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.



In her (2002) biography of Charles Dickens, Smiley argued that he was the first writer to feel the intense pressure of being simultaneously an artist and the focus of unremitting public interest and adulation. In her opinion, Dickens was not merely ‘a true celebrity’, but also perhaps the first celebrity in the modern sense. Of his initial visit to America in 1842, Dickens wrote to a friend:

There never was a King or Emperor upon earth so cheered, and followed by crowds … and waited on by public bodies and deputations of all kinds. (Quoted in Tomalin, 2011: 130)

Dickens at first welcomed, but then rapidly tired of, the constant attention that he received in America, which included attempts to snip off bits of his clothing and ...

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