Strangers in Their Own Land

Strangers in Their Own Land

by

Arlie Russell Hochschild

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Line Cutters Term Analysis

Refers to the various groups that, according to the conservative deep story, seem to be cutting working-class whites in line for the American dream. This includes government workers, as well as minority groups that gained a cultural voice starting in the 1960s and 1970s, including Americans of color, women, immigrants, refugees, LGBT Americans, and arguably even endangered species like the brown pelican.

Line Cutters Quotes in Strangers in Their Own Land

The Strangers in Their Own Land quotes below are all either spoken by Line Cutters or refer to Line Cutters. 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 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:

Missing from the image of blacks in most of the minds of those I came to know was a man or woman standing patiently in line next to them waiting for a well-deserved reward.

Related Characters: Arlie Russell Hochschild (speaker)
Page Number: 148
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 10 Quotes

“I don't mind somebody being gay if they want to be gay. Just be a regular person, go to work, mow the lawn, fish. You don't have to be shouting it from the mountaintops. Don't make me change and don't call me a bigot if I don't.”

Related Characters: Janice Areno (speaker), Arlie Russell Hochschild
Page Number: 162
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 14 Quotes

How do you join the identity politics parade and also bring it to a halt?

Related Characters: Arlie Russell Hochschild (speaker)
Page Number: 212
Explanation and Analysis:

For the Tea Party around the country, the shifting moral qualifications for the American Dream had turned them into strangers in their own land, afraid, resentful, displaced, and dismissed by the very people who were, they felt, cutting in line. The undeclared class war transpiring on a different stage, with different actors, and evoking a different notion of fairness was leading those engaged in it to blame the “supplier” of the impostors—the federal government.

Related Characters: Arlie Russell Hochschild (speaker)
Page Number: 218
Explanation and Analysis:
Afterword Quotes

Disaggregated, such smaller narratives hung free, maybe to gather in some new way downstream. And to all this was the background presence of a powerful truth—life had been hard for them and it could get a lot worse.

Related Characters: Arlie Russell Hochschild (speaker)
Page Number: 256
Explanation and Analysis:

The history of the United States has been the history of whites cutting ahead of blacks, first of all through slavery, and later through Jim Crow laws and then through New Deal legislation and the post-World War II GI Bill, which offered help to millions of Americans with the exception of those in farm and domestic work, occupations in which blacks were overrepresented. And racial discrimination continues today.

Related Characters: Arlie Russell Hochschild (speaker)
Page Number: 260-1
Explanation and Analysis:

For the most part, the real line cutters are not people one can blame or politicians [one] can thunder against. That’s because they’re not people. They’re robots. Nothing is changing the face of American industry faster than automation, and nowhere is that change more stark than in the cornerstone of Louisiana’s industrial wealth, oil.

Related Characters: Arlie Russell Hochschild (speaker)
Page Number: 261
Explanation and Analysis:
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Line Cutters Term Timeline in Strangers in Their Own Land

The timeline below shows where the term Line Cutters appears in Strangers in Their Own Land. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 9 – The Deep Story
Trust, Empathy, and Political Progress Theme Icon
Capitalism, Media, and Class Conflict Theme Icon
Personal Identity and Emotional Self-Interest Theme Icon
...it feels like “it’s people like you who have made this country great.” Despite the line cutters ’ complaints of discrimination and oppression, white Christian men resent them and eventually “close the... (full context)
Trust, Empathy, and Political Progress Theme Icon
Capitalism, Media, and Class Conflict Theme Icon
...are these groups getting ahead? It appears that “President Barack Hussein Obama” is on the line cutters ’ side, waving to them and “telling you that these line cutters deserve special treatment,”... (full context)
Capitalism, Media, and Class Conflict Theme Icon
Personal Identity and Emotional Self-Interest Theme Icon
...is also in short supply for older white Louisiana men: “cultural doors” started opening for line-cutting minorities during the 1960s and 1970s, even while those minorities seemed to be taking whites’... (full context)
Chapter 15 – Strangers No Longer: The Power of Promise
Trust, Empathy, and Political Progress Theme Icon
Capitalism, Media, and Class Conflict Theme Icon
Personal Identity and Emotional Self-Interest Theme Icon
...for Trump’s rising popularity: Louisiana conservatives felt like “a besieged minority,” united against the “ line cutters ” and their patron, President Obama. (full context)
Afterword to the Paperback Edition
Trust, Empathy, and Political Progress Theme Icon
Personal Identity and Emotional Self-Interest Theme Icon
...“the staunchest of Trump fans,” alongside Lee Sherman, and she applauds his antagonism toward “ line cutters .” She jokes that the Mexico border wall should extend to cut off California, too. (full context)
Trust, Empathy, and Political Progress Theme Icon
Capitalism, Media, and Class Conflict Theme Icon
Louisiana conservatives also see women as “ line cutters ”—men tend to place them in the “separate mental categories” of daughters, wives, or competitors... (full context)
Capitalism, Media, and Class Conflict Theme Icon
Personal Identity and Emotional Self-Interest Theme Icon
Who, Hochschild asks, are “the real line cutters ”? She concludes that they are robots. Automation disproportionately threatens the unskilled oil jobs on... (full context)