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

Strangers in Their Own Land Anger and Mourning on the American Right 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

  • Title: Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right
  • Author: Arlie Russell Hochschild
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 352
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • 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 andIn 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

    One thought on “Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right”

    1. In many ways, this book reveals more about the nature of our national divide than "Hillbilly Elegy" does. The author spent a good bit of time with people on the far right -- self-identifying Tea Party members from coastal Louisiana. She came to know them, got them to speak candidly about their values and how they see their lives and their country. What evolves over the course of "Strangers" is a complicated portrait of people who have tried to "play by the rules" and live "good Christian lives," [...]

    2. There has been a recent output of books and articles attempting to 'explain' the behavior of conservative voters. The earliest I can recall is Thomas Frank's What's the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America, and there are many more - the tone is not so much political analysis as gawking anthropological study, as though an intrepid author may as well go to Samoa or the Yanomami. Our author is a Berkeley writer and sociologist, who readily admits the massive cultural gap b [...]

    3. The concept of this book is exactly what I had been thinking about for the past two years. I am so grateful for Hochschild for structuring a study to investigate the political divide in the United States as evinced by Louisiana, a deeply conservative red state facing environmental degradation and widespread poverty. Hochschild focused on a single issue upon which voting age people might be expected to converge in attitude--environmental pollution--and ended up asking a question which illuminated [...]

    4. The thing is, no matter how well Trump voters' psyche and worldview are explained to me (and this book does a fantastic job of presenting the Right's "deep story"), I can never truly comprehend them, especially the lack of generosity in their version of morality, aversion to objective facts and constant voting against their best interests. There are flaws in their logic that are driving me insane.In addition, this is quite a damning portrait of state of Louisiana. The republican voters of this s [...]

    5. I listened to the audio of Strangers In Their Own Land. Arlie Russell Hochschild is a self described liberal Democrat sociology professor at Berkeley. She set out to climb what she describes as the "empathy wall" for the purpose of understanding what has motivated the Republican base in the US in recent years. She does so by conducting extensive interviews in a number of smaller communities in Louisiana -- a state with high levels of pollution and poverty that has consistently voted Republican. [...]

    6. Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right by Arlie Russell Horchschild is a 2016 New Press publication. Recently, there has been a rash of books published that highlight the ‘angry white American’ movement, that attempts to explain the cultural and class divisions our country is experiencing, which are designed to give us insight into the mindset of those who voted for the republican candidate. I feel like this book, written by someone about as far removed from th [...]

    7. Recently it's occurred to me that perhaps I'm not doing enough to defeat TrumpI may be complacent. It's still hard to take the idea of him as president seriously. Whatever the outcome of this election, however, it's clear that he's captured a huge percentage of the electorate - millions and millions of my compatriots. What accounts for this baffling phenomenon? a populist movement built around a multi-millionaire who brags about cheating his workers and personally benefiting from economic collap [...]

    8. It’s been a little under two weeks since Donald Trump won the presidential election. Since then, I’ve been hearing a lot of gloating from conservatives and self-flagellation from liberals to the effect of: this happened because out-of-touch urban elites ignored the pain of the white working class, while denigrating their values as racist and backwards.I must confess that I’ve been morally conflicted as to how to respond. On the one hand: yes, many have been left behind by globalization, an [...]

    9. Gosh, reading this got me no further in understanding the conservative point of view than reading Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis or What’s the Matter with Kansas? The most interesting part of the book is where Hochschild explains the “deep story” how the general consensus of the Tea Party she interviewed, over a five-year period, feels that “other people” are cutting to the front of the line to the American Dream. Affirmative action, immigrants, refugees, a [...]

    10. I liked Hillbilly Elegy but this is the book we should all be reading if we want to understand the extreme polarization in this country from the point of view of the white working class. I think Arlie could have gone even deeper than she did, because she mostly wanted to focus on environmental issues and only barely brushes up against many of the moral issues and other ideas that are important, but the fact that these ideas would be novel to anyone confuses me and frustrates me, because these id [...]

    11. “You are patiently standing in a long line leading up a hill, as in a pilgrimage. You are situated in the middle of this line, along with others who are also white, older, Christian, and predominantly male, some with college degrees, some not. “Just over the brow of the hill is the American Dream, the goal of everyone waiting in line. Many in the back of the line are people of color --- poor, young and old, mainly without college degrees. It’s scary to look back; there are so many behind y [...]

    12. Hochschild is a University of California Berkeley sociologist. She states she was attempting to understand the Great Paradox: the fact that people in the poorest states who most need federal programs consistently vote for candidates who oppose those programs. The author traveled to Louisiana one of the poorest states and the one hardest hit by environmental pollution.The people see their homes fall into sink holes caused by toxic waste, see deformities in wildlife and cancer in people including [...]

    13. I was attracted to this book because it promised to answer the question, "Why do the people who would seem to benefit most from "liberal" government intervention abhor the very idea?" I have puzzled with this question ever since I read Thomas Frank's What's the Matter with Kansas. Arlie Russell Hochschild is a sociologist and who better to explain the behavior of large groups of people. Thus I thought perhaps she would be able to explain what a political writer like Frank couldn't comprehend. Sh [...]

    14. Reading Arlie Russell Hochschild’s Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right is definitely a walk on the weird side. I wasn’t surprised by her revelations that the Right doesn’t believe in regulations or hates the federal government. I already knew all that. What is amazing is how the Right (in this book, Tea Party Republicans) came to those conclusions. The amount of energy involved in having these beliefs and continuing to champion them in the face of overwhel [...]

    15. I learned a lot about pollution in Louisiana from this book, but I'm not sure I learned anything new about the "deep story" of the tea-party right. It could be that I have read enough about this phenomena, both past (it swept Europe between the two Great Wars) and present, that I already had a fairly good grasp of what is driving both the right and the left. This book did reinforce the concept that people hold on to their beliefs regardless of facts. In the end, I was left where I was when I sta [...]

    16. This is a must-read for anyone who is struggling to understand how Trump was elected president.I will admit that I had to take a break from this book after Election Night. I was too raw; too brokenhearted; too angry; too sickened to read more about people who not only voted against their own interests (so it seems to me), but who voted against who I am as a person - multiethnic, female, feminist, agnostic, Californian, liberal, progressive - and everything I stand for.But in the days that passed [...]

    17. The best book yet for those who want to understand the rise of the Tea Party and Trump. Arlie Russell Hochschild's work on emotional labor is the hottest thing on the social justice internet, but she's using her decades of experience and turning her lens on the Right and the emotional work that undergirds all of our political thoughts.

    18. I read this book to broaden my understanding of the Donald Trump victory in 2016. In some ways it accomplished this. I also learnt of the extensive pollution in the area of Louisiana under scrutiny in this book. Many of the people living there, rather than wanting more government control on the industries responsible for dumping chemicals into their environment, want less of it. Some even feel the industries should be self-regulating. And also think, fatalistically, that this is the cost for hav [...]

    19. I wanted to give her 4 stars for the effort, but I can't because the scope here is excellent but just too small. Louisiana and her survey points and conclusions are correct and with just a few exceptions spot on. But that is also not completely or even partially a parallel to other parts of the country, especially the Middle West and upper central of the USA. They (latter group) have been preached to endlessly and put at the end of the line for fully the last 20 years. And they also have immense [...]

    20. Allegiance to a political party "now beats race as the source of divisive prejudice" according to the first chapter of this book, in which a sociologist lives with Tea Party supporters and reports on them. Hochschild seeks to understand why this is. What lies behind what she labels "the Great Paradox"? On the surface, they are allied with a certain party that goes against their own best interests. They're anti-taxes, federal support, and "entitlements," yet they depend on them to live. They want [...]

    21. If anyone wants to spend hours over drinks discussing this book with me, I'd love to. Clearly, I'm doing a lot of self-medicating with my book choices right now. As if some kind of better clinical understanding as to why someone would vote for Trump would make me feel any better about it It won't of course, but at least it made me feel like I'm trying to understand my fellow citizens and, like Hochschild, fighting to stay empathetic to people whose concept of the world makes no sense to me. She [...]

    22. I read this book the week before the presidential election. I was a lot more able to follow the author on her quest for Empathy then. Yes, let's listen patiently as "nice" people repeat counter-factual nonsense and prejudice. Let's defer endlessly to their feelings of grievance and irrational, misplaced rage. Now, post-election, as the President-Elect queues up a team of anti-regulation, climate-change-denying, corporate profiteers to seize our country, I think these "nice" white Louisiana Tea P [...]

    23. I was avoiding reading this one because it seemed so hyped up by everyone about "how to understand Trump's people" and I admit that maybe I just didn't want to understand them. But this book was wonderful. So well written and so insightful. I don't resonate with the Tea Party in any respect and in fact, I think I am the embodiment of who they believe is the problem with the system (an immigrant from a Muslim country who has succeeded here), but I gained a lot of empathy and indeed, understanding [...]

    24. The author is a liberal sociologist from Berkley trying to figure out why white, working class people in Western Louisiana would be enthusiastic supporters of industry free of government regulation, when it is precisely that situation (a vastly depleted public sector, virtually non-existent environmental regulations) that has decimated the land. The book follows her attempts to climb over the "empathy wall" as she calls it, and see things from their perspective.

    25. Hochschild did her research for this book from 2011-16 during several trips to Louisiana. She witnessed the rise of Donald Trump through the Southern eyes of a group of his supporters. I have come a long way in my quest to understand our fascination with Trump and the popularity of his message. Hochschild articulates his supporters view from an outside observer of the Left. She climbs over the “empathy wall” and gets to know, and befriend, people who will eventually vote Trump. I get it. Pol [...]

    26. Arlie Russell Hochschild applied the techniques of research in sociology (“exploratory”, “hypothesis generating”, “participant observation”) to explore the paradox of people who support politicians who vote against their interests. She selected Louisiana for its high rate of poverty and environmental damage and its strong Tea Party support.She focuses on 6 people two of whom have virtually lost their homes (i.e. they still have the deeds) to chemical waste. She finds all the intervie [...]

    27. I finished Strangers In Their Own Land and never, ever have I been so glad to finish a book. It has been like a millstone around my neck the entire time I was reading it. It irritated, upset, annoyed me so much that I could only read 5-6 pages at a time before I would have to put it down for a while. Why, you ask. First of all, I must state that I am and have always been from childhood, an environmentalist. This book as the result of the author's attempt to understand and develop empathy for peo [...]

    28. First of all, I have to say that I absolutely admired the author’s work. It is a rarity to come across such an extremely clever, emotionally intelligent and compassionate researcher. To be honest, I always believed that sociology is pretty useless as a profession and the field of study - some hybrid spin-off from the anthropology mixed with economics. But Mrs Hochschchild has proved me wrong. This book is based on 4 years of her research into the lives and beliefs of the republicans’ support [...]

    29. Strangers in Their Own Land is a richly detailed look at the cultural divide in the US. The scope of this divide is deep (and wide), and Hochschild, a Berkeley sociologist, chooses to focus on a specific sector: the environment, corporate pollution, and regulatory practices. It's an interesting shift as so much rhetoric on the divide focuses on religion, race, and even healthcare. Those are mentioned here, but only as supporting the theme of environmental factors. She chooses to focus her studie [...]

    30. Arlie Hochschild has gone the extra mile, and then some, to understand conservatives. I would say that she exemplifies the (pseudo-) Indian saying, “Never criticize a man until you’ve walked a mile in his moccasins,” except that is not politically correct, so I will not say it. Nonetheless, Hochschild has spent a lot of time and effort genuinely trying to understand a group of Louisiana conservatives, and the result is a very interesting book. Sure, it’s not perfect, in part because Hoch [...]

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