First published in 1977. This book considers the nature of industrial society, contemporary capitalism and the impact of political ideas on social structure. These ideas are discussed by reference to the impact of social democracy on the structure of capitalist society in a comparative analysis of Britain and Sweden — including an interview survey of industrial workers socio-political attitudes. The study is concluded by a general discussion of the role of social democracy in capitalist society. It is argued that the development of social democracy generates ‘strains’ which, in the long term, question the legitimacy of capitalism among industrial manual workers.