A conversation on civics and politics with renowned sociologist Arlie Russell Hochshild, whose 2016 book Strangers in Their Own Land was dubbed one of the “6 Books to Understand Trump’s Win” by the New York Times. She will speak with the President of The New York Public Library, Anthony Marx.
In Strangers in Their Own Land, Arlie Hochschild journeyed from her hometown of Berkeley, California, deep into a conservative stronghold in the bayou country of Louisiana. Encountering there people whose lives had been ripped apart by stagnant wages, a loss of home, and an elusive American dream, she also came up against ideologies in strong opposition to many of the liberal ideas she famously champions. Hochschild quickly found common ground with these Americans, whose concerns are the same as many in our country—the desire for community, the embrace of family, and hopes for their children—and whose political choices and views make sense in the context of their lives. Drawing on her expert knowledge of the sociology of emotion to help us understand what it feels like to live in “red” America, along the way Hochschild discovered some answers to one of the crucial questions of contemporary American politics: why do the people who would seem to benefit most from “liberal” government intervention abhor the very idea?
The Path Forward is a series convened by Anthony Marx that seeks the wisdom and counsel of voices from different backgrounds and views on some of our most complicated sociopolitical issues. These frank and challenging discussions are aimed at bringing greater understanding and insight into some of the most pressing questions of contemporary American life.