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STRANGERS IN THEIR OWN LAND – Anger and Mourning on the American Right

by Arlie Russell Hochschild

Here at COTO, we believe that rather than demonising people with contrary viewpoints to our own, we should engage them in discussion and try to understand what is behind their thinking. Without doing that you cannot begin to persuade them with good arguments why you think they are wrong. In this time of demonisation of anyone who doesn’t think about things in the same way as the ‘Great and the Good,’ it is refreshing to learn that there are people out there who take the time to engage in genuine political discussion with their supposed adversaries. It’s all about starting new conversations, and looking at positive ways forward in this time of seismic political change. Establishment politics is out of touch with the people, and they are no longer getting things going their way. Sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild set out to explore what she saw as a paradox in American political life: red states depend the most on the federal government, but also distrust it the most. It’s the topic of her new book, “Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right,” for which she traveled to Louisiana to research the phenomenon.

Thank-you to www.spiked-online who bought our attention to this book. We read a very interesting review of the book by Jennie Bristow and an insightful interview with Ella Whelan which spurred our interest.

“The US election, like the EU referendum in Britain, was replete with the language, imagery and discussion of emotion. The masses have been portrayed as an irrational mob, easily swayed by lies and false promises; broken hearts have been worn on sleeves and paraded on social media; downright nasty insults have been traded on all sides.
The emotional response to these two momentous events has revealed two important aspects of politics today. On one hand, it has confirmed that politics, in its real sense, is not a dry debate in a lecture theatre, or a formal bickering over evidence and legal principles. It is a lived and felt reality: something that is shaped by people, and gives meaning to our lives.” – Jennie Bristow.

Featured Image : Trump Supporters Copyright: <a href=’http://www.123rf.com/profile_zhukovsky’>zhukovsky / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

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