What do European societies look like, at the end of a turbulent millennium which saw western Europe slowly rise to global domination, and then rapidly decline to its present position, prosperous but clearly behind the USA in world influence? This is the only book by a single sociologist to make a systematic and up to date comparison of virtually all west European countries across a wide range of social institutions. These include: work and
occupations, the structure of the economy, the family, education, religion, nationality and ethnicity, and the mechanism of citizenship in the welfare state. Particular emphasis is placed on the place of gender and social class. By including basic details on Japan and the United States throughout, the
author is able to draw attention to any shared west European specificities. The book also develops a theory of change in contemporary societies. Starting from a model of a mid-century social compromise based on certain balances between industrialism, capitalism, traditional community institutions, and community it traces its subsequent destabilization and places particular importance on the resurgence of capitalism in shaping a new social order.
This important new study of the social structure of western Europe will be essential reading for all students of comparative sociology and European sociology.
`This is a very impressive book.. a major source of wide ranging information on the social contours of Western Europe. The style is clear and the argumentation lucid.'
Richard Hyman, LSE
'The clearly structured presentation is founded on a broad empirical base. ... It also includes references to the major theories. The author is successful in pointing out the fundamental structures of European changes since the middle of the past century and examines the relevant concepts in a thoughtful way. The wealth of information and the style of writing make the work an ideal study book.' European Journal of Social Work
Prologue: The End of the European Millennium
1: The Making of Contemporary Europe
Part I: The Fate of Industrialism: Industrializing, Industrial or Post-Industrial Societies?
2: Work, Households and Occupations
3: The Organization of Working Life: Between Stability and Flexibility
4: The Sectors of Employment
Part II: Changes and Diversity in the Character of Capitalism
5: Capitalism and Inequality in Work
6: The Institutions of Modern Capitalism
Part III: Sociological Liberalism and the Institutions of Traditional Community
7: The Family
8: Families, Education, and Social Mobility
9: The Paradox of Religion
10: Nations, Cultures and Ethnicities
Part IV: Citizenship
11: Democracy and Mass Participation
12: The Organization of Social Interests
13: Mass Citizenship and Welfare States
14: Is There a Western European Society?
15: What Type of Society are We Now Inhabiting?
Series: European Societies
Number Of Pages: 568
Published: 1st December 1999
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.5 x 17.0
Weight (kg): 0.91