Rural Tensions paper

Rural Tensions paper Instructions.

Book- A.Hochschild. Strangers in their own Land (SOL)New York: The New Press

Hochschild in Strangers….points out a paradox- in Louisiana, people believe in the American dream of success through hard work and achieving more than the previous generation but reject efforts of government to improve their health, welfare, education and quality of life e.g. the environment, water, air, and endangered species. They sit at the bottom of the table on all these indicators see Hochschild pp.   appendix on Fact Checking and footnotes.   The people of Louisiana  are the primary recipients of federal dollars when compared to what the state contributes to federal income. They are the beneficiaries of the Affordable Care Act, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, FEMA, the National Guard and the military (for disaster relief), for roads, bridges, air quality and air traffic safety, yet vehemently reject the federal government and assert their stoical independence. In several chapters of the book Hochschild argues that “cowboy stoicism,” religion, and local loyalty ties people to their beliefs in spite of evidence to the contrary about their actual life-situation and the (environmental) risks to which they are exposed (literally). Since it is assumed that people respond to the legal system, take it into account and are deterred by it e.g. criminals are deterred by strong police presence and actions, how do you explain the views of people in Lake Charles. LA? They are not deterred; they continue in their ignorance; they overlook violent destruction of their own environment but see “criminals” as people to be locked up. Looking at pp. 135-151 what explains their adherence to their social world of the law and law in action?

  • The American dream is something like (metaphor) waiting in line for your hard work to “pay off” for you and your children and grandchildren. You work hard and pay your bills and taxes. Life is fair.
  • There are “others,” not my neighbors or anybody I know, who cheat, cut in line, take advantage in spite of not being hard… working people.
  • We are betrayed by government and others who are letting others take advantage. I resent this, it makes me angry. We are not getting what we need from the government.
  • Media and others are biased and call us names -angry labels like “hillbillies,” “red necks,” and “trailer trash.”
  • There is no racism in America, so I am not a racist.

Take all of these into consideration while writing!

Summarize the book, data and thesis briefly. The primary assumption of CJ system is that people trust the government, provide information, and support it. The citizens of Lake Charles see crime and risks coming from elsewhere yet they suffer risks from the environment locally. They do not trust government. They want a war on drugs elsewhere and high rates of imprisionization, but ignore their own problems and blame others. Why is this? How does the narrative above explain the rejection of governmental programs but an acceptance of Medicare, social security and disaster relief? They might say, “I earned it, but much is going to someone else (who does not deserve it)” Why does this attitude lead to support of punitive sentences, crack downs, high rates of stops in urban areas? How does a social context of beliefs shape criminal justice?