Key Ideas

This popular series covers the main concepts, issues, debates and controversies in sociology and the social sciences. The books are concise and informative yet lively. Written by leading authorities in the field, they give students access to 'new sociology' in manageable form.

  • Sustainability

    By André Reichel, Thomas Pfister, Martin Schweighofer

    At the centre of this book is the historical evolution of the concept of "sustainability" and its presently observable social manifestations. From here, we will be able to inquire into the societal consequences of sustainability already visible. Finally, we will be able to provide the social…

    Hardback – 2016-02-28 
    Routledge
    Key Ideas

  • Experts

    The Knowledge and Power of Expertise

    By Nico Stehr, Reiner Grundmann

    In this book, Stehr and Grundmann outline the theoretical significance and practical importance of the growing stratum of experts, counsellors and advisors in contemporary society, and claim that the growing spectrum of knowledge-based occupations has led to the pluralisation of expertise. As…

    Paperback – 2015-04-27
    Routledge
    Key Ideas

  • Childhood

    Second edition

    By Chris Jenks

    In this book Chris Jenks looks at what the ways in which we construct our image of childhood can tell us about ourselves. After a general discussion of the social construction of childhood, the book is structured around three examples of the way the image of the child is played out in society: the…

    Paperback – 2015-03-04
    Routledge
    Key Ideas

  • Renewable Energies

    By Matthias Gross, Rüdiger Mautz

    Renewable Energy normally refers to usable energy sources that are an alternative to fuel sources, but without the negatively evaluated consequences of the replaced fuels. Although energy issues have a long tradition in sociology and other social sciences, it may now be high time to conceptualize…

    Hardback – 2014-09-23
    Routledge
    Key Ideas

  • Knowledge

    By Marian Adolf, Nico Stehr

    Almost everything we do is based on our knowledge of the world around us: how we dress in the morning, how we go about our work, how we interact with other people – all these things rest on our understanding of how we know life. Knowledge might be seen as the most central as well as the most…

    Paperback – 2014-06-03
    Routledge
    Key Ideas

  • Social Identity

    4th Edition

    By Richard Jenkins

    Social Identity explains how identification, seen as a social process, works: individually, interactionally and institutionally. Building on the international success of previous editions, this fourth edition offers a concise, comprehensive and readable critical introduction to social science…

    Paperback – 2014-05-06
    Routledge
    Key Ideas

  • Risk

    Second Edition

    By Deborah Lupton

    Risk (second edition) is a fully revised and expanded update of a highly-cited, influential and well-known book. It reviews the three major approaches to risk in social and cultural theory, devoting a chapter to each one. These approaches were first identified and described by Deborah Lupton in the…

    Paperback – 2013-04-03
    Routledge
    Key Ideas

  • Happiness

    By Bent Greve

    Although happiness is based upon individuals’ subjective perception of their own situation, understanding the concept of happiness is important for forming policies in modern societies. Taking into account discussions from disciplines across the social sciences, this book explores varying notions…

    Paperback – 2011-11-09
    Routledge
    Key Ideas

  • Leisure

    By Tony Blackshaw

    No single introductory book has until now captured the range of thought appropriate for scrutinizing the idea of leisure. Beginning with a discussion of expressions in classical thought, etymological definitions and key leisure studies concepts, Blackshaw suggests that the idea abounds with…

    Paperback – 2010-02-12
    Routledge
    Key Ideas

  • Community

    2nd edition

    By Gerard Delanty

    The increasing individualism of modern Western society has been accompanied by an enduring nostalgia for the idea of community as a source of security and belonging and, in recent years, as an alternative to the state as a basis for politics.Gerard Delanty begins this stimulating introduction to…

    Paperback – 2009-11-18
    Routledge
    Key Ideas

  • Sexuality

    3rd Edition

    By Jeffrey Weeks

    For over twenty years, Sexuality has provided a cutting edge introduction to debates about sexualities, gender, and intimate life. Previous editions included pioneering discussions of the historical shaping of sexuality, identity politics, the rise of fundamentalism, the social impact of AIDS, the…

    Paperback – 2009-09-28
    Routledge
    Key Ideas

  • Transnationalism

    By Steven Vertovec

    'Transnationalism' refers to multiple ties and interactions linking people or institutions across the borders of nation-states. This book surveys the broader meanings of transnationalism within the study of globalization before concentrating on migrant transnational practices. Each chapter…

    Paperback – 2009-03-27
    Routledge
    Key Ideas

  • Nihilism

    By Bulent Diken

    Most significant problems of contemporary life have their origins in nihilism and its paradoxical logic, which is simultaneously destructive to and constitutive of society. Yet, in social theory, nihilism is a surprisingly under-researched topic. This book develops a systematic account of nihilism…

    Paperback – 2008-11-21
    Routledge
    Key Ideas

  • Social Capital

    2nd Edition

    By John Field

    The term ‘social capital’ is a way of defining the intangible resources of community, shared values and trust upon which we draw in daily life. It has achieved considerable international currency across the social sciences through the very different work of Pierre Bourdieu in France and James…

    Paperback – 2008-04-29
    Routledge
    Key Ideas

  • Cosmopolitanism

    By Robert Fine

    The idea of cosmopolitanism has informed some of the most important developments in current sociology. It has changed the way in which we think about a vast array of issues: the forces of globalization, the resurgence of nationalism, the future of political community in Europe, the role of…

    Paperback – 2007-11-15
    Routledge
    Key Ideas

  • Childhood

    Second edition

    By David Bohm

    In this book Chris Jenks looks at what the ways in which we construct our image of childhood can tell us about ourselves. After a general discussion of the social construction of childhood, the book is structured around three examples of the way the image of the child is played out in society: the…

    Paperback – 2005-08-18
    Routledge
    Key Ideas

  • Human Rights

    By Anthony Woodiwiss

    Are human rights part of the problem or part of the solution in the current 'clash of civilizations'? Drawing on a hitherto neglected body of work in classical social theory and combining it with ideas derived from Barrington Moore, Norbert Elias and Michel Foucault, Woodiwiss poses and answers the…

    Paperback – 2005-02-24
    Routledge
    Key Ideas

  • Culture

    2nd Edition

    By Chris Jenks, Chris Jenks

    Culture is a concept that has remained on the top of the agenda within the social sciences for two decades. It incites controversy and debate and always appears fresh. This book, updated throughout and with new sections on visual culture, urban culture and subcultures, argues that to understand the…

    Paperback – 2004-09-23
    Routledge
    Key Ideas

  • Social Identity

    2nd Edition

    By Richard Jenkins

    Without social identity there is no human world. Without frameworks of similarity and difference, people would be unable to relate to each other in a consistent and meaningful fashion. In the second edition of this highly successful text, Richard Jenkins develops his argument that identity is both…

    Paperback – 2004-05-13
    Routledge
    Key Ideas

  • Social Capital

    By John Field

    The term 'social capital' is a way of conceptualizing the intangible resources of community, shared values and trust upon which we draw in daily life. It has achieved considerable currency in the social sciences through the very different work of Bourdieu in France, and James Coleman and Robert…

    Paperback – 2003-07-24
    Routledge
    Key Ideas

  • Racism

    2nd Edition

    By Robert Miles

    This second edition brings the book up to date by looking at recent examples of racism, such as the war in the former Yugoslavia and the cases of Stephen Lawrence and Rodney King, and by considering Islamophobia in Western societies. It also looks more widely at recent developments in the debate.…

    Paperback – 2003-06-19
    Routledge
    Key Ideas

  • Transgression

    By Chris Jenks

    Transgression is truly a key idea for our time. Society is created by constraint and boundaries, but as our culture is increasingly subject to uncertainty and flux we find it more and more difficult to determine where those boundaries lie. In this fast moving study, Chris Jenks ranges widely over…

    Paperback – 2003-03-27
    Routledge
    Key Ideas

  • Community

    By Gerard Delanty

    The increasing individualism of modern Western society has been accompanied by an enduring nostalgia for the idea of community as a source of security and belonging and, in recent years, as an alternative to the state as a basis for politics.Gerard Delanty begins this stimulating introduction to…

    Paperback – 2003-01-23
    Routledge
    Key Ideas

  • Old Age

    By John Vincent

    Recent decades have seen a fundamental change in the age structure of many western societies. In these societies it is now common for a fifth to a quarter of the population to be retired, for fewer babies to be born than is required to sustain the size of the population and for life expectancy to…

    Paperback – 2003-01-16
    Routledge
    Key Ideas

  • The Virtual

    By Rob Shields

    This book looks at the origins and the many contemporary meanings of the virtual. Rob Shields shows how the construction of virtual worlds has a long history. He examines the many forms of faith and hysteria that have surrounded computer technologies in recent years. Moving beyond the technologies…

    Paperback – 2002-11-28
    Routledge
    Key Ideas

  • Globalization

    2nd Edition

    By Malcolm Waters

    The constraints of geography are shrinking and the world is becoming a single place. Globalization and the global society are increasingly occupying the centre of sociological debates. Widely discussed by journalists and a key goal for many businesses, globalization has become a buzz-word in recent…

    Paperback – 2000-12-14
    Routledge
    Key Ideas

  • Citizenship

    By Keith Faulks

    This book presents a clear and comprehensive overview of citizenship, which has become one of the most important political ideas of our time. The author, an experienced textbook writer and teacher, uses a postmodern theory of citizenship to ask topical questions as:* Can citizenship exist without…

    Paperback – 2000-09-28
    Routledge
    Key Ideas

  • Moral Panics

    By Kenneth Thompson

    It is widely acknowledged that this is the age of moral panics. From the Bulger case to mad cow disease, newspaper headlines continually warn of some new danger and television programmes echo the theme with sensational docmenturies.This concise survey will help student trace the development of…

    Paperback – 1998-03-12
    Routledge
    Key Ideas

  • Lifestyles

    By David Chaney

    In the modern world our lifestyle helps to define our attitudes and values as well as show our wealth and social position. This clearly written introduction to the concept of lifestyle offers a concise guide to how the term is used in sociological accounts to refer to this modern social form.…

    Paperback – 1996-09-26
    Routledge
    Key Ideas

  • Childhood

    Second edition

    Hardback – 1996-04-18
    Routledge
    Key Ideas

  • Thought as a System

    By David Bohm

    First Published in 1994. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.…

    Paperback – 1994-08-18
    Routledge
    Key Ideas

  • Mass-Media

    By Peter Sorlin

    This book provides a much needed short, reliable and stimulating guide to the mass media in present day society. Incisive, surprising and stimulating it will become an essential text in thinking and writing about the mass media.…

    Paperback – 1994-05-26
    Routledge
    Key Ideas

  • Culture

    By Chris Jenks

    First published in 1993. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.…

    Paperback – 1993-11-04
    Routledge
    Key Ideas

  • Consumption

    By Dr Robert Bocock, Robert Bocock

    This book analyzes the main post-war features of consumption. It traces the historical development of consumption and discusses the major contributions made by sociologists in discussing the subject. Robert Bocock is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the Open University.…

    Paperback – 1993-11-04
    Routledge
    Key Ideas

  • Class

    Key Concept in Sociology

    By Stephen Edgell

    This succinct introductory text argues that class remains a key concept in sociology. The author examines the classic contributions of Marx and Weber and the recent works of Wright and Goldthorpe. The book provides students with an accessible review of class structures, social mobility, inequality…

    Paperback – 1993-09-16
    Routledge
    Key Ideas

  • Postmodernity

    By Barry Smart

    At last, a short and authoritative critical introduction to one of the most talked about and most misunderstood concepts of current times. Barry Smart provides a clear and readable discussion for students which also manages to be a shrewd and stimulating contribution to the debate about modernity…

    Paperback – 1992-10-29
    Routledge
    Key Ideas

  • Sexuality

    By Jeffrey Weeks

    Paperback – 1986-05-29
    Routledge
    Key Ideas

  • Symbolic Construction of Community

    By Anthony P. Cohen

    Anthony Cohen makes a distinct break with earlier approaches to the study of community, which treated the subject in largely structural terms. His view is interpretive and experiential, seeing the community as a cultural field with a complex of symbols whose meanings vary among its members. He…

    Paperback – 1985-06-27
    Routledge
    Key Ideas