The deep political divide in our country continues to grow. Anger and distrust of our political system is widespread, especially among the conservative right. How are we to understand and repair this divide? How accurate are liberal ideas about “red” America and conservative ideas about “blue” America? Berkeley sociologist Arlie Hochschild, author of Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right (New Press, 2016), spent five years in the Louisiana bayou country studying white working class
conservatives. She seeks to climb “the empathy wall,” to listen and understand the lives and beliefs of those living amid the environmental damage caused by the petrochemical industry, with poor health, economic insecurity, and diminished hopes. In addition, Hochschild leaves us with suggestions about how we, liberals and conservatives alike, might engage in dialogue. Please join us in exploring the complex lives of Hochschild’s subjects, and deepening our understanding of their fears, resentments and sense of betrayal. Whether you agree or not with the political beliefs of these fellow Americans, you may come away with greater comprehension of their life experiences and, dare we say it — greater empathy. Note: This study group will run during the first seven weeks of the semester.
* NOTE: Participants may register for this study group alone or in combination with a second 7-week study group. Registering for up to two 7-week study groups counts as one study group choice on your membership package, but it must be done through the OLLI office. Please indicate your choice(s) on your registration form. 7-week study groups include the following: Fostering Civic Engagement through the Creative Arts II; Our Declaration; Make Powerful OLLI Presentations; Fiction Writing Workshop I or II; Strangers in Their Own Land; Chamber Music Masterpieces for Larger Ensembles.