Strangers in Their Own Land

Strangers in Their Own Land

by

Arlie Russell Hochschild

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Hochschild’s research focus is less on what actually happened to the people she meets than their deep stories: their “narrative[s] as felt,” or the story that they believe to be true about themselves and their society. She believes that learning this deep story can help explain the Great Paradox and the increasing disconnect between the American left and right. Working with deep stories allows people to build empathy by imagining the world from others’ perspectives, and Hochschild offers the image of waiting in line for the American Dream as her Tea Party acquaintances’ deep story.

Deep Story Quotes in Strangers in Their Own Land

The Strangers in Their Own Land quotes below are all either spoken by Deep Story or refer to Deep Story. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Trust, Empathy, and Political Progress Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the The New Press edition of Strangers in Their Own Land published in 2016.
Preface Quotes

As a sociologist I had a keen interest in how life feels to people on the right—that is, in the emotion that underlies politics. To understand their emotions, I had to imagine myself into their shoes. Trying this, I came upon their “deep story,” a narrative as felt.

Related Characters: Arlie Russell Hochschild (speaker)
Page Number: xi
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 9 Quotes

You are a stranger in your own land. You do not recognize yourself in how others see you. It is a struggle to feel seen and honored. And to feel honored you have to feel—and feel seen as—moving forward. But through no fault of your own, and in ways that are hidden, you are moving backward.

Related Characters: Arlie Russell Hochschild (speaker)
Page Number: 144
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 11 Quotes

Jackie's lesson ran counter to the deep story; one shouldn't wish too much for what seems like the next step toward the American Dream. That was grabbing. On the other hand, she had struggled hard emotionally not to grab for it.

Related Characters: Arlie Russell Hochschild (speaker), Jackie Tabor
Page Number: 175
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 13 Quotes

The “federal government” filled a mental space in Mike's mind—and the minds of all those on the right I came to know—associated with a financial sinkhole.

Related Characters: Arlie Russell Hochschild (speaker), Mike Schaff
Related Symbols: The Bayou Corne Sinkhole
Page Number: 202
Explanation and Analysis:
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Strangers in Their Own Land PDF

Deep Story Term Timeline in Strangers in Their Own Land

The timeline below shows where the term Deep Story appears in Strangers in Their Own Land. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4 – The Candidates
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Hochschild feels that she is “backing into the deep story ” by noticing what that story excludes. She is clearly not yet “over the empathy... (full context)
Chapter 8 – The Pulpit and the Press: “The Topic Doesn’t Come Up”
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...people like the sick child; she suggests that she has begun “backing into” the woman’s deep story . (full context)
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...Louisianans hate the whole federal government, Hochschild argues that she has to delve into people’s deep stories . (full context)
Chapter 9 – The Deep Story
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Behind the stories she is hearing, Hochschild sees a deep story . A deep story is a “feels-as-if story” rather than a story about facts or... (full context)
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Hochschild likens this deep story to waiting in line for the American Dream that lies just over a hill on... (full context)
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Hochschild sees this deep story as a “response to a real squeeze,” namely the tension between the ideal of progress... (full context)
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Gender also plays a key role in the Tea Party’s deep story —every woman Hochschild interviewed had needed to work at some point in their lives, but... (full context)
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...government—even Lee Sherman still holds stock in PPG. Finally, Hochschild wonders what kind of “ deep story self” sustains the Tea Party’s “extraordinary determination” to fight the government on the market’s behalf. (full context)
Chapter 10 – The Team Player: Loyalty Above All
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Hochschild notices “how the deep story makes sense” for Janice, as someone who has “made it out of the structural squeeze”... (full context)
Chapter 14 – The Fires of History: The 1860s and the 1960s
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...unique threads in the Tea Party’s political program as a distinct response to the conservative deep story and argues that understanding them requires examining the South in the 1860s and the 1960s.... (full context)
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...would have made them seem chauvinistic. But they felt they had “lived through one long deep story of being shoved back in line,” even as their economic opportunities dwindle. They “were beginning... (full context)
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The core of this newfound honor “was pride in the self of the deep story ,” the self that had made enormous sacrifices to survive and care for large Southern... (full context)
Chapter 15 – Strangers No Longer: The Power of Promise
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...marginalized, and they suffered a “demographic decline” relative to the rest of the country. The deep story also set the stage for Trump’s rising popularity: Louisiana conservatives felt like “a besieged minority,”... (full context)
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...liberal feeling rules that so frustrated his supporters. Ultimately, far-right conservatives felt both that “the deep story was true” and that liberals denied the deep story, telling them that their resentment was... (full context)
Chapter 16 – “They Say There Are Beautiful Trees”
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...lives, in part through its sovereign wealth fund. She explains that progressives “have their own deep story , one parallel to yours, one they feel you may misunderstand.” Liberals are “fiercely proud”... (full context)
Afterword to the Paperback Edition
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...“felt the book was a fair portrait” and particularly agreed with her picture of the deep story . Others outlined “postelection impasses with loved ones” and felt estranged from their former families... (full context)
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...up self-segregating by income. This class status, Hochschild argues, blocks them from understanding Southern whites’ deep story . She concludes that class “loom[s] large” over political polarization in America today. (full context)
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Hochschild asks why, according to her interviewees’ deep story , the line for the American Dream has “stalled or moved back.” Whereas Louisianans who... (full context)