I downloaded Strangers in Their Own Land, tried to read it, but gave up. It has plenty of data, but it provided no understanding of that data. This article provides some of that understanding:
This story was that America, which was once characterized by hard work, was now characterized by cheating; the image that Hochschild chose was that of people cutting in line.
But these same people who complain about cheating, do plenty of it themselves. They want free handouts also – and see nothing wrong with that, if they are the ones benefiting from it.
Hypocrisy is rampant, in America, at all levels. American is fast becoming a failed nation – it has failed its own ethical standards.
Hochschild developed a particular interest in why people who had suffered so much from deregulation were working so hard for politicians who wanted more of it.
Thomas Frank also wrote about this in What’s the Matter with Kansas? And then in Listen, Liberal. And frankly, he does a better job of it. Small towns in Louisiana are not the main problem – the problem is in Washington, D.C.