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.




Having stated that ‘Society is our experience of other people around us’, Berger and Berger described our interactions with society as being of two worlds – the everyday ‘micro-world’ of face-to-face relations and the unfamiliar ‘macro-world’ of larger structures, where our experiences of others are largely remote, abstract and anonymous (1976: 13, 18–19). Simmel made a similar point:

If society is to be an autonomous object of an independent discipline then it can only do so by virtue of the fact that, out of the sum total of individual elements which constitute it, a new entity emerges; otherwise all problems of social science would only be those of individual psychology. (1896: 233, quoted in Thompson, 1996: 104)

According to Bauman, the central question for sociology is ...

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