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 MPIfG Books



Colin Crouch
Social Change in Western Europe
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999 
568 pages
ISBN 978-0-19-878068-7 | £ 23.99 | € 38.94
Order directly from Oxford University Press.



Abstract | Contents | Author




What do European societies look like at the end of a turbulent millennium? A period that witnessed 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 weight is placed on the place of gender and social class. Shared West European characteristics are emphasized by the inclusion on basic details on Japan and the United States throughout.
The book also develops a theory of change in contemporary societies. Starting from a model of mid-century social compromise - based on certain balances between industrialism, capitalism, traditional community institutions, and citizenship - 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.





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 Form of Society?
15 What Type of Society Are We Now Inhabiting?



Colin Crouch ist Professor of Sociology at the European University Institute and an Associate Member of the Max Planck Society and the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Cologne.
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