Essential Concepts in Sociology
Essential Concepts in Sociology, 3rd Edition

Social life is in a constant process of change, and sociology can never stand still. As a result, contemporary sociology is a theoretically diverse enterprise, covering a huge range of subjects and drawing 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 necessarily evolves and changes.

This clear and jargon-free book introduces a careful selection of essential concepts that have helped to shape sociology and 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 in historical and theoretical context, explores its main meanings in use, introduces 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 the digital revolution, environment, postcolonialism and intersectionality. It will be essential reading for all those new to sociology as well as anyone seeking a reliable route map for a rapidly changing world.

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  • June 2021
  • 248 pages
  • 152 x 229 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $69.95
  • 9781509548088
  • Paperback $24.95
  • 9781509548095
  • Open eBook $20.00
  • 9781509548101
Table of Contents
Introduction



THEME 1: THINKING SOCIOLOGICALLY

Digital Revolution

Globalization

Modernity

Postcolonialism

Postmodernity

Rationalization



THEME 2: DOING SOCIOLOGY

Ideal Type

Qualitative / Quantitative Methods

Realism

Reflexivity

Science

Social Constructionism

Structure / Agency



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

Gender

Intersectionality

Patriarchy

Poverty

‘Race’ and Ethnicity

Social Mobility

Status



THEME 6: RELATIONSHIPS AND THE LIFE COURSE

Community

Family

Life Course

Network

Sexuality

Socialization



THEME 7: INTERACTION AND COMMUNICATION

Culture

Discourse

Identity

Ideology

Interaction

Media

Public Sphere



THEME 8: HEALTH, ILLNESS AND THE BODY

Biomedicine

Medicalization

Sick Role

Social Model of Disability

Social Self



THEME 9: CRIME AND SOCIAL CONTROL

Anomie

Deviance

Labelling

Moral Panic

Social Control

Stigma



THEME 10: POLITICAL SOCIOLOGY

Authority

Citizenship

Civil Society

Conflict

Democracy

Nation State

Power

Social Movement
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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