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Longtime UC Berkeley sociology professor Arlie Russell Hochschild has centered her work on understanding how those in the majority culture discuss and perceive minority groups. She spent five years in the area around Lake Charles, La., studying the mindset of Tea Party members and exploring the contrast between the population’s disdain for government and their apparent need of its resources. Her findings were chronicled in 2016’s Strangers in Their Own Land, which was a National Book Award finalist.
On Monday, Hochschild — in conversation with actor Benjamin Russell — will discuss how theater can allow individuals to overcome an “empathy wall” and grasp the “deep story” and experiences of the other. Part of Arts + Design Mondays, which is presented and sponsored by Berkeley Arts + Design and hosted at BAMPFA, the event will consider how these stories can lead to cooperative partnerships.