Living on the EdgeWhen Hard Times Become a Way of Life
Living on the Edge
When Hard Times Become a Way of Life

For the majority of Americans, hard times have long been a way of life. Some work multiple low-wage jobs, others face the squeeze of stagnant wages and rising costs of living. Sociologist Celine-Marie Pascale talked with people across Appalachia, at Standing Rock and Wind River Reservations and in the bustling city of Oakland, California. Their voices offer a wide range of experiences that complicate dominant national narratives about economic struggles.

Yet <i>Living on the Edge</i> is about more than individual experiences. It’s about a nation in a deep economic and moral crisis. It’s about the long-standing collusion between government and corporations that prioritizes profits over people, over the environment, and over the nation’s well-being. It’s about how racism, sexism, violence, and the pandemic shape daily experience in struggling communities. And ultimately, it is a book about hope that lays out a vision for the future as honest as it is ambitious.

Most people in the book are not progressives; none are radicals. They’re hard-working people who know from experience that the current system is unsustainable. Across the country people described the need for a living wage, accessible health care, immigration reform, and free education. Their voices are worth listening to.

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  • October 2021
  • 280 pages
  • 152 x 229 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $69.95
  • 9781509548231
  • Paperback $24.95
  • 9781509548248
  • Open eBook $56.00
  • 9781509548255
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 The Lay of the Land

Chapter 2 The Struggling Class

Chapter 3 A Hazardous Life: The High Price of Being Poor

Chapter 4 Sacrifice Zones: The Places We Call Home

Chapter 5 Ordinary Things That Can Only Happen Here

Chapter 6 The Burdens of Prejudice: Class and Race

Chapter 7 The Burdens Women Face

Chapter 8 The Face of A Movement?

Chapter 9 The Myths We Live By

Chapter 10 And Then, The Pandemic…

Chapter 11 The Future We Want

Appendix A: Theory, Method, and Methodology

Appendix B: Table of Interviewees

About the Author
Celine-Marie Pascale is Professor of Sociology at American University.
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