The 'greatest hits' of Australia's most decorated social scientist Painters have their Retrospective Exhibitions, poets their Selected Poems, chess masters their Best Games, singers their Greatest Hits. But a researcher? It seems bold, even vainglorious, to present my Greatest Hits and Best Games. So much of social science is collaborative, so much depends on organisations, networks, shared ideas and shared excitement. This book is not an autobiography, but it is a collection of work by one researcher over forty years. I hope to show by example how intellectual projects can develop, how different lines of thought can meet and weave. The collection is arranged in five sections, concerned with class structure, gender relations, the making of masculinities, the social dimension of education, and the global economy of knowledge. It includes some of my best-known writing and allows me to raise questions about change. These fields all involve questions of social justice. When I started out, I assumed that accurate knowledge and good understanding would support action for social justice. Sometimes that assumption was battered - at other times I could be more optimistic. Choosing the articles wasn't easy. It wasn't a matter of picking favourites. I wanted texts that would say something relevant to readers now, and texts that would show the development of a field through time. Unexpectedly, that meant a tilt towards theory. I mostly do theoretical work close to empirical studies, whether fieldwork or archival; I try to think in the presence of the data, so to speak. So here it is. It may or may not be my Best Games or Greatest Hits, but it is the best collection of my work. I hope it will be useful to anyone interested in how ideas develop, how social science is built, and what directions we might take intellectual work in the near future.