In social theory the ambiguous nature of concepts is nothing new. They are used, despite their vagueness, because they, as products of ‘imagination, vision, intuition’ (Nisbet 1970:18), may show some phenomena in a new light and, therefore, they may contribute to the further development of social theories. They can be seen as ‘sensitizing concepts’ which, while ‘lacking the precise specification of attributes and events of definitive concepts, do provide clues and suggestions about where to look for certain classes of phenomena’ (Turner 1982:336). Instead of seeking a false sense of scientific security through rigid definitions, the use of these kinds of sensitizing concepts can provide, by encouraging flexible approaches and continuous investigation of new territories, a more adequate perspective on our changing world. However, it needs to be admitted that our uncertainty as to what we are referring to can obstruct us ‘from asking pertinent questions and setting relevant problems for research’ (Blumer 1954:150). Therefore, while the nature of the social world necessitates working with not always clearly defined concepts, our task should be to overcome this deficiency by trying to redefine them so they more explicitly communicate and reflect the empirical reality.