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.

Equality

Equality
Equality

In their book Sociology: A Biographical Approach, the Bergers referred to the principles enshrined in the American Declaration of Independence of 1776 (‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’) and then stated:

If there is to be equality of opportunity anywhere, surely it has to be in America.

Here, they could rely on the ‘American Creed’ which, in Myrdal's classic analysis of racial inequalities, depended on ‘equal opportunity, fair play, free competition – “independent of race, creed or colour” – [which] is deeply imprinted in the nationally sanctioned morals of America’ (1964a [1944]: 214). However, the Bergers concluded ...

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