Essential Concepts in Sociology

  • ID: 2741502
  • Book
  • 229 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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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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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
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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 includeThe Third Way andThe 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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