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.




When Worsley stated that ‘Until our day, human society has never existed’, he meant that only in recent times was it possible to speak of forms of social association that spanned the globe (1984: 1, quoted in Giddens, 1989: 519).

Globalisation refers to the web of connections that results in the lives of individuals and communities in one part of the world being shaped by events, activities and decisions occurring far away, often in different continents. For instance, while factory after factory closes in advanced industrial countries, multinational corporations transfer production to countries where labour is plentiful and cheap:

Places around the world that can control their workers, that do not have unions, that can absorb the environmental costs of unregulated manufacturing and can sustain people ...

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