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Discover Sociology

Discover Sociology

Fourth Edition

Other Titles in:
Sociology (General)

November 2018 | 632 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.

What key social forces construct and transform our lives as individuals and as members of society? How does our social world shape us? How do we shape our world?

Discover Sociology presents sociology as a discipline of curious minds. The authors inspire curiosity about the social world and empower students by providing the theoretical, conceptual, and empirical tools they need to understand, analyze, and even change the world in which they live. 

Organized around four main themes—The Sociological Imagination, Power and Inequality, Technological Transformations of Society, and Globalization—the book illuminates the social roots of diverse phenomena and institutions, ranging from poverty and deviance to capitalism and the nuclear family. "Behind the Numbers" features illustrate the practical side of sociology and shows students how to be critical consumers of social science data reported in the media. And every chapter addresses the question, “What can I do with a sociology degree?” by linking the knowledge and skills acquired through studying sociology with specific jobs and career paths.  

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FREE POSTER: Tips from Sociology for Argument and Debate in a Civil Society
Chapter 1: Discover Sociology
A Curious Mind

The Sociological Imagination

Critical Thinking

The Development of Sociological Thinking

What Is Sociological Theory?

Principal Themes in This Book

Why Study Sociology?

Chapter 2: Discover Sociological Research
No Roof Overhead: Researching Eviction in America

Sociology and Common Sense

Research and the Scientific Method

Doing Sociological Research

Doing Sociology: A Student’s Guide to Research

Why Learn to Do Sociological Research?

Chapter 3: Culture and Mass Media
Popular Culture and the Undead

Culture: Concepts and Applications

Culture and Language

Culture and Mass Media

Culture, Class, and Inequality

Culture and Globalization

Why Study Culture and Media through a Sociological Lens?

Chapter 4: Socialization and Social Interaction
My Robot, My Friend

The Birth of the Social Self

Agents of Socialization

Socialization and Aging

Total Institutions and Resocialization

Social Interaction

Why Study Socialization and Social Interaction?

Chapter 5: Groups, Organizations, and Bureaucracies
Groupthink: A Case of Deadly Consequences

The Nature of Groups

The Power of Groups

Economic, Cultural, and Social Capital



Why Study Groups and Organizations?

Chapter 6: Deviance and Social Control
To Solve a Murder

What Is Deviant Behavior?

How Do Sociologists Explain Deviance?

Types of Deviance

Social Control of Deviance

Why Study Deviance?

Chapter 7: Social Class and Inequality in the United States
Poverty and Profit

Stratification in Traditional and Modern Societies

Sociological Building Blocks of Social Class

Class and Inequality in the U.S.: Dimensions and Trends

Why Has Inequality Grown?

The Problem of Neighborhood Poverty

Why Do Stratification and Poverty Exist and Persist in Class Societies?

Why Study Inequality in the U.S.?

Chapter 8: Global Wealth, Poverty, and Inequality
Migrants in Limbo

Dimensions of Global Inequality and Poverty

Armed Conflict and Poverty

Technology: The Great Equalizer?

Theoretical Perspectives on Global Inequality

Who Are the Global Elite?

Why Study Global Inequality from a Sociological Perspective?

Chapter 9: Race and Ethnicity
Violence and U.S. History

The Social Construction of Race and Ethnicity

Minority and Dominant Group Relations

Theoretical Approaches to Ethnicity, Racism, and Minority Status

Prejudice, Stereotyping, and Discrimination

Racial and Ethnic Groups in the United States

Race and Ethnicity from a Global Perspective

Why Study Race and Ethnicity from a Sociological Perspective?

Chapter 10: Gender and Society
I Am a Woman and I Am Fast

Concepts of Sex, Gender, and Sexuality

Constructing Gendered Selves

Gender and Society

Gender and Economics: Men, Women, and the Gender Wage Gap

Classical Theories, Feminist Thought, and the Sociology of Masculinities

Women’s Lives in a Global Perspective

Why Study Gender from a Sociological Perspective?

Chapter 11: Families and Society
Millennials and Marriage

How Do Sociologists Study the Family?

Theoretical Perspectives on Families

U.S. Families Yesterday and Today

Socioeconomic Class and Family in the United States

Globalization and Families

Why Study Family through a Sociological Lens?

Chapter 12: Education and Society
Food Insecurity in U.S. Colleges and Universities

Education, Industrialization, and the “Credential Society”

Theoretical Perspectives on Education

Education, Opportunity, and Inequality

Issues in U.S. Higher Education

Education in a Global Perspective

Why Study Education from a Sociological Perspective?

Chapter 13: Religion and Society
A New Religion Rises: The Jedi Faithful

How Do Sociologists Study Religion?

Theoretical Perspectives on Religion and Society

Types of Religious Organizations

The Great World Religions

Women and Religion

Religion in the United States

Religion and Global Societies

Why Study the Sociology of Religion?

Chapter 14: The State, War, and Terror
The Birth and Death of Countries

The Modern State

Theories of State Power

Power and Authority

Forms of Governance in the Modern World

The U.S. Political System

War, State, and Society

Terrorists and Terrorism

Why Study the State and Warfare through a Sociological Lens?

Chapter 15: Work, Consumption, and the Economy
Robots and Jobs

The Economy in Historical Perspective

The Technological Revolution and the Future of Work

Types of Economic Systems

Working on and off the Books

Consumers, Consumption, and the U.S. Economy

Globalization and the New Economic Order

Why Study Economic Systems and Trends?

Chapter 16: Health and Medicine
The Scourge of Addiction

Cultural Definitions of Health and Illness

Health Care and Public Health in the United States

Sociology and Issues of Public Health in the United States

The Sociology of HIV/AIDS

Global Issues in Health and Medicine

Why Should Sociologists Study Health?

Chapter 17: Population, Urbanization, and the Environment
Where the Boys Are . . . and the Girls Are Not

Global Population Growth

Malthus and Marx: How Many People Are Too Many?


The Local and Global Environment

Why Study Population, Urbanization, and the Environment from a Sociological Perspective?

Chapter 18: Social Movements and Social Change
Activist America?

Sociological Perspectives on Social Change

Sources of Social Change

Social Movements

Why Study Social Change?



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I like the content alot, especially the treatment of race and gender throughout the book.

Ms Maretta McDonald
Sociology Dept, Louisiana State University
December 1, 2020

Excellent online resources that I have no trouble accessing.

Christine Wagner
Social Science Dept., Erie Cmty College-South Campus
August 18, 2019