Sociology consists of a myriad of frequently confusing concepts. Key Concepts in Sociology provides a comprehensive, lively and clearly-written guide to the most important concepts in the subject. It includes both what might be regarded as ‘classic’ sociological concepts, such as ‘class’, ‘bureaucracy’ and ‘community’, as well as subjects that have become increasingly prominent in recent times, such as ‘celebrity’, ‘risk’ and ‘the body’.

Each of the thirty-eight substantive entries: Defines the concept; provides a clear and compelling narrative; clarifies the main debates, perspectives and disagreements; gives advice on further reading

Key Concepts in Sociology should be the first choice for sociology students at all levels of learning.

Alienation

Alienation
Alienation

Weber's phrase Enzauberung der Welt, generally translated as ‘the disenchantment of the world’, gives weight to the claim that, with few exceptions, sociologists tend to take a pessimistic view of modern life, and it can be argued that alienation was a ‘core component’ in this regard. Weigert discerned two aspects of alienation: the sense of being a stranger in your own life and the sense that something important has been lost as a result of the structure and operation of modern life. He illustrated the alienating character of modern life by referring, first, to Weber's view of life in an era of bureaucratic rationalisation as existing within an ‘iron cage’, where those who failed to see the bars enclosing them were trapped even more ...

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