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If you’ve always wanted to know how societies function – and why sometimes they don’t – this beginner’s guide to sociology has got the essential theories and thinkers covered

Sociology has almost limitless scope. From the smallest everyday interaction to the impact of vast systemic change, societies are brimming with fascinating phenomena we all want to understand more clearly.

There’s never been a more important moment to grasp what’s going on around us, and this pocket-sized guide offers an engaging introduction to the key sociological concepts and debates. It includes easy-to-follow coverage of:

The origins and development of modern sociology and the influence of foundational figures such as Durkheim, Marx and Weber

The major sociological schools or perspectives, from functionalism to feminism

How sociologists strive to test their theories ethically and carefully by using scientific research methods

The key topics in sociology, including inequality, class, crime, gender and race

How sociology can help us tackle new challenges and change our societies – and the wider world – for the better

Perfect for newcomers, or anyone seeking a concise breakdown of the subject, The Little Book of Sociology takes all the big ideas and makes them crystal clear.