In this book one of Europe's foremost sociologists offers a profound and accessible overview of the trajectory of European societies, East and West, since the end of World War II. Combining theoretical depth with factual analysis, Göran Therborn addresses the questions that underpin an understanding of the nature of European modernity, including: To what extent is the period 1945-2000 producing fundamental change and what are the areas of continuity? Have the societies of Europe become more similar to others on the globe or more distinctively European? What are the prospects of Europe after decades of postwar change and the end of the Cold War? Issues covered include the division of paid and unpaid labour,

Risks and Opportunities

Risks and opportunities

Between conceiving modernity in terms of opportunity, of achievement or performance in contrast to ascription, and viewing it as a risk society, a certain amount of experience and reflection has occurred.

Opportunity, and the equality of it, is an ancient concern of liberal modernity. Conceived as intergenerational mobility it is also a longstanding concern of sociology, dating back, if not exactly to the classics, at least to the 1920s.1 An interest in the opposite of opportunity, in risk, is of much more recent date. True, risk is an old stock-in-trade of insurance actuaries, at least since the nineteenth century, and it is an established concept of twentieth-century continental social law, but the centre-stage of social thought was not open to actuaries ...

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