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.




To say in ordinary conversation that someone is speaking ideologically is to suggest that they are judging a given issue with preconceived ideas and that this distorts their understanding (Eagleton, 1991: 3). This view is consistent with the comment that, in the late twentieth century:

Still, the most common use of ‘ideology‘ was pejorative: ideology is opposed to ‘fact‘, ‘logic’, ‘reason’, ‘philosophy’, and even ‘truth’. (Grossberg, 2005: 177)

If the word ideology is often used to describe the ideas of others, and never to describe one's own ideas, perhaps this

… can be explained by the fact that, in providing the very concepts through which the world becomes intelligible, our ideology is effectively invisible. (Heywood, 2003: 13, emphasis added)

Thus, liberals might condemn communism and fascism as ideologies, ...

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