Men in Manual Occupations: Changing Lives in Times of Change

Kristoffer Chelsom Vogt


A shortage of skilled workers is currently emerging in many countries. Yet public discourse and much research literature convey the impression that manual labor is somehow outmoded, requiring competencies that are no longer necessary in today’s «post-industrial, information-based society». The question of how to achieve the right balance between different types of work in a society is one that transcends national borders.

This book challenges received thinking in the areas of work and education. It does so by presenting novel evidence on the lives and thoughts of men skilled in male-dominated, manual occupations in Norway. The heart of the book is comprised of extracts from life-story interviews in which workers, in their own vivid and vigorous language, talk about their experiences with work and education over the course of their lives. Detailed exploration of opportunities and constraints in individuals’ lives form the basis for a critical discussion of often unnoticed, exclusionary consequences of ongoing social change.


About the book

«Through cohort comparison and life story interviews Vogt offers a richly nuanced account of the changing social experiences of men in manual occupations over the past 50 years. His book provides a fascinating analysis of the links between lived experiences and social structural change. It also raises important questions about how we see the relationship between education, work and knowledge in 21st century societies».

Sarah Irwin, Professor of Sociology, University of Leeds (UK).

«The subject of Vogt's book is the important and timely one of ideas of the post-industrial, knowledge, and information society, as characterizing present-day industrial societies. He subjects these ideas to a forceful and thoroughgoing critique, based on detailed empirical work among a variety of Norwegian workers».

Krishan Kumar, Professor, University of Virginia (USA).

Author Biography

Kristoffer Chelsom Vogt

Kristoffer Chelsom Vogt (b. 1982) holds a PhD from the Department of Sociology, University of Bergen, Norway. He was a postdoc on the project Intergenerational Transmission in the Transition to Adulthood (funded by the Norwegian Research Council). Vogt’s research interests lie in the intersection between life course research and research concerning education, work, class, youth transitions, family and gender. He has published on topics ranging from vocational education, early school leaving, youth transitions, post-industrial theory, class analysis, gender segregation and intergenerational relations. Vogt is Associate Professor at the Depatment of Sociology, University of Bergen. 

Cover Image
February 27, 2017


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