In this sociology text the contributors provide an introduction to the subject without over-simplifying or `writing-down' to their audience. The book aims to furnish undergraduates with the knowledge that will help them to understand and practice sociology and also to develop a self-perpetuating sociological imagination to enable them to think through new issues and new problems. It consists of a series of specially commissioned chapters around binary or dichotomous themes. Although many sociologists are critical of dichotomous models of sociological theory and research, the device crops up again and again in the history and practice of the subject. Jenks and his colleagues use the dichotomies to situate students in curren
The contents of this chapter are, in many senses, foundational to a lot of the arguments that follow within this book, as are many of the authors referred to.
Of all the concepts which sociology has developed to understand and investigate society, social structure is the most important and absolutely central to the ...