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.

Social Movements

Social movements

According to Touraine (1982), social movements are central to sociology because they are a fundamental form of citizens' action and central to contemporary political realignments and new political identities (exemplified by the environmental and women's movements). One of the reasons Giddens gives for the sociological interest in social movements is that it may alter the way sociologists approach their work (for instance, the women's movement highlighted weaknesses in existing frameworks of sociological thought) (1989: 628–629).

Many commentators have identified nineteenth-century labour movements as the first modern social movement:

People have, to be sure, banded together more or less self-consciously for the pursuit of common ends since the beginning of history. The nineteenth century, however, saw the rise of the social movement in the sense of ...

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