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 concept of ‘citizen’ can be traced back to the Greek polis, but the word itself comes from the Latin civitas. In its original usage it was connected with membership of a city – most notably with the city of Rome (though the protection it offered was later extended to citizens throughout the Roman Empire) – and expressed in Cicero's declaration Civis Romanus Sum (‘I am a Roman citizen’). In the fifteenth century William Caxton referred to the ‘cytezeyns’ of London. Roman citizens possessed certain rights that were denied to others (for example, women, slaves, freedmen), such as the right to vote in assemblies. By this definition – until in modern times it was widened by the introduction of universal suffrage – citizenship was confined, ...

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