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.
For the most part, sociologists had tended to avoid involvement in debates about what economists see as purely economic matters – such as the motivation and behaviour of ‘economic man’. A Granovetter put it:
With few exceptions, sociologists have refrained from serious study of any subject already claimed by neoclassical economics. They have implicitly accepted the presumption of economists that ‘market processes’ are not suitable subjects of sociological study because social relations play only a frictional and disruptive role, not a central one, in modern societies. (1985: 504)
In neo-classical economics, individuals are assumed to act rationally by seeking to maximise their material interests. By extension, larger entities, such as big corporations – where profitability is maximised by principles of rationality, strict accounting and efficient ...