Acclaimed sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild, author of the bestselling Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning in the American Right, will speak at the University of New Orleans on Wednesday, Jan. 18, from 1-3 p.m. in an event that is open to the public.
What: Arlie Russell Hochschild, sociologist and author of the bestselling Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning in the American Right
When: Wednesday, Jan. 18, from 1-3 p.m.
Where: University of New Orleans, Innsbruck Room on the second floor of the University Center, 2000 Lakeshore Dr., New Orleans, La.
Free and open to the public.
Hochschild’s latest book examining the widening political divide in America is the result of time she spent immersed with families and residents in “red” America, including spending five years in Lake Charles, La., where she attended fish fries, gumbo cook-offs, Pentacostal church services and rallies in support of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump.
The result is a well-reported and empathetic look at the people, experiences and thought behind the Tea Party phenomenon. The book was recently named a finalist for the National Book Award.
Professor emeritus at the University of California-Berkeley who has authored other groundbreaking and award-winning sociological studies such as The Second Shift: Working Families and the Revolution at Home and The Time Bind: When Work Becomes Home and Home Becomes Work, Hochschild said she was inspired to write Strangers in Their Own Land after a decade of witnessing and wondering about what was propelling so many in the nation’s poorest states to oppose federal aid and the embrace the ideals of the political right.
“I set out to spend time with people as different from me, politically, as I could possibly find—and to try to understand them,” she said. “When you study others carefully, you reduce heat and extend light.”
Her findings reveal what she describes as people who are voting for their “emotional self-interest” and have not, as some liberals suggest, been “duped” into voting against their self-interest. They are responding to a palpable sense of loss and sadness, she writes.
In reviewing the book, Jason DeParle of The New York Times writes that Hochschild “takes seriously the Tea Partiers’ complaints that they have become the ‘strangers’ of the title—triply marginalized by flat or falling wages, rapid demographic change, and liberal culture that mocks their faith and patriotism.”
“Whatever racial or class resentments she finds, Hochschild makes clear that she likes the people she meets,” DeParle continues. “They aren’t just soldiers in a class war but victims of one, too. She mourns their economic losses, praises their warmth and hospitality, and admires their ‘grit and resilience.’ While her hopes of finding common political ground seem overly optimistic, this is a smart, respectful and compelling book.”
At UNO, Hochschild will deliver her talk in the Innsbruck Room on the second floor of the University Center, 2000 Lakeshore Dr.
The event is made possible by the College of Liberal Arts, Education and Human Development and is a collaboration of the departments of sociology, women and gender studies, political science, history and philosophy, anthropology, and the Alexis de Tocqueville Project.