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Our Social World

Our Social World
Introduction to Sociology

Seventh Edition
Additional resources:

Other Titles in:
Sociology (General)

January 2019 | 648 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Proud sponsor of the 2019 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.

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Preface: To Our Students
Instructors: How to Make This Book Work for You
A Personal Note to the Instructor
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  
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  
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  
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  
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  
About the Authors


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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

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