By 1990, the area had gone from largely Greek to mostly Latino. Starting over in the same working-class neighborhood, Mr. Peralta and Mr. Zannikos quickly learned that New York was full of opportunities and obstacles, often in equal measure. On his first day there, Mr. Zannikos, scared and feeling lost, found the building he was looking for, but his mother’s cousin had moved. He had no idea what to do until a Greek man passed by. Walk five blocks to the Deluxe Diner, the man said. He did. The diner was full of Greek housepainters, including one who knew Mr. Zannikos’s father. On the spot, they offered him a job painting closets, where his mistakes would be hidden. He painted until the weather turned cold. Another Greek hired him as a dishwasher at his coffee shop in the Bronx. It was not easy, but Mr. Zannikos worked his way up to short-order cook, learning English as he went along. In 1956, immigration officials raided the coffee shop. He was deported, but after a short while he managed to sneak back into the country. Three years later he married a Puerto Rican from the Bronx. The marriage lasted only a year, but it put him on the road to becoming a citizen. Now he could buy his own restaurant, a greasy spoon in the South Bronx that catered to a late-night clientele of prostitutes and undercover police officers. Since then, he has bought and sold more than a dozen New York diners, but none have been more successful than the original 3 Guys, which opened in 1978. He and his partners own two other restaurants with the same name farther up Madison Avenue, but they have never replicated the high-end appeal of the original. “When employees come in I teach them, ‘Hey, this is a different neighborhood,’ ” Mr. Zannikos said. What may be standard in some other diners is not tolerated here. There are no Greek flags or tourism posters. There is no television or twirling tower of cakes with cream pompadours. Waiters are forbidden to chew gum. No customer is ever called “Honey.” “They know their place and I know my place,” Mr. Zannikos said of his customers. “It’s as simple as that.” His place in society now is a far cry from his days in the Bronx. He and his second wife, June, live in Wyckoff, a New Jersey suburb where he pampers fig trees and dutifully looks after a bird feeder shaped like the Parthenon. They own a condominium in Florida. His three children all went far beyond his second-grade education, finishing high school or attending college. They have all done well, as has Mr. Zannikos, who says he makes about $130,000 a year. He says he is not sensitive to class distinctions, but he admits he was bothered when some people mistook him for the caterer at fund-raising dinners for the local Greek church he helped build. All in all, he thinks immigrants today have a better chance of moving up the class ladder than he did 50 years ago. “At that time, no bank would give us any money, but today they give you credit cards in the mail,” he said. “New York still gives you more opportunity that any other place. If you want to do things, you will.” He says he has done well, and he is content with his station in life. “I’m in the middle and I’m happy.” A Divisive Issue Mr. Peralta cannot guess what class Mr. Zannikos belongs to. But he is certain that it is much tougher for an immigrant to get ahead today than 50 years ago. And he has no doubt about his own class. “La pobreza,” he says. “Poverty.” It was not what he expected when he boarded the bus to the border, but it did not take long for him to realize that success in the United States required more than hard work. “A lot of it has to do with luck,” he said during a lunch break on a stoop around the corner from the Queens diner where he went to work after 3 Guys. “People come here, and in no more than a year or two they can buy their own house and have a car,” Mr. Peralta said. “Me, I’ve been here 15 years, and if I die tomorrow, there wouldn’t even be enough money to bury me.” In 1990, Mr. Peralta was in the vanguard of Mexican immigrants who bypassed the traditional barrios in border states to work in far-flung cities like Denver and New York. The 2000 census counted 186,872 Mexicans in New York, triple the 1990 figure, and there are undoubtedly many more today. The Mexican consulate, which serves the metropolitan region, has issued more than 500,000 ID cards just since 2001. Fifty years ago, illegal immigration was a minor problem. Now it is a divisive national issue, pitting those who welcome cheap labor against those with concerns about border security and the cost of providing social services. Though newly arrived Mexicans often work in industries that rely on cheap labor, like restaurants and construction, they rarely organize. Most are desperate to stay out of sight. Mr. Peralta hooked up with his uncle the morning he arrived in New York. He did not work for weeks until the bakery where the uncle worked had an opening, a part-time job making muffins. He took it, though he didn’t know muffins from crumb cake. When he saw that he would not make enough to repay his father, he took a second job making night deliveries for a Manhattan diner. By the end of his first day he was so lost he had to spend all his tip money on a cab ride home. He quit the diner, but working there even briefly opened his eyes to how easy it could be to make money in New York. Diners were everywhere, and so were jobs making deliveries, washing dishes or busing tables. In six months, Mr. Peralta had paid back the money his father gave him. He bounced from job to job and in 1995, eager to show off his newfound success, he went back to Mexico with his pockets full of money, and he married. He was 25 then, the same age at which Mr. Zannikos married. But the similarities end there. When Mr. Zannikos jumped ship, he left Greece behind for good. Though he himself had no documents, the compatriots he encountered on his first days were here legally, like most other Greek immigrants, and could help him. Greeks had never come to the United States in large numbers – the 2000 census counted only 29,805 New Yorkers born in Greece – but they tended to settle in just a few areas, like the Astoria section of Queens, which became cohesive communities ready to help new arrivals. Mr. Peralta, like many other Mexicans, is trying to make it on his own and has never severed his emotional or financial ties to home. After five years in New York’s Latino community, he spoke little English and owned little more than the clothes on his back. He decided to return to Huamuxtitlán (pronounced wa-moosh-teet-LAHN), the dusty village beneath a flat-topped mountain where he was born. “People thought that since I was coming back from el Norte, I would be so rich that I could spread m]]>

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