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.



Simone de Beauvoir's statement in The Second Sex that ‘One is not born, but rather becomes a woman’ (1973 [1949]: 301) is central to understanding gender: she wished to demonstrate that the way that men and women are expected to behave varies historically and within and between cultures.

To appreciate how the sociological approach to gender has changed over recent decades, compare the words of Oakley and Giddens – written fifteen years apart. In The Sociology of Housework, Oakley argued that:

The male focus, incorporated into the definitions of the subject, reduces women to a side issue from the start. (1974b: 4)

To support Oakley's point, it is worth noting that the indexes to Chinoy (1967), Worsley (1977), and Berger and Berger (1976) – all widely-read introductions ...

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