The “Least Resistant Personality Profile” and Factory Farms

While studying rural communities that face poverty, shocking rates of cancer, and poisoned fishing waters from industrial pollution, sociologist Arlie Hochschild learned about a disturbing money making scheme. A “waste-to-energy conversion” company wanted to build plants that burn highly toxic and noxious smelling waste—representing “locally undesirable land use.” This corporation paid half a million dollars … Continue reading The “Least Resistant Personality Profile” and Factory Farms

Terrible Jobs (With Thoughts About Race and Remembering)

My aunt Carolyn retired from a college teaching career and moved into our family’s historic farmhouse in northern Wisconsin. When the St. Paul Pioneer Press asked readers to describe “the worst jobs they ever had” for a Labor Day feature, she wrote about working at a local resort with fishing cabins, where she cleaned latrines … Continue reading Terrible Jobs (With Thoughts About Race and Remembering)

Remembering

The Arlie Hochschild book that I have been pondering includes passages about the Areno family, whose formerly lovely and ecologically rich land—which sustained them both with beauty and food—was turned into a poisoned wasteland by industrial pollution. They talk of their role as “rememberers,” or witnesses to how it used to be. Interestingly, they do this … Continue reading Remembering

Empathy Walls: Thinking about People Who Are Oppressed But Love Trump

There isn’t much point in sending readers from this little blog to the American Academy of Religion’s review portal, Reading Religion—I wish I could send traffic the other way!—but I want to link to a review I recently published there, on Arlie Russell Hochschild’s Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American … Continue reading Empathy Walls: Thinking about People Who Are Oppressed But Love Trump

“Resisting,” Talking to Republicans, and Recalling Trump’s Actual Mandate—At the Same Time!

When the Mafia-backed entrepreneur and con man Donald Trump captured a majority of electoral college votes—although, of course, not the majority of actual votes, even before we inquire how the count may have been affected by “abnormal” Russian propaganda, “normal” Fox propaganda (overlapping with Russian parts), tampering with voting machines (unproven to my knowledge but … Continue reading “Resisting,” Talking to Republicans, and Recalling Trump’s Actual Mandate—At the Same Time!