Summary of Strangers in Their Own Land

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Strangers in Their Own Land book summary
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Rating

9 Overall

8 Importance

9 Innovation

9 Style

Recommendation

More and more, Americans feel like strangers to one another over what sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild calls “an increasingly hostile split” in attitudes. A professor emerita of sociology at the University of California at Berkeley, Hochschild traveled to Louisiana repeatedly over a five-year span starting in 2011 for field research on the American Right. She attempts to analyze and understand the emotional motivations of her new “Tea Party friends.” Conservatives might feel Hochschild failed to take their perspectives on board; liberals might see a paradox in her effort to develop empathy for people who can appear to lack empathy for themselves. getAbstract recommends Hoschchild’s fascinating research and conclusions to US voters of any ideology and to all non-Americans who seek greater insight into the sometimes contradictory, sometimes inexplicable behavior of the US electorate.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How a “great paradox” shapes conservative politics and drives some Louisiana voters’ choices,
  • What economic and environmental challenges the state faces, and
  • Why conservative voters oppose some government programs that help them.
 

About the Author

Influential sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild’s nine books include The Second Shift, The Time Bind, The Managed Heart and The Outsourced Self. Three of her books were New York Times Notable Books of the Year.

 

Summary

The “Great Paradox”

Berkeley sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild undertook 10 research visits to Louisiana between 2011 and 2016. She gathered 4,690 pages of transcripts from interviews with 60 research subjects. Hochschild sought to understand her subjects’ lives and their feelings to gain insight into “the emotional draw of right-wing politics.”

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    Laura Fritzlen 3 weeks ago
    Completely agree with the previous reviewer. The author clearly approaches her subjects with her Ivory Tower bias.
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    Jennie Pakula 1 month ago
    I get the clear impression that the author makes little effort to understand her subjects from their own paradigm or understand their positive values. The overwhelming message conveyed in this summary is how stupid and emotional conservatives are. Not a great step for bridging any divides.

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