Arlie R. Hochschild is Professor Emerita of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. Her most recent research focuses on the rise of the American right—the topic of her latest book, Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right (finalist for the 2016 National Book Award). Based on intensive interviews with Tea Party enthusiasts in Louisiana—who later became ardent supporters of Donald Trump—and conducted over five years, Hochschild tried to scale an “empathy wall” to learn how to see, think, and feel as they do. She focused on what she calls their “deep story”—a feels-as-if story of their difficult struggle for the American Dream. Hidden beneath their right-wing hostility to almost all government intervention, she argues, is the fear that the federal government is an instrument of their displacement by other classes and races.
In other writing—such as her 2012 The Outsourced Self: Intimate Life in Market Times— Hochschild has interviewed child and eldercare workers, internet-dating assistants, wedding planners, even a “wantologist.” Her 2013 So How’s the Family and Other Essays is a collection that includes essays on emotional labor—when do we enjoy it and when not?—empathy, personal strategies for handling life in a time bind, and the global traffic in care workers. Earlier work has been based on field work among older residents of a low income housing project (The Unexpected Community), flight attendants and bill collectors who perform “emotional labor” (The Managed Heart), working parents struggling to divide housework and childcare (The Second Shift), corporate employees dealing with a culture of workaholism (The Time Bind), and Filipina nannies who have left their children behind to care for those of American families (Global Woman). Her work is available in 16 languages.