Strangers in Their Own Land

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Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right
Author Arlie Russell Hochschild
Language English
Subject Tea Party movement, Louisiana
Publisher The New Press
Publication date
2016
ISBN 978-1-62097-225-0 (Hardcover)

Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right is a 2016 book written by sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild. The book aims to explain the worldview of supporters of the Tea Party Movement in Louisiana.

Summary[edit]

Hochschild's book was written after speaking to focus groups and interviewing Tea Party supporters. The bayou area has a high concentration of petrochemical plants as well as a high level of pollution in its waterways. Hochschild wanted to understand why there was little support for environmental regulation in this area, despite what would seem to be the self-interest of its residents. Her research led Hochschild to focus on the cultural values that led people to oppose government regulation. Prominent among these were their attitudes about taxes, their religious convictions, and challenges to their honor.

The core of the book is Hochschild’s attempt to distill the worldview of Tea Party supporters, who formed part of the same constituency that heavily backed Donald Trump in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Tea Party supporters have reacted against the changing face of America in the last few decades. They perceive a situation where women, immigrants, and racial minorities have been "cutting in line" to achieve the American dream. And they also feel as though some government officials (such as President Barack Obama) have been waving these same groups to the front of the line through affirmative action programs and other kinds of support. As a result of these perceptions, the older, largely white, and disproportionately male supporters of the Tea Party increasingly feel, as Hochschild's title indicates, like strangers in their own land.

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