Strangers in Their Own Land Discussion Questions

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Strangers In Their Own Land" by Arlie Russell Hochschild. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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Are you looking for Strangers in Their Own Land discussion questions? How can these questions help you understand concepts in the book?

These Strangers in Their Own Land discussion questions can help you think about key ideas in the book, and start discussing them with others. You can even use these questions to help you work on getting over the empathy wall.

Check out these Strangers in Their Own Land discussion questions for more info about the book.

Strangers in Their Own Land: Discussion Questions

These Strangers in Their Own Land discussion questions can help you understand how status and hierarchy work for conservative beliefs, and other key concepts in the book like an empathy wall.

Understand Status

Explore how insults to your status might impact your worldview.

What are the things in your life that provide you with a sense of honor or status? 

Have you ever been in a situation, either in your personal or professional life, where you believed that your rightful status was threatened or where someone else was given an unfair advantage over you? Describe what happened.

Did the experience make you feel embittered or resentful toward the person you believed was unfairly being waved ahead of you? Describe why or why not.

Understand Strangers in Their Own Land

Explore the main takeaways from Strangers in Their Own Land.

Why do you think working-class conservatives support the Republican Party despite its policies being against their economic interest? 

Why do you think right-wing politics opposes regulation of business, but is in favor of stricter regulation when it comes to things like abortion or private sexual behavior? 

Think of a family member or friend whose political view is the opposite of yours. What was your last political conversation with them like? Next time you talk, what can you do to gain a better understanding of where they’re coming from? Where might you find common ground?

Do you think there is any possibility for working-class conservatives to collaborate with members of historically marginalized groups on the left on shared political goals? Explain how this might happen and which issues might provide some common ground.

Use these Strangers in Their Own Land book club questions to start conversations with those around you.

Strangers in Their Own Land Discussion Questions

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Here's what you'll find in our full Strangers In Their Own Land summary:

  • What drives right-wing politics in America
  • How a lack of empathy is increasing the partisan divide
  • Why Republican politicians remain popular even if their policies don't help their voters

Carrie Cabral

Carrie has been reading and writing for as long as she can remember, and has always been open to reading anything put in front of her. She wrote her first short story at the age of six, about a lost dog who meets animal friends on his journey home. Surprisingly, it was never picked up by any major publishers, but did spark her passion for books. Carrie worked in book publishing for several years before getting an MFA in Creative Writing. She especially loves literary fiction, historical fiction, and social, cultural, and historical nonfiction that gets into the weeds of daily life.

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