Prof. Dr. Arlie Russell Hochschild

"The Surprising Journey of Grievance"

Zeit: 12.05.2021, 18-20 Uhr

In the talk I would like to explore the “journey” of a grievance. Based on the reports of ardent Louisiana Trump supporters whom I’ve followed over a long period of time, I trace the various steps through which grievance can be transformed from
1) a local complaint to
2) a publicly legitimized grievance, mobilized by Donald Trump to 
3) a legitimized and empowered grievance (at the time of January 6th, 2021)
4) de-legitimized (at the time of Trumps second impeachment) to
5) a state of de-mobilization  or re-assembly. There has been, for example, a decline in one right wing group, the KKK, but a rise in  another, the Three Percenters. 
In this period of fractionalization, some believers intensify their anger and paranoia while others to varying degrees detach from their grievance. Can we think of these five stages as ways of holding grievance, and therefore as modes of emotion management in a changing context of feeling rules?

Arlie Russell Hochschild is a professor (emerita) at the Sociology Department and the Graduate School of the University of California, Berkeley, USA. She has become widely known to a German readership through her book "Strangers in Their Own Land (2016)", translated into German by Ulrike Bischoff and published as "Fremde in ihrem Land. Eine Reise ins Herz der amerikanischen Rechten" (Campus). 

Work on the book took her to Louisiana during 5 years of intensive interviews with Tea Party enthusiasts. These encounters brought to light  feelings of frustration, exclusion and antagonism towards the state and its "elites" - part of the emotional "deep story" of the political Right in the US. This perceived reality is an important factor to be aware of, particularly in the context of any attempts at overcoming the extreme divisions of (US-)culture.

Arlie R. Hochschild's recent sociological work has focused on various areas of culture, politics and emotionality. Further topics include the structure of families, public and private culture, global developments in care work and  in social psychology more widely. She is a prominent social scientist, and above all one who is willing and uniquely able to enter into dialogue with people beyond academia.