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Barbara Ehrenreich funded the study through two main sources: first, the wages and tips she earned through the various jobs she undertook during her experiments in various parts of the country; second, the financial resources she had available through her "other" life as a published author and researcher/activist.
As she prepared for her experiences living and working with those trapped in low-wage jobs, Ehrenreich was very aware that her situation was not the same as that of her coworkers. She had the option to leave her low-paying jobs and her inexpensive housing whenever the hardships of the circumstances became insurmountable, a choice that was not available to others. Her willingness to step away from her material possessions into the low-income lifestyle enabled her to share her experiences and reactions in the book.
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