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Our Social World
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Our Social World
Introduction to Sociology

Seventh Edition

Other Titles in:
Sociology (General)

January 2019 | 648 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

The authors are proud sponsors of the 2020 SAGE Keith Roberts Teaching Innovations Award—enabling graduate students and early career faculty to attend the annual ASA pre-conference teaching and learning workshop.

Our Social World: Introduction to Sociology inspires students to develop their sociological imaginations, to see the world and personal events from a new perspective, and to confront sociological issues on a day-to-day basis. Organized around the "Social World" model, a conceptual framework that demonstrates the relationships among individuals (the micro level); organizations, institutions, and subcultures (the meso level); and societies and global structures (the macro level), the authors use this framework to help students develop the practice of using three levels of analysis, and to view sociology as an integrated whole, rather than a set of discrete subjects.

The Seventh Edition includes new coverage of climate change, the influence of robots and artificial intelligence on workers, race relations in the Trump era, transgender identity and gender fluidity, sexual harassment in the workplace and the #MeToo movement, declining marriage rates, the impact of tracking for students at all academic achievement levels, smoking as an example of health and inequality in the U.S., gun violence and the student movement to control access to guns, social media, and Russian interference in the 2016 election.

This title is accompanied by a complete teaching and learning package. Contact your SAGE representative to request a demo.

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Preface: To Our Students
 
Instructors: How to Make This Book Work for You
 
A Personal Note to the Instructor
 
Acknowledgments
 
PART I: UNDERSTANDING OUR SOCIAL WORLD: THE SCIENTIFIC STUDY OF SOCIETY
 
Chapter 1: Sociology: A Unique Way to View the World
What Is Sociology?

 
Why Does Sociology Matter?

 
The Social World Model

 
 
Chapter 2: Examining the Social World: How Do We Know What We Know?
Development of Sociology

 
Sociology’s Major Theoretical Perspectives

 
Ideas Underlying Science

 
How Sociologists Study the Social World

 
 
PART II: SOCIAL STRUCTURE, PROCESSES, AND CONTROL
 
Chapter 3: Society and Culture: Hardware and Software of Our Social World
Society: The Hardware

 
Culture: The Software

 
Society, Culture, and Our Social World

 
Theories of Culture

 
Fit Between Hardware and Software

 
 
Chapter 4: Socialization: Becoming Human and Humane
Nature Versus Nurture—or Both Working Together?

 
Importance of Socialization

 
Socialization and the Social World

 
Development of the Self: Micro-Level Analysis

 
Agents of Socialization: The Micro-Meso Connection

 
Socialization and Macro-Level Issues

 
Policy and Practice

 
 
Chapter 5: Interaction, Groups, and Organization: Connections That Work
Networks and Connections in Our Social World

 
The Process of Interaction: Connections at the Micro Level

 
Groups in Our Social World: The Micro-Meso Connection

 
Organizations and Bureaucracies: The Meso-Macro Connection

 
National and Global Networks: The Macro Level

 
 
Chapter 6: Deviance and Social Control: Sickos, Weirdos, Freaks, and Folks Like Us
What Is Deviance?

 
What Causes Deviant Behavior? Theoretical Perspectives

 
Crime and Individuals: Micro-Level Analysis

 
Crime and Organizations: Meso-Level Analysis

 
National and Global Crime: Macro-Level Analysis

 
Controlling Crime: Social Policy Considerations

 
 
PART III: INEQUALITY
 
Chapter 7: Stratification: Rich and Famous—or Rags and Famine?
Importance of Social Stratification

 
Theoretical Explanations of Stratification

 
Individuals’ Social Status: The Micro Level

 
Social Mobility: The Micro-Meso Connection

 
Major Stratification Systems: Macro-Level Analysis

 
Poverty and Social Policy

 
Bridging the National and Global Digital Divide: Macro-Level Stratification

 
 
Chapter 8: Race and Ethnic Group Stratification: Beyond “Us” and “Them”
What Characterizes Racial and Ethnic Groups?

 
Prejudice: Micro-Level Analysis

 
Discrimination: Meso-Level Analysis

 
Dominant and Minority Group Contact: Macro-Level Analysis

 
Policies Governing Minority and Dominant Group Relations

 
 
Chapter 9: Gender Stratification: She/He—Who Goes First?
Sex, Gender, and the Stratification System

 
Gender Socialization: Micro- and Meso-Level Analyses

 
Gender Stratification: Meso- and Macro-Level Processes

 
Gender Stratification: Micro- to Macro-Level Theories

 
Costs and Consequences of Gender Stratification

 
Changing Gender Stratification and Social Policy

 
 
PART IV: INSTITUTIONS
Importance of Institutions

 
Development of Modern Institutions

 
Connections Among Institutions

 
 
Chapter 10: Family: Partner Taking, People Making, and Contract Breaking
What Is a Family?

 
Theoretical Perspectives on Family

 
Family Dynamics: Micro-Level Processes

 
Family as an Institution: Meso-Level Analysis

 
National and Global Family Issues: Macro-Level Analysis

 
Marriage, Divorce, and Public Sociology

 
 
Chapter 11: Education: What Are We Learning?
State of the World’s Education: An Overview

 
The Ins and Outs of Local Schools: Micro-Level Interactions in Educational Organizations

 
After the School Bell Rings: Meso-Level Analysis of Educational Organizations

 
Education, Society, and the Road to Opportunity: The Macro Level

 
Education and Public Policy

 
 
Chapter 12: Religion: The Social Meaning of Sacred Meaning
What Does Religion Do for Us?

 
Becoming Part of a Faith Community: Micro-Level Analysis

 
Religion and Modern Life: Meso-Level Analysis

 
Religion in Society: Macro-Level Analysis

 
Religion in the Modern World

 
Social Policy: Same-Sex Marriage, Gay or Lesbian Clergy, and Transgender People

 
 
Chapter 13: Politics and Economics: Probing Power; Dissecting Distribution
What Is Power?

 
Power and Privilege in Our Social World

 
Theoretical Perspectives on Power and Privilege

 
Individuals, Power, and Participation: Micro-Level Analysis

 
Power and Resource Distribution: Meso-Level Analysis

 
National and Global Systems: Macro-Level Analysis

 
 
Chapter 14: Health Care: An Anatomy of Health and Illness
Why Is Health a Social Issue?

 
Theoretical Perspectives on Health and Illness

 
Status and Roles of the Sick Person: Micro-Level Analysis

 
Modern Health Care Systems: Meso-Level Analysis

 
Health Care Issues at the National and Global Level: Macro-Level Analysis

 
 
PART V: SOCIAL DYNAMICS
 
Chapter 15: Environmental Sociology: Population, Urbanization, and Climate Change
Macro-Level Patterns in World Population Growth

 
Meso-Level Institutional Influences on Population Change

 
Micro-Level Population Patterns

 
Urbanization: Movement From Rural to Urban Areas

 
Cities as Micro-Level Living Environments

 
How Did Cities Evolve? Meso-Level Organizational Structures

 
The Urban Environment and Social Policy: Macro-Level Perspectives

 
 
Chapter 16: Process of Change: We Can Make a Difference!
Complexity of Change in Our Social World

 
Social Change: Process and Theories

 
Collective Behavior: Micro- to Meso-Level Change

 
Planned Change in Organizations: Meso-Level Change

 
Social Movements: Macro-Level Change

 
 
Glossary
 
References
 
Index
 
About the Authors

Supplements

Student Study Site

edge.sagepub.com/ballantine7e

 

The open-access Student Study Site makes it easy for students to maximize their study time, anywhere, anytime. It offers flashcards that strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts, as well as learning objectives that reinforce the most important material.

Instructor Resource Site
edge.sagepub.com/ballantine7e


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“A very well organized text that is appropriate for a range of students. The use of the Social World Model is unique and introduces the students to the various levels of analysis. These are ideas and concepts that they can take into other classes and use in their own lives as well. The deconstruction of the high level concepts and the way in which they are matched with real world events is wonderful and does not seem dated even though events change rapidly.”

Natasha Vannoy, Ph.D.
Logan University

“This book introduces sociology to students in an exciting, relevant way that makes it come alive for them. [It] helps them to relate the field of sociology to their lives in an understandable manner.”

Kristina Jensen
Boise State University

“An excellent resource for anyone teaching an Introduction to Sociology course.”

Leslie Lamb
State University of New York, Empire State College Center for Distance Learning

“This text resonates with students who are new or returning students and those who are continuing their education.”

Natasha Vannoy, Ph.D.
Logan University