Article Summary

In “Working at McDonalds,” Amitai Etzioni argues that after-schools jobs are not good for teenagers. At first, these jobs were seen as a way that teenagers could be independent, which is okay, but they have turned be eroding education that is really important in arming teenagers with the skills required for one to be successful in life. The McDonald types of jobs are “highly routinized” and this leaves little chance for the teens to be independent or creative in any way. The skills that they learn in these jobs provide them with skills that are not marketable in life and limited career advancement prospects for the employees. The working hours are very long, and this eventually affects the teenagers’ performance in school since they are left with little time to focus on their studies. These jobs also lack leaders who can inspire employees to be better citizens. After working hard for their money, most of the times, they misuse the money in unnecessary things mainly because they don’t have anything important to do with money. Teens prefer the comfort that comes with money over getting good grades in school. Parents should ensure that there is a balance between education and hunger for money.

Critical Response

Amitai Etzioni’s article is very accurate, but it seems he did very little in looking at the better side of teens having a job while in school. Basically what one may think should be done is there should be a balance between their education, which is the most important thing for every child, and them having after-school jobs. First, one will look at the other side that the writer did not exploit completely.

It is necessary for teenagers to be in some employment. This should just be for a couple of hours after school to allow the kid time to embark on his/her school work. This way, the teenager will gain a lot of responsibilities from the job experience. In the absence of some employment during the adolescent years, a teenager may experience difficulty in adjusting to the life in the real world after graduation. Another advantage that comes with these jobs is that the teenagers will be able to buy for themselves the things that they need. This is something that Amitai Etzioni acknowledged. The problem is teenagers in most cases don’t use money wisely mostly those from rich families. We should, however, use that to conclude that these monies are always wasted. There are kids who are very poor, and they are the ones who support their families and they have successfully juggled between their education and job. Research has also indicated that many of these kids perform better than their colleagues who come from rich families. The finding is that teenagers who work for about ten to fifteen hours in a week perform better in school. Being in the same environment with adults and learning how to keep time, arms them with good organization skills.  It is viewed that they give their best in whatever they do especially in education for it is the only thing that guarantees a brighter future for all their future generations. A good number of teenagers who come from rich families and don’t have after-school jobs don’t perform well in school. Maybe this is because they have never worked hard nor suffered in their entire life. They are lazy because their parents provide everything for them, and they are given a lot of money which in most cases they use in buying luxurious stuff and even drugs and alcohol. These kids are lazy, and they also drop out of school. Therefore, Amitai Etzioni is not correct by saying that after-school jobs are responsible for teenagers dropping out and misuse of money. These two issues involve a lot of parameters, and all of them should be analyzed before drawing any conclusion.

It is worth to note that balance should be the main objective of teenagers who are working instead of just saying that they should go back to school. It is also crucial that both the parents and teens be aware of the laws that govern workplace and what the tens stand to gain apart from just being paid. This is important given that 80% of teens have worked at some point.



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