In the collection Money Changes Everything, students encounter questions about how money changes us. We read about the unpaid work of motherhood in Ann Crittenden’s essay, and the unpaid labor of college athletes in Murray Sperber’s essay.
This essay assignment asks students to consider an unpaid labor (which they do or do not personally perform) and make an argument that it should become paid labor.
Through readings from the collection, and supplemental articles, students confront the idea that money gives us a certain kind of value, prestige, power. And they wrestle with the idea that sometimes, money doesn’t always get exchanged equally for goods and services.
Through free writes and class discussion, students consider what it would be like if all of their unpaid labor were suddenly compensated with money; and they weigh the pros and cons of paying someone for a kidney; paying a surrogate mother; paying a birth mother; paying a college football player; paying a stay at home parent.
Using quotations, good reasons, narrative, benefits, and audience appeals, students compose a 750-1,000-word essay that makes a clear argument to a self-chosen audience: pay for this perviously unpaid labor.