Our honoree for 2018 is a finalist for the 2016 National Book Award, Strangers In Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning of the American Right, written by renowned sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild. The book aims to explain the worldview of supporters of the Tea Party movement in Louisiana.
Hochschild seeks to understand why some American conservatives continue to vote for policies that ultimately harm them. She traveled to Louisiana to complete a five-year study, talking to members of the Tea Party and attempting to breach the “empathy wall” that stands between conservatives and liberals.
A compassionate observer, Hochschild pursues the heart of the “deeper story,” blaming the narrative—not her subjects—that informs these peoples’ choices. She particularly examines the long history of environmental pollution in the region and the state governments’ failure to address it—a failure that this political faction refuses to condemn. Strangers in Their Own Land is a compelling analysis of one of the most important factors in American culture today, and Hochschild’s measured and empathic approach leads her readers toward a greater understanding of their fellow citizens.
About Arlie Russell Hochschild
Arlie Russel Hochschild is an American sociologist and academic. She is professor emerita of sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. Hochschild has long focused on the human emotions which underlie moral beliefs, practices, and social life generally. She is the author of nine books including, most recently Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right, a finalist for the National Book Award, and The Second Shift, The Second Shift, The Managed Heart, and The Time Bind. In the tradition of C. Wright Mills, Hochschild continually tries to draw links between private troubles and social issues.