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Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right (2016)

by Arlie Russell Hochschild

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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8692818,661 (4.15)1 / 107
"In Strangers in Their Own Land, the renowned sociologist Arlie Hochschild embarks on a thought-provoking journey from her liberal hometown of Berkeley, California, deep into Louisiana bayou country--a stronghold of the conservative right. As she gets to know people who strongly oppose many of the ideas she famously champions, Hochschild nevertheless finds common ground and quickly warms to the people she meets--among them a Tea Party activist whose town has been swallowed by a sinkhole caused by a drilling accident--people whose concerns are actually ones that all Americans share: the desire for community, the embrace of family, and hopes for their children. Strangers in Their Own Land goes beyond the commonplace liberal idea that these are people who have been duped into voting against their own interests. Instead, Hochschild finds lives ripped apart by stagnant wages, a loss of home, an elusive American dream--and political choices and views that make sense in the context of their lives. Hochschild draws on her expert knowledge of the sociology of emotion to help us understand what it feels like to live in "red" America. Along the way she finds answers to one of the crucial questions of contemporary American politics: why do the people who would seem to benefit most from "liberal" government intervention abhor the very idea?"--… (more)
Recently added bykevinwoneill, wagnerkim, glshields, Jinjer, hemmputnam, private library, ctcoke
  1. 10
    The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker (Chicago Studies in American Politics) by Katherine J. Cramer (arethusarose)
    arethusarose: Covers rural Wisconsin, with similar intent. The rural north haste some different issues, but many of the same reasons; this is another book showing party change; Wisconsin used to be a State with strong liberal tendencies, but neoliberal policies have made this change.… (more)
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English (27)  Dutch (1)  All languages (28)
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
I had some trepidation about this book because of so many bad articles purporting to explore our political divide, especially in the Trump era. Hochschild's book is significantly better than most of these efforts. She focuses on a single area (south Louisiana, especially the Lake Charles area) and particularly on the petrochemical injury and its disastrous effects on the environment. The book succeeds because while her bias is clear--she thinks the right wing is factually wrong, and brings evidence to show how their policies have failed Louisiana and its people--she is not condescending towards the people she's studying. Their feelings are real, and they're complex individuals.

The conclusions she draws aren't earth shattering--people believe in these ideas in part because of life experience (government has not shown itself to be effective, especially when it comes to environmental regulation--if they'll stop you from fishing, but not stop companies from dumping in the bayou, what good are the regulations?) and in part because of their values and world view. She does a nice job of letting people tell their stories and explain themselves, and puts it into a good politician and historical context in a relatively short space. ( )
  arosoff | Jul 11, 2021 |
Good picture of people in the deep US south voting for the right. But even after reading this, I still do not understand why these people are voting against their own interests (but that non-understanding has nothing to do with the quality of the writer/book). ( )
  deblemrc | Jan 31, 2021 |
An interesting exploration of folks who identify as conservatives or tea party folks in Louisiana are seeing life pass them by - and the resentment this grows. My one big takeaway from this book is that US citizens need to wake up and realize their American Dream is just that -- a myth that has been used by a certain group of people to exploit the rest of the citizens, and that the US itself is a country just like any other country - maybe a tad bigger. Of course that is not all there is to the book -- the telling of the deep story that the people interviewed can identify with is important, the lack of education and critical thinking that enables local and regional governments to get away with, well, murder, are all important as well. Definitely worth reading, but I have to admit that I am having a hard time getting over that wall of lack of empathy... ( )
  WiebkeK | Jan 21, 2021 |
a must read for understanding the political divide ( )
  ThomasPluck | Apr 27, 2020 |
In Strangers in Their Own Land, the renowned sociologist Arlie Hochschild embarks on a thought-provoking journey from her liberal hometown deep into Louisiana bayou country--a stronghold of the conservative right. SOFT
  JRCornell | Jan 29, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
Hochschild made 10 trips to southwestern Louisiana from 2011 to 2016, extended forays away from her perch at the University of California at Berkeley, to delve into her “keen interest in how life feels to people on the right — that is, in the emotion that underlies politics. To understand their emotions,”
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Arlie Russell Hochschildprimary authorall editionscalculated
Toren, SuzanneNarratormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bischoff, UlrikeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
dix!Designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mahon, EmilyCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Misrach, RichardCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smeets, IngridTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Harold and Annette Areno. And for Willie, Wilma, Marylee, Mike T., Clara, and the General
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Along the clay road, Mike's red truck cuts slowly between tall rows of sugarcane, sassy, silvery tassels waving in the October sun, extending across an alluvial plain as far as the eye can see.
(Preface) When I began this research five years ago, I was becoming alarmed at the increasingly hostile split in our nation between two political camps.
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"In Strangers in Their Own Land, the renowned sociologist Arlie Hochschild embarks on a thought-provoking journey from her liberal hometown of Berkeley, California, deep into Louisiana bayou country--a stronghold of the conservative right. As she gets to know people who strongly oppose many of the ideas she famously champions, Hochschild nevertheless finds common ground and quickly warms to the people she meets--among them a Tea Party activist whose town has been swallowed by a sinkhole caused by a drilling accident--people whose concerns are actually ones that all Americans share: the desire for community, the embrace of family, and hopes for their children. Strangers in Their Own Land goes beyond the commonplace liberal idea that these are people who have been duped into voting against their own interests. Instead, Hochschild finds lives ripped apart by stagnant wages, a loss of home, an elusive American dream--and political choices and views that make sense in the context of their lives. Hochschild draws on her expert knowledge of the sociology of emotion to help us understand what it feels like to live in "red" America. Along the way she finds answers to one of the crucial questions of contemporary American politics: why do the people who would seem to benefit most from "liberal" government intervention abhor the very idea?"--

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