Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right - Arlie Russell Hochschild

Staff Pick

Extending her ground-breaking work on emotional values to the political sphere, the renowned sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild made ten extended visits to the Louisiana bayou region between 2011 and 2016. There she met with some sixty supporters of the Tea Party. Her goal wasn’t to argue, debate, or change minds—she wanted simply to get a sense of white conservatives’ feelings about current issues, especially those relating to the environment. Strangers in Their Own Land (New Press, $27.95) is her vivid and illuminating report of these discussions, which ranged from fracking to fish fries, sinkholes to Fox News. Viewing the Tea Party as “a culture” not just a politics, Hochschild strove to scale the “empathy wall” that divides people of different beliefs and to understand The Great Paradox: what makes those most in need of government assistance vote against it? Why, in the second poorest state, where 44% of the budget comes from federal funds, where the land and water have been ravaged by petrochemical and other industries, are people so avidly against federal regulation? It’s not that no one notices or cares about these problems; part of it is that they look to their own tight-knit communities for the kind of support progressives expect from the government. Other parts are more complicated, and Hochschild, a keen and respectful listener, lets these local leaders, current and retired factory workers, long-time farmers, Pentecostals, and many more, have their say. And when she returns home, she begins to see Berkeley through their eyes.

Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right By Arlie Russell Hochschild Cover Image
ISBN: 9781620972250
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: New Press - September 6th, 2016