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When dogma turns toxic

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Jonathan M. Metzl, author of 'Dying of Whiteness'
Jonathan M. Metzl, author of "Dying of Whiteness"
Courtesy of John Russel, Vanderbilt University and Basic Books

Why do so many working-class white Americans support policies that are killing them? That's the question at the heart of sociologist and psychiatrist Jonathan Metzl's new book, "Dying of Whiteness."

Using case studies, Metzl looks at how cultural issues associated with "whiteness" encourage voters to adopt political views — like gun rights or opposition to the Affordable Care Act — that literally undermine their health.

MPR News host Kerri Miller spoke to Metzl about what he found during the six years he spent talking to white people in the Midwest and South, asking about their political choices and contrasting that with their lived reality.

Guest:
Johnathan Metzl, author of "Dying of Whiteness"

To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above.