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.

Division of Labour

Division of Labour
Division of labour

One of the most significant features of modern economic systems is the way work is divided into a huge number of different occupations and work tasks are specialised. According to Garnsey:

The division of labour is a central concept in social and economic thought. It provides the means by which the connections between economic processes and social relationships can be identified. It forms a basis of hierarchies of power and advantage. Yet the division of labour has for long been treated as a secondary phenomenon, at one remove from the main focus of analysis in both economics and sociology. (1981: 337)

The idea of the division of labour was used by Adam Smith in The Wealth of Nations (1950 [1776]) to explain ...

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