Arlie Hochschild at a podium.

Concerned with the political divide between conservative and liberal America, UC Berkeley sociologist Arlie Hochschild spent the last five years talking with Tea Party members in Louisiana. She found that under their right-wing hostility was a sense of alienation and struggle. In “Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right,” Hochschild talks about the friendships she fostered while trying to reach a deeper understanding of conservative America. She joins us to talk what she learned and how it applies to this presidential election.

From Berkeley to Louisiana: Sociologist Arlie Hochschild Seeks to Understand Conservative America 2 September,2016Mina Kim

Guests:
Arlie Russell Hochschild, professor emerita of Sociology, UC Berkeley; author, "Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the
American Right"

  • Sean Dennehy

    I’m a lefty. Far left enough to be a Socialist, but I’m exceedingly uncomfortable with the way today’s Hillary-biased media treats conservatives and/or Trump supporters like they’re some alien species that humans need to understand. They’re people like the rest of us and they have political opinions.

    • geraldfnord

      Well, a lot of them, and particularly when there’s a camera on, seem to love saying as outrageous stuff as possible, like a ‘Sixties radical wanting épater les bourgeois, and they certainly have never stressed their common humanity with me.

      …but I’ m strongly in favour of empathy, both as a matter of decency, and because of the truth of ‘Know yourself/Know your opponent*/Win one hundred battles’—the pseudo-paradox being that going-in with battle in mind, what sone people have called ‘weaponised sociology’, will make your efforts less effective.

      …but on the third hand, at some point, some views ought to be denigrated—not to set-off the Godwin Alarms, but eliminationist views for one set.

  • EIDALM

    The Tea party leaders are exploiting the the great loss of jobs and wealth by Americans that near was done by the Wall Street .Multinational corporations ,and the military industrial complex .but the Tea party followers are misled and lied to in believing that their all pf that was done because of Latino immigrants ,terrorists ,etc ….The fact is the Tea party leaders are manuplated and are paid agents for those who caused the demise of the great Americans middle class ,their puppet masters are again the Wall Street ,the warmonger NEOCONS ,and the American war machine as well as others…..

    • jurgispilis

      Can you name a Tea party leader? You can’t – because it’s a grass roots movement. There are no leaders.

      • EIDALM

        But you know why ,the followers of the Tea party followers are totally misled and vote against their best interest ,their leaders are blanked faces who hide behind the seen but call al;l the shuts.

        • Curious

          Wow!! Talk about ignorance.

          • EIDALM

            Are you looking at your mirror , you have the brain of a bee .

      • De Blo

        Teabagging is not a ‘grassroots’ movement. It is an ‘astroturf’ fabrication designed by the conservative media to control uneducated voters.

  • EIDALM

    The Tea party leaders have used religion and fear to manipulate their followers ,they promise them Jesus while the steal their jobs ,assets ,social security ,etc ,and use fear in their bogus war on terror to enrich the international arm trade to enrich the American war machine and the Wall Street ,and others….In all cases it is a lose ,lose situation ,while all the all the puppet masters of the Tea Party laugh all the way to the bank ,on the blood of millions of dead people including Americans.

    • jurgispilis

      All leaders manipulate their follower.

    • jurgispilis

      All leaders manipulate their followers.

    • jurgispilis

      All leaders manipulate their followers.

    • jurgispilis

      All leaders manipulate their followers.

  • EIDALM

    Please call the Tea bagger party,their use of the name the Tea party is an insult to the original Tea party.folks.

    • geraldfnord

      Well, they weren’t completely beyond reproach: their publucity evidently failed to mention how much of the tea wasn’t dumped so much as taken—and they weren’t necessarily jyst taking what was theirs but not yet F.O.B. due to the duty.

  • Noelle

    Denigration of Southerners goes way back to the aftermath of the Civil War and Reconstruction. It seems those of us outside the South are unconscious of our bias, in popular culture as well as in the news media.

  • geraldfnord

    This might get me shunned in Berkeley, but I don’t think being oppressed makes you a better person, or smarter—it surely gives you knowledge of the world that other people are lucky enough not to have, but it’s no guaranty that your observational, reasoning, and empathetic faculties will be in good shape.

    This person, in fact, argues that it can impair those faculties:
    Oppressed People Suck—ignore the hyperbolic title if you can.

    (My father, member of hated and oppressed minority group, P.o.W., poor immigrant hard-dealt-with by the native-born, often nearly out-of-business because of rich men who wouldn’t pay their bills, said as much sometimes when he repeated his resolve that his children would have it much better: ‘Being treated badly doesn’t make you better, it can make you worse.’—but then again, he distrusted implicitly anyone born wealthy.)

  • Noelle

    I recommend seeing the documentary The Brainwashing of My Dad about how Fox and similar outlets are affecting people’s thinking and how that affects relationships with their families and our culture in general.

  • Ben Waldo

    I grew up in Minnesota, and my father comes from Alabama. I live in Berkeley and I come from a liberal family but know many conservatives in middle of the country who are plainly good people, and often more intelligent than many folks I’ve met in “cosmopolitan” places like NYC and California. There is a phenomenon I would describe as “reverse-provincialism” where coastal and urban liberals have an incredibly distorted sense of human geography, history, and culture. I’ve met too many Californians who couldn’t tell you where Minnesota was, or even that it’s a state, and yet thought that everyone between the coasts was uneducated.

    • Robert Thomas

      There are spectacularly ignorant people everywhere. No person capable of reflection denies this.

  • TimDoyle

    I was on vacation this summer and accidentally attended a Trump rally in Portland Maine. The polarization of the two sides was wild.

    • Curious

      “accidentally attended a Trump rally”???? Were you physically attacked by your fellow libs as is the usual?

  • Commnt8r

    The day after the Brexit vote Van Jones said we have to reach out to the angry, disenchanted people who feel left behind. That stuck with me and I’ve been wondering, ever since, how we do that? So I appreciate this work/information.

  • Maggie

    So I have to wonder about the reverse situation. What if a white Southern academic came to the Bay Area with a similar quest to understand the views in this enclave? Would we be as welcoming as these the Louisana citizens were? How might the resulting book read?

    • geraldfnord

      Well, I think a female academic (of good will) would in this case still be a better choice—we seem to be hard-wired to fear male intruders on our territory.

  • TimDoyle

    Arlie say hello to your husband Adam. I met him in Berkeley this past winter. I love and appreciate both of your writings. Thank you.

  • Robert Thomas

    How could the last caller, a trained health professional of white European descent from elsewhere across America fail to find a culturally familiar home somewhere in the Santa Clara Valley, when KQED has ceaselessly drawn our attention to the severe and unchallenged hegemony of the pallid European professional culture there?

  • CarolJ

    I’m going to read her book. One thing I found funny was their fear of Middle Eastern people not selling them gas and yet the meeting she attended of this group of women (forgot name of organization) are tooling around in big SUVs. Classic.

Host

Mina Kim

Mina Kim is KQED News’ evening anchor and the Friday host of Forum. She reports on a wide range of issues affecting the Bay Area and interviews newsmakers, local leaders and innovators.

Mina started her career in public radio at KQED as an intern with Pacific Time. When the station began expanding its local news coverage in 2010, she became a general assignment reporter, then health reporter for The California Report. Mina’s award-winning stories have included on-the-scene reporting of the 2014 Napa earthquake and a series on gun violence in Oakland.

Her work has been recognized by the Radio Television Digital News Association, the Society of Professional Journalists and the Asian American Journalists Association.

Mina grew up in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Oak Park, CA. She lives in Napa.

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