Strangers in Their Own Land

Strangers in Their Own Land

by

Arlie Russell Hochschild

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A large South African petrochemical company that plans to invest in a massive petrochemical construction project in Westlake. While the local and state governments tout Sasol’s investment as a boon to the Louisiana economy, Westlake mayor Bob Hardey admits that it may not actually help his residents find jobs and stands to pollute their air and water.
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Sasol Character Timeline in Strangers in Their Own Land

The timeline below shows where the character Sasol appears in Strangers in Their Own Land. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 6 – Industry: “The Buckle in America’s Energy Belt”
The Environment and the Economy Theme Icon
Capitalism, Media, and Class Conflict Theme Icon
...direct-investment manufacturing project in U.S. history,” a giant petrochemical complex for the South African company Sasol. Hardey improvises his speech at the ceremony, telling the Sasol executives that four generations of... (full context)
Trust, Empathy, and Political Progress Theme Icon
Government Regulation and Individual Freedom Theme Icon
The Environment and the Economy Theme Icon
Capitalism, Media, and Class Conflict Theme Icon
...Westlake. He also points out “which buildings will come down, and which others will go up”—Sasol bought out churches for millions, but landowners that held out can still have their land... (full context)
The Environment and the Economy Theme Icon
Capitalism, Media, and Class Conflict Theme Icon
Personal Identity and Emotional Self-Interest Theme Icon
...in population—but many of the new residents will be temporary construction workers living in a Sasol “man camp.” The local Economic Development Alliance is encouraging locals to train themselves for the... (full context)
Government Regulation and Individual Freedom Theme Icon
The Environment and the Economy Theme Icon
Personal Identity and Emotional Self-Interest Theme Icon
...journalists and locals have voiced concerns about the pollution, the state government has already okayed Sasol’s predicted pollution and now other companies are using the precedent this set to demand higher... (full context)
Government Regulation and Individual Freedom Theme Icon
The Environment and the Economy Theme Icon
Capitalism, Media, and Class Conflict Theme Icon
...with respiratory problems. Hochschild wonders whether any of this is really necessary—in a “strange cycle,” Sasol is making plastic water bottles, which more and more Louisianans will need precisely because companies... (full context)
Government Regulation and Individual Freedom Theme Icon
The Environment and the Economy Theme Icon
Capitalism, Media, and Class Conflict Theme Icon
Hochschild examines a “Regional Impact Study” Sasol conducted during the construction, which suggested that the scientists they need will only want to... (full context)
The Environment and the Economy Theme Icon
...activists—including Lee Sherman, Harold and Annette Areno, and Mike Tritico—helped out with the case against Sasol. But, before long, a new plaintiff joined the case and created so much strife among... (full context)
Government Regulation and Individual Freedom Theme Icon
Personal Identity and Emotional Self-Interest Theme Icon
...person with the “least resistant personality” type that chemical companies seek out, might have been Sasol’s key to forever transforming Westlake. Hardey admits that, after four generations, much of his family... (full context)
Chapter 10 – The Team Player: Loyalty Above All
The Environment and the Economy Theme Icon
Personal Identity and Emotional Self-Interest Theme Icon
...monthly cookouts—once, Janice notes with pride, 67 relatives showed up. She recognizes that the nearby Sasol plant might affect her town but does not worry too much: “things happen.” And “an... (full context)
Afterword to the Paperback Edition
Government Regulation and Individual Freedom Theme Icon
The Environment and the Economy Theme Icon
...agenda intentionally takes after Louisiana’s. Ultimately, Governor Jindal left the state devastated socially and economically—even Sasol, the South African petrochemical company, cancelled most of its enormous investment in Lake Charles. As... (full context)