The key detail from the story was that because of cosmic rays or some other deadly phenomenon, pilots of spacecraft returning to earth had to be dead people who had been specially reanimated. Living pilots would be killed by the re-entry process. Most of the pilots had been condemned criminals, but the protagonist had volunteered to do it for his own reasons. Space pilots were definitely considered second-class citizens because of their potentially criminal past.
The space pilots had very little sensation (necessary to traverse the deadly space fields), but the protagonist had access to a device that allowed him to sense and feel emotions. The device was called something like an "[Eponymous] Wire", named after its inventor. It allowed the protagonist to spend time with his wife, and not be the semi-automaton he was while in pilot mode.
A plot point was that there was an uprising on the home planet, and the space pilots were perhaps threatening disruptive action. There's a tense moment between two senior members of the ruling class, and one of them prevails because it turns out that the prevailing ruler was also formerly a dead space pilot.
I suspect it's Golden Age because, while the story was more about how society reacted to the technology than earlier "Look at this shiny thing!" stories, I remember the language of space travel seeming very quaint. It might even have used a term like "helmsman" for the reanimated pilots.