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.




Williams described community as a ‘warmly persuasive’ word:

What is most important, perhaps, is that unlike all other terms of social organization (state, nation, society, etc.) it seems never to be used unfavourably, and never to be given any positive opposing or distinguishing term. (1976: 76)

Following a riot in 1980 in England, in the St Paul's area of Bristol, Potter and Wetherall set out to discover how the term ‘community’ had been employed by studying local and national press and TV coverage, parliamentary proceedings, and official reports, as well as transcripts of interviews with those actively involved in the disturbances. They found that certain sorts of predicates were repeatedly attached to the word ‘community’, for example, ‘closeness’, ‘integration’ and ‘friendliness’, and that

Without exception, where the ...

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