Strangers in Their Own Land

Strangers in Their Own Land

by

Arlie Russell Hochschild

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Whereas white conservative Louisianans like Mike Schaff generally “defined as racist a person who used the ‘N’ word or who ‘hates’ blacks,” Hochschild sticks to a sociological concept of racism as “the belief in a natural hierarchy that places blacks at the bottom, and the tendency of whites to judge their own worth by distance from that bottom.” This difference is crucial to understanding conservative Louisianans’belief that they are not racist, even though many mix their distaste for government welfare with horribly exaggerated and generalized media stereotypes about black Americans. In general, Hochschild says, the white people she met had little to do with or say about black Louisianans, but “spoke freely” about their feelings on Muslims and Mexicans. Many of the people Hochschild met in Louisiana thought of systemic racism as a thing of the past and saw no issue with casting their ballots for Donald Trump.

Racism Quotes in Strangers in Their Own Land

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

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 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:
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:
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Racism Term Timeline in Strangers in Their Own Land

The timeline below shows where the term Racism 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
Capitalism, Media, and Class Conflict Theme Icon
...being racists even though, “by their own definition, they clearly were not.” They think of racism as explicit hatred for blacks—Mike Schaff even admits to being a “former bigot” who “used... (full context)
Capitalism, Media, and Class Conflict Theme Icon
Personal Identity and Emotional Self-Interest Theme Icon
Hochschild offers a different, sociological definition of racism as “the belief in a natural hierarchy that places blacks at the bottom, and the... (full context)
Afterword to the Paperback Edition
Capitalism, Media, and Class Conflict Theme Icon
Personal Identity and Emotional Self-Interest Theme Icon
Hochschild explains that the events in Charlottesville were “rekindling a nationwide racism that had never disappeared.” Racist movements have waxed and waned with the times, in the... (full context)
Trust, Empathy, and Political Progress Theme Icon
Capitalism, Media, and Class Conflict Theme Icon
Personal Identity and Emotional Self-Interest Theme Icon
Hochschild concludes that Louisianans’ hostility to “unitary,” explicit racism is undermined by the racist “subnarratives” they still believe. They will condemn the KKK but... (full context)
Trust, Empathy, and Political Progress Theme Icon
Capitalism, Media, and Class Conflict Theme Icon
These Louisianans believe that liberal Americans’ “race consciousness was itself a form of racism” and feel that liberals define them by their whiteness. Ray Bowman worries that his son... (full context)