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Social Institutions



Publication Date

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Sociology: A Very Short Introduction

Second Edition


Steve Bruce

September 2018

Very Short Introductions

From politics to education, work, crime, and religion this Very Short Introduction discusses some of the core considerations of contemporary sociologists. Exploring the tension between the individual's place in society and society's role in shaping the individual, it demonstrates the value of sociology for understanding the modern world.

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Universities and Colleges: A Very Short Introduction


David Palfreyman, Paul Temple

December 2017

Very Short Introductions

This book looks at the role of the university in a social and economic context, as a repository of knowledge and a site for instruction. It considers how universities are founded,, funded, governed, lead, and managed, how the advent of increased fees has affected their relationship with students, and what is in the future for higher education.

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Secularism: Politics, Religion, and Freedom


Andrew Copson

September 2017

Secularism, the belief that religion should not be part of the affairs of the state or part of public education, is an increasingly hot topic in global public, political, and religious debates. Andrew Copson tells the story of secularism, discussing secular republics and the challenges they can face from resurgent religious identity politics.

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Freemasonry: A Very Short Introduction


Andreas Önnerfors

August 2017

Very Short Introductions

Freemasonry is one of the oldest and most widespread voluntary organizations in the world. Andreas Önnerfors sorts the facts from the colourful fictions surrounding this organization and outlines how the organization works, its rituals and symbols, its values, and the work it does in modern society.

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Ageing: A Very Short Introduction


Nancy A. Pachana

November 2016

Very Short Introductions

Ageing entails lifelong dynamic changes in biological, psychological, and social functioning. While such changes in later adulthood were somewhat neglected by scientists in the past, recent decades have seen a marked increase in research in this area. Nancy A. Pachana examines the impact of rising numbers of older people worldwide.

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Education: A Very Short Introduction


Gary Thomas

March 2013

Very Short Introductions

From the schools of ancient times to the present day, Gary Thomas looks at how and why education evolved as it has. By exploring some of the big questions, he examines the ways in which schools work, considers the differences around the world, and concludes by considering the future of education worldwide.

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Work: A Very Short Introduction


Stephen Fineman

November 2012

Very Short Introductions

Work is deeply embedded in the moral and political character of most societies. For many, work becomes fused with our personal and social identities - who we are and how we define ourselves. Steve Fineman explores the key debates about work and the factors that affect it including topics such as globalization, feminism, and technology.

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Organizations: A Very Short Introduction


Mary Jo Hatch

March 2011

Very Short Introductions

Organization happens in the act of working with others to accomplish a desired future state. It can happen through intentionally designed activity, spontaneous improvisation, or some combination of the two, but it always requires coordinated effort. This Very Short Introduction provides a lively and thought provoking introduction to the topic.

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