Read this with some initial trepidation. Was it going to be slushy or too abstractly theoretical to make any sense a la Althusser. The answer is neither. It still has a loud amplified resonance, not only for the USA but also the UK long after it was written nearly 40 plus years ago. The man sacrificing his time for his family by working 2-3 jobs and then demanding his rights when he returns makes perfect sense in the present. This is despite the sexual and feminist revolutions. It begins to explain why there is a high rate of divorce, the parallel lives of men and women never being articulated leading to communication and emotional frustration and breakdown. The man wanting his children to do better to avenge his own sense of failure also rings loud and clear. The children then growing away from their parents physically and culturally also dings dings dings.
Even the list of occupations which are deemed socially desirable also relate to the present. This is one of those sociology books embedded in the real, the here and now. I read it and learnt something from it, despite being involved in the therapeutic field for 25 years thinking I had heard and seen it all. It helped me to think and reflect on what people are trying to tell me, strips away ideology to look at the emotional damage class wields, the lack of self belief, the perennial judging of the individual, never feeling good enough but also the hope of something better.
It should be compulsory reading for all young people before the machine swallows them up into its bowels.