Rethinking deindustrialisation and male career crisis

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The decline in manufacturing and growth of service based jobs has prompted many social theorists to argue that the ability of working class men to construct meaningful and rewarding careers is becoming ever more limited. Despite using the universal label ‘working class’ the experience of skilled working class men has been largely ignored. This article explores 26 work history interviews collected from 14 former Royal Dockyard tradesmen in South East England and 12 of these men’s sons and grandsons. Findings from this research challenges the idea that most men were/and are passive victims of industrial change. By contrast, the majority of men in this study managed to carefully adapt to and navigate the transition from industrial to post-industrial work whilst still retaining a ‘linear life narrative’ (Sennett, 1998) to give meaning to their evolving careers and lives.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)500-510
Number of pages11
JournalBritish Journal of Guidance & Counselling
Issue number5
Early online date23 May 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2014


  • Deindustrialisation
  • male identity
  • 'crisis' of masculinity
  • career transition


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