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.




Etymologically, the word Orientalism comes from that region of the heavens or the world in which the sun rises. The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary defines an ‘Orientalist’ as one versed in Oriental languages and literature and ‘Oriental’ as belonging to, found in, or characteristic of the countries of the Orient, which it gives (variously) as eastern countries, countries east of the Mediterranean, countries to the east of Europe, and the countries of South-Western Asia, or of Asia generally.

The debate in sociology and cultural studies about Orientalism largely revolved around the thesis of Edward Said's Orientalism (1978), which he developed further in Covering Islam (1981) and Culture and Imperialism (1993). Said's contributions to social and literary theory and political analysis revolved around ‘a sustained criticism of ...

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