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Arlie Russell Hochschild will speak Wednesday, Jan. 18, at UNO. The sociologist spent five years in Lake Charles researching right-leaning voters.

Paige K. Parsons

Sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild, author of "Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning in the American Right," will speak at 1 p.m. Wednesday (Jan. 18) at the University of New Orleans' Innsbruck Room in the University Center, 2000 Lakeshore Drive. The talk is free.

Hochschild, a professor emeritus at University of California-Berkeley, spent years researching her book on the American political landscape, including five years in Lake Charles.

“I set out to spend time with people as different from me, politically, as I could possibly find—and to try to understand them,” she said. “When you study others carefully, you reduce heat and extend light.”

Her theory is that red-state voters feel marginalized by the culture and are casting ballots for their own "emotional self-interest."

Reviewer Jason DeParle of The New York Times wrote that Hochschild “takes seriously the Tea Partiers’ complaints that they have become the ‘strangers’ of the title—triply marginalized by flat or falling wages, rapid demographic change, and liberal culture that mocks their faith and patriotism.”

The book was a finalist for the National Book Award.