A creator of the field of the sociology of emotion. Treating emotion seriously in our life together. “I could see what they couldn’t see but not what I couldn’t see.” Our stories as “felt” not merely factual. Caring is not the same as capitulating.
One of the voices many have been turning to in recent years is Arlie Hochschild. She helped create the field of the sociology of emotion — our stories as “felt” rather than merely factual. When she published her book, Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right, in the fall of 2016, it felt like she had chronicled the human dynamics that have now come to upend American culture. It was based on five years of friendship and research in Tea Party country at that movement’s height, far from her home in Berkeley, California. Her understanding of emotion in society and politics feels even more important at this juncture. So does the reflective, self-critical sensibility this experience gave Arlie Hochschild on her own liberal instincts. Caring, she says, is not the same as capitulating.
Arlie Hochschild is professor emerita in the Sociology Department at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of nine books including The Managed Heart, The Second Shift, and Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right, a finalist for the National Book Award.
This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Arlie Hochschild — Arlie Hochschild — On the Deep Story of Our Time." Find more at onbeing.org.