Abstract: The purpose of this paper is threefold. First, it investigates how far issues concerning the conceptual meanings and terminology of 'the third sector' are settled. Second, it explores challenges to the concepts of the third sector. Finally, it considers whether it matters that there is agreement regarding the definition of the third sector and third sector organisations and the terminology used to describe them. The paper argues that it does matter that there is agreement concerning the objects being studied. However, this does not mean that there must be a single definition for each object. What is important is ongoing scrutiny of the applicability of working definitions, so that concepts and terms remain useful for the tasks of third sector research in a changing world.
To cite this article: Kenny, Sue. Challenging third sector concepts [online]. Third Sector Review, Vol. 19, No. 1, 2013: 171-188.
[cited 26 Jun 17].