Chapter

Going down? Caught between stasis and mobility

Rachel Thomson

in Unfolding lives

Published by Policy Press

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9781847420510
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447304104 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847420510.003.0005
Going down? Caught between stasis and mobility

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This chapter focuses on Stan, a middle-class, young white man growing up in the affluent commuter belt but struggling for a sense of purpose. He was interviewed three times, at ages 18 in 1999, 19 in 2000, and 20 in 2001. In addition, Stan completed a memory book between the first and second interviews. Stan's case history is drawn primarily from the data gathered from these interviews and his memory book. It captures a period of intense personal change. The portrait focuses on Stan's ‘experiments’ with consumption, religion, and work, providing insight into the identity work that is necessary for the new middle class to maintain social privilege.

Keywords: Stan; young white man; personal change; identity work; experiments with consumption; experiments with religion; experiments with work; new middle class; social privilege

Chapter.  10223 words. 

Subjects: Marriage and the Family

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