Strangers in Their Own Land

Strangers in Their Own Land

by

Arlie Russell Hochschild

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A single issue through which one can see a broader social pattern. Hochschild uses environmental pollution as her keyhole issue for understanding the Great Paradox, since Louisianans live in one of the country’s most polluted states and yet they consistently vote against environmental regulation. Understanding Louisianans’ attitudes towards the environment, therefore, helps Hochschild explain their voting behavior in general.

Keyhole Issue Quotes in Strangers in Their Own Land

The Strangers in Their Own Land quotes below are all either spoken by Keyhole Issue or refer to Keyhole Issue. 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.
Chapter 16 Quotes

Louisianans are sacrificial lambs to the entire American industrial system. Left or right, we all happily use plastic combs, toothbrushes, cell phones, and cars, but we don't all pay for it with high pollution. As research for this book shows, red states pay for it more—partly through their own votes for easier regulation and partly through their exposure to a social terrain of politics, industry, television channels, and a pulpit that invites them to do so. In one way, people in blue states have their cake and cat it too, while many in red states have neither. Paradoxically, politicians on the right appeal to this sense of victimhood, even when policies such as those of former governor Jindal exacerbate the problem.

Related Characters: Arlie Russell Hochschild (speaker), Bobby Jindal
Page Number: 232
Explanation and Analysis:
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Keyhole Issue Term Timeline in Strangers in Their Own Land

The timeline below shows where the term Keyhole Issue appears in Strangers in Their Own Land. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1 – Traveling to the Heart
Trust, Empathy, and Political Progress Theme Icon
Government Regulation and Individual Freedom Theme Icon
The Environment and the Economy Theme Icon
Personal Identity and Emotional Self-Interest Theme Icon
...they don’t want government help for that either.” She chooses environmental pollution as this “ keyhole issue ”—a lens through which she can come to understand the Great Paradox from the viewpoint... (full context)
Chapter 16 – “They Say There Are Beautiful Trees”
Trust, Empathy, and Political Progress Theme Icon
The Environment and the Economy Theme Icon
Personal Identity and Emotional Self-Interest Theme Icon
...blue states, too—like the 1969 Union Oil spill near Santa Barbara. She sees the “ keyhole issue ” of environmental pollution as demonstrating the ultimate human stakes and effects of politics. She... (full context)