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.



The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary defines risk in terms of hazard, danger, exposure to mischance or peril, and the chance of commercial gain or loss. It might be thought that risk has multiplied in today's society insofar as we face numerous risks at home and work, when travelling, in relation to our health, and as a result of corporate strategies and the decisions we make about personal finance (Dean, 2005a: 311–312). Although the terms ‘risk’ and ‘hazard’ are often used interchangeably in the relevant literature, Dean suggests that hazard refers to natural events that can be thought of as acts of God or as being fated – such as famines, plagues or natural disasters – while risk concerns phenomena that society and individuals can measure ...

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