1st Edition

The Class Structure of Capitalist Societies, Volume 4 Singular Experiences of Family, Work and Leisure

By Will Atkinson Copyright 2025
    272 Pages
    by Routledge

    This fourth volume of The Class Structure of Capitalist Societies finishes the series by exploring how class infuses people’s past and present efforts to juggle family, work and leisure.

    Previous volumes in the series have examined the shape, history and cultural expressions of class structures in capitalist societies as well as their typical intersections with gender, race/ethnicity, family and more. Now, drawing on in-depth interviews with men and women from the US, Sweden and Germany, this instalment endeavours to show how class actually ‘works out’ in people’s biographies and circumstances, and how, thereby, it is given singular form in their lives. Key to understanding how class works and how it is singularized, the book demonstrates, is its interplay with pressures and interests tied up with family, paid employment and leisure. New concepts and tools, it argues, are necessary to accommodate this multiplicity and, as a result, explain people’s lives more fully, advance our understanding of class and even progress the capacities of sociology as a discipline.

    The volume will be of major interest to scholars of class, family, work, gender and culture but it will also appeal to anyone interested in social theory and the progress of sociology.

    1. Introduction

    2. The structures of everyday life

    3. Constructing singular individuals

    Part I: The US

    4. When work disturbs family and lifestyles

    5. When family disturbs work and lifestyles

    Part II: Sweden

    6. Variations on satisfaction

    7. Variations on dissatisfaction

    Part III: Germany

    8. The struggles of mothers I: Beyond reproduction

    9. The struggles of mothers II: Mobility and necessity

    10. The struggles of men

    Part IV: Conclusions and prospects

    11. Conclusions and prospects

    Appendix: On existing theories of borders and balances


    Will Atkinson is Professor of Sociology at the University of Bristol, UK. He is the author of Class (2nd ed, 2024), Class in the New Millennium (2017) and Bourdieu and After (2020) as well as the other volumes in the Class Structure of Capitalist Societies series: A Space of Bounded Variety (2020), Social Space and Symbolic Domination in Three Nations (2022) and Love, Lifestyles and a Multiplicity of Capitals (2024).