Apologies for a political post. I can’t help myself. We are in a defining moment. I’ve almost forgotten about teaching.
Psychologists are trying to explain Trump’s “cognitive dissonance.” But they are ignoring classic studies in stratification theory–Pierre Bourdieu’s Distinction, being the classic. Bourdieu characterizes the elite class (of which Trump is one–born into it rather than as he imagines having made his way into it) as having (paraphrase) an overwhelming belief in consonance between the way they see the world and the way the world is.
Basically, the lower classes don’t contradict them. In addition, the lower classes (this is classic Freire) emulate the upper classes, want the see themselves as overseers. They rescue their diminished sense of themselves by identifying with those who are the “boss,” who see themselves as always right. Bourdieu says the elites are born into a world that trains them into ways of making their projections of themselves be reality; the way they see themselves is the way the underclasses see them. They are born into what could be called this kingly privilege and simply can’t understand others who don’t see the world the way they do. We might look to social class theorists like Bourdieu to understand how Trump has duped (he probably doesn’t know he is doing that) nearly half of America to see what he sees and the way in which he sees it.
[Sidenote I am trying to imagine the U.S. being led by Trump (like compared to Obama!!). Whew!