Essential Concepts in Sociology
Essential Concepts in Sociology
Social life is in a constant process of change, and sociology cannot afford to stand still. Sociology today is theoretically diverse, covers a huge range of subjects and draws on a broad array of research methods. Central to this endeavour is the use of core concepts and ideas which allow sociologists to make sense of societies, though our understanding of these concepts is constantly evolving and changing.

This clear and jargon-free book introduces a careful selection of essential concepts that have helped to shape sociology, and others that continue to do so. Going beyond brief, dictionary-style definitions, Anthony Giddens and Philip W. Sutton provide an extended discussion of each concept which sets it into historical and theoretical context, explores its main meanings in use, introduces some relevant criticisms, and points readers to its ongoing development in contemporary research and theorizing.

Organized in ten thematic sections, the book offers a portrait of sociology through its essential concepts ranging from capitalism, identity and deviance to citizenship, the environment and intersectionality. It will be essential reading for all those new to sociology, as well as those seeking a reliable route map for a rapidly changing world.
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  • April 2014
  • 229 pages
  • 102 x 153 mm / 4 x 6 in
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Table of Contents
Introduction

THEME 1: THINKING SOCIOLOGICALLY
Discourse
Globalization
Modernity
Postmodernity
Rationalization
Society
Structure / Agency

THEME 2: DOING SOCIOLOGY
Ideal Type
Qualitative / Quantitative Methods
Realism
Reflexivity
Science
Social construction

THEME 3: ENVIRONMENT AND URBANISM
Alienation
Environment
Industrialization
Migration
Risk
Sustainable Development
Urbanism

THEME 4: STRUCTURES OF SOCIETY
Bureaucracy
Capitalism
Consumerism
Division of Labour
Education
Organization
Religion

THEME 5: UNEQUAL LIFE CHANCES
Class and inequality
Gender
Intersectionality
Patriarchy
Poverty
‘Race’ and Ethnicity
Social mobility
Status

THEME 6: RELATIONSHIPS AND THE LIFECOURSE
Community
Family
Life Course
Network
Sexuality
Socialization

THEME 7: INTERACTION AND COMMUNICATION
Culture
Identity
Ideology
Interaction
Mass Media
Public Sphere

THEME 8: HEALTH, ILLNESS AND THE BODY
Biomedicine
Medicalization
Sick Role
Social Model of Disability
Social Self
Stigma

THEME 9: CRIME AND SOCIAL CONTROL
Anomie
Deviance
Labelling
Moral Panic
Restorative Justice
Social Control
Subculture

THEME 10: POLITICAL SOCIOLOGY
Authority
Citizenship
Conflict
Civil Society
Democracy
Nation State
Power
Social Movement
References
About the Author
Anthony Giddens is the former director of the London School of Economics and Political Science, a Life Fellow of Kings College, Cambridge, and a member of the House of Lords, UK. He is a very influential sociologist and social theorist, and his many books include The Third Way and The Consequences of Modernity.

Philip W. Sutton is an independent researcher, formerly of the University of Leeds and Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen.
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