My goal in this project is to study the social conditions of freedom in contemporary modern societies. How do the social structures in the kind of society we live in today enable and constrain the freedom of individuals? To answer this question, I will fi rst construct a multidimensional empirical concept of freedom consisting of six subcategories of free action. Using this as my point of departure, I will proceed to develop a sociological diagnosis of the present based on what I will argue are the five mo st important structural principles of contemporary modern societies. By invoking the social mechanisms that depict how these structural principles influence individual actions, I will then be able to study the most important ways in which today's society both enable and constrain the free action of individuals. Northwest Europe will be my empirical case, and my research method is empirical reconstruction with theoretical intent, which consists in analyzing in tandem conceptual and empirical questions whil e drawing on a theoretically sampled corpus of existing empirical studies.