This is a highly readable and approachable account of the sociology of work. With the additional material included in this new edition, Edgell brings the topic squarely into the 21st Century. The book provides excellent coverage of many of the key debates within the field in a lucid, yet succinct manner. All of the principal issues and controversies are placed into historical perspective, with a consistent focus on key developments, transitions, continuities and discontinuities within patterns of work and employment. Edgell demonstrates excellent command of a wide-ranging subject matter, rendering intelligible a broad set of interrelated themes. In short, this is a first-rate introductory text that is sure to become essential reading for students, teachers, and researchers who are interested in this fieldJason Hughes
Senior Lecturer, Brunel University
The Sociology of Work is an excellent text. Its comparative and historical sweep is particularly welcome and the analysis provided is thoughtful and well grounded. Stephen Edgell is to be congratulated for successfully updating and refreshing the original text and for providing such a valuable and accessible resource
Emeritus Professor, University of Glasgow
The second edition of Steve Edgell's book is an invaluable and up-to-date text for students and researchers. Detailed and wide-ranging in its scope it is an excellent source of materials combined with a thought provoking and challenging set of arguments
Professor, Cardiff University
I have been interested in the sociology of work all my academic career. At the beginning I taught undergraduate courses at the University of Salford on the Sociology of Industrial Capitalism and researched the work-family nexus with reference to professional workers and their wives (Middle-Class Couples: A Study of Segregation, Domination and Inequality in Marriage
, 1980). Although my research career moved in the direction of political sociology (A Measure of Thatcherism: A Sociology of Britain
, 1991), social class (Class
, 1993), consumption (Consumption Matters: The Production and Experience of Consumption
, 1996), and the social theories of Thorstein Veblen (Veblen in Perspective: His Life and Thought
, 2001), throughout this period I maintained an interest in the sociology of work via teaching. This varied research career encompassed qualitative methods (case studies), quantitative methods (panel study), and historical methods (archival research).
The tendency for sociology of work textbooks to focus on standard paid work to the relative exclusion of non-standard work and unpaid work prompted me to suggest to Chris Rojek at SAGE that I write a sociology of work textbook that covers 'work' more comprehensively. With his encouragement the first edition of this book was published in 2006. I welcomed the opportunity to revise and update completely the First Edition since it enabled me to address some sins of omission and commission that I was aware of, many of which were noted in the constructive criticisms by reviewers enlisted by SAGE.