Discover Sociology

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Sociology is a discipline of curious minds. 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?

Join Bill Chambliss and Daina S. Eglitis as they journey beyond the classroom to help students answer these questions with their groundbreaking new text, Discover Sociology. Chambliss and Eglitis 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. Every chapter in the book integrates robust pedagogical features and empirical research that illuminate the social roots of diverse phenomena and institutions, ranging from poverty and deviance to capitalism and the nuclear family. From exploring whether the use of “study drugs” should be considered cheating to an examination of research showing a correlation between rising student debt and declining rates of marriage, the book’s chapter openers engage students in real-life applications of sociology. Going beyond theory and concepts, the authors also help answer the question, “What can I do with a sociology degree?”

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Editorial Reviews

Kim Mac Innis
“I loved the writing and comprehensive information on each topic. The essays are interesting and relate to current events . . . [T]he global and feminist themes are very important. Most texts don’t use them in the way the authors did (interlocking factors).”
Denise Copelton
“What I like about this book is the engaging writing style and clear integration of meaningful and lively examples throughout. . . The integration of detailed examples would give students a lot to discuss in class and offers a clear map of how to apply the ideas in the text to the real and complex social worlds that contemporary students inhabit. The overall length is not overwhelming and should permit instructors to cover most chapters.”
S. Michael Gaddis
“Discover Sociology invites students to do just that in a way that connects academic concepts with students’ real world experiences. Introductory sociology students often have basic questions about society that other textbooks fail to recognize, but the material in Discover Sociology addresses these issues in an easy to understand manner. One of this text’s strongest features is that it encourages students to think critically about the social world.”
Dionne Mathis Banks
“I really like the easy-to-read writing, the current examples, the commitment to helping the reader think sociologically, and the extensive examples.”
Klaus Heyer
“. . . I like the idea of “thinking sociologically” . . . the idea that sociology is not merely common sense is illustrated well in this book and is one of its principal strengths, and something that sets it aside from other introductory texts.”
Kim MacInnis

“I loved the writing and comprehensive information on each topic. The essays are interesting and relate to current events . . . [T]he global and feminist themes are very important. Most texts don’t use them in the way the authors did (interlocking factors).”

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412996204
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 7/30/2013
  • Pages: 471
  • Sales rank: 176,646
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

William J. Chambliss, professor of sociology at The George Washington University, is a critical sociological theorist whose research has ranged broadly from studies of law creation and the legal system to participant observation studies of juvenile gangs, organized crime, policing, and the impact of social movements on political and economic change. He has served as president of the American Society of Criminology and the Society for the Study of Social Problems. He has received numerous awards for his research and teaching, including the prestigious Edwin H. Sutherland Award from the American Society of Criminology, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Sociological Association, the Bruce Smith Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, the PASS Award from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Sociology of Law Section of the American Sociological Association. He has authored and edited over 35 books in sociology, criminology and criminal justice and numerous articles in social science journals.

Daina S. Eglitis is an associate professor of sociology and international affairs and director of the undergraduate program in the Department of Sociology at The George Washington University. Her research highlights sociological dimensions of change in the post-communist world, with a particular focus on stratification, poverty, and gender. She has been the recipient of Fulbright, IREX, and Open Society awards and is the author of several articles and a book on post-communist social change. She also writes for and about teaching in the undergraduate classroom and is the author of the article, “The Uses of Global Poverty: How Inequality Benefits the West,” and the Teaching Sociology article, “Performing Theory: Dramatic Learning in the Theory Classroom.”

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Table of Contents

1: Discovering Sociology
2: Discovering Sociological Research
3: Culture
4: Socialization and Social Interaction
5: Groups, Organizations, and Bureaucracies
When Groups Think... Groupthink
The Nature of Groups
The Power of Groups
The Effects of Size
Types of Group Leadership
Conformity to Groups
Economic, Cultural and Social Capital of Groups
Types of Formal Organizations
Voluntary Associations
Max Weber’s Ideal Type
Bureaucracies: A Critical Evaluation
Bureaucracy and Democracy
The Global Organization
International Governmental Organizations
International Nongovernmental Organizations
Why Study Groups and Organizations?
6: Deviance and Social Control
A Suspicious Guy
What is Deviant Behavior?
How Do Sociologists Explain Deviance?
Biological Perspectives
Functionalist Perspectives
Conflict Perspectives
Symbolic Interactionist Perspectives
Types of Deviance
Everyday Deviance
Sexual Deviance
Deviance of the Powerful
Criminal Deviance
Social Control of Deviance
Informal Social Control
Formal Social Control and Criminal Deviance
Why Study Deviance?
7: Class and Inequality
The Nouveau Poor
Stratification in Traditional and Modern Societies
Caste Societies
Class Societies
Sociological Building Blocks of Stratification and Social Class
Political Voice
Why Does Stratification Exist and Persist in Class Societies?
The Functionalist Perspective
The Social Conflict Explanation
Class and Inequality in the United States: Dimensions and Trends
Income Inequality
Wealth Inequality
Other Gaps: Inequalities In Health Care, Health, and Access to Consumer Goods
Why Has Inequality Grown?
At The Bottom of the Ladder: Poverty in the United States
Global Inquality
Dimensions of Global Inequality
Theoretical Perspectives on Global Inequality
Applying the Theories: The Case of Nigerian Oil Wealth
Sociology and You: Why Study Inequality?
8: Race & Ethnicity
A Dream Deferred
The Social Construction of Race, Ethnicity, and Minorities
Minority and Dominant Group Relations
Assimilation and Cultural Pluralism
Theoretical Approaches To Race, Ethnicity, and Racism
The Functionalist Perspective
The Conflict Perspective
The Symbolic Interactionist Perspective
Prejudice and Discrimination
Technologies of Discrimination
Prison, Politics, and Power
Consequences of Prejudice and Discrimination: Race and Health
Racial and Ethnic Groups in the United States
American Indians
African Americans
Asian Americans
Arab Americans
White Americans
Race and Ethnicity in a Global Perspective
Why Study Race and Ethnicity From a Sociological Perspective?
9: Gender and Society
Where the Boys Are (Not)
Sociological Concepts of Sex and Gender
Cosntructing Gendered Selves
Agent Number One: The Family
Gender Among Friends: Peer Influences
Media Power: Reflecting and Reinforcing Gender
Gender in the Classroom: Schools and Socialization
The SAT Exam: Why Do Boys Outscore Girls?
Doing Gender
Gender and U.S. Society
Gender and Family Life
Gender and Higher Education
Gender and Economics: Men, Women, and the Gender Wage Gap
Men, Women, and Workplace Promotion: Glass Ceilings and Glass Escalators
Sexual Harassment
Classical Theories and Feminist Thinking
Classical Sociological Approaches to Gender
Contemporary U.S. Feminist Thinking on Gender
Feminist Perspectives on Doing Sociology
Toward A Sociology of Masculinity
Gender in a Global Perspective
Mothers and Children: The Threat of Maternal Mortality
The Price of (Being) A Girl
Change Happens
Why Should We Study Gender From a Sociological Perspective?
10: Families and Society
The Drag of Debt: Student Loans and Family Formation Today
Some Concepts Sociologists Use To Study Families
Families and the Work of Raising Children
Theoretical Perspectives on Families
The Functionalist Perspective on the Family
The Feminist Approach: A Conflict Perspective…and Beyond
U.S. Families Today and Yesterday
Marriage, Divorce, and Family in the Modern United States
Gay Marriage…and Divorce
Immigration and Family Patterns
America’s First Nations: Native American Families
Deaf Culture and Family Life
Socioeconomic Class and Family in the United States
Social Class and Childrearing
Economy, Culture, and Family Formation
Family Life in the Middle Class
Violence and the Family
Globalization and Its Impact on Families
International Families and the Global Woman
Why Study Family Through a Sociological Lens?
11: Education and Society
A College Dropout Boom?
Education, Industrialization, and the "Credential Society "
Theoretical Perspectives on Eduation
The Functionalist Perspective
The Conflict Perspective
The Symbolic Interactionist Perspective
Education, Opportunity, and Inequality
Illiteracy and Word Poverty: the Childhood Challenge
School Segregation
Living in the Past?: The U.S. School Calendar in Modern Society
Education, Income, and Poverty
Issues in U.S. Higher Education
College and Income
Internships and Higher Education
Dropping In, Dropping Out: Why Are College Dropout Rates So High?
Education in a Global Perspective
Higher Education and Job Opportunities
U.S. Students Meet the World
Why Study Education From a Sociological Perspective?
12: Religion and Society
I Pledge Allegiance...
How Do Sociologists Study Religion?
Theoretical Perspectives on Religion and Society
The Classical View: Religion, Society, and Secularization
Contemporary Sociological Theory and the “Religious Economy” Perspective
Types of Religious Organizations
The Great World Religions
Women and Religion
Religion in the United States
Trends in Religious Affiliation
Religion and Disestablishment
“Civil Religion” in the United States
Is Consumption a U.S. Religion? Worshipping at the Cathedrals of Consumption
Religion and Global Societies
Why Should Sociologists Study Religion?
13: The State, Politics, and Power
Elections and the Youth Vote
The Modern State
The Welfare State
Political Rights and Civil Liberties
Theories of State Power
The Functionalist Perspective and Pluralist Theory
The Conflict Perspective and Class Dominance Theory
Power and Authority
Traditional Authority
Rational-Legal Authority
Charismatic Authority
Forms of Governance in the Modern World
The U.S. Political System
Electoral Politics and the Two-Party System
Voter Activism and Apathy in U.S. Politics
Power and Politics
Social Movements and Politics
Contradictions in Modern Politics: Democracy and Capitalism
Why Study Politics Through a Sociological Lens?
14: Work, Consumption and the Economy
The Low-Wage U.S. Labor Foce
The Economy in Historical Perspective
The Agricultural Revolution and Agricultural Societ
The Industrial Revolution and Industrial Society
The Information Revolution and Post-Industrial Society
Types of Economic Systems
A Case of Capitalism in Practice: A Critical Perspective
Socialism and Communism
A Case of Socialism in Practice: A Critical Perspective
Working On and Off the Books
The Formal Economy
The Informal or Underground Economy in the U.S.
Consumers, Consumption, and the U.S. Economy
The Means of Consumption
A Historical Perspective on Consumption
Credit: Debt and More Debt
Globalization and the New Economic Order
Global Economic Interdependence
A Global Market for Labor
Is the Future of the Global Economy Green?
Why Study Economic Systems and Trends?
15: Health and Medicine
The Rise of "Study Drug" Use Among U.S. Students
Cultural Definitions of Health and Illness
The Sick Role
The Social Construction of Illness
Health, Safety, and Healthcare in the United States
Health and Public Safety Issues
Social Inequality in Health and Medicine
Access to Health Care
Sociology and Issues of Public Health in the United States
Teen Pregnancy and Births
Developing a Sociology of HIV/AIDS
Gender and HIV/AIDS
Poverty and HIV/AIDS
Violence and HIV/AIDS
Global Issues in Health and Medicine
Why Should Sociologists Study Health?
16: War, Terror, and Genocide
Modern War: A Syrian Story
War and Society
A Functionalist Perspective on War
A Conflict Perspective on War
Rape as a Weapon of War
Terrorists and Terrorism Today
Who is a Terrorist?
What is Terrorism?
Genocide: The Mass Destruction of Community and Society
What Explains Genocide?
Modernization and Mass Murder
Why Should Sociologists Study War?
17: Population, Urbanization, and the Environment
Demographic Dilemma: Where are the Girls?
Global Population Growth
Demography and Demographic Analysis
Theory of the First Demographic Transition
Is a Second Demographic Transition Occurring in the West?
Malthus and Marx: How Many People are Too Many?
Malthus: Overpopulation and Natural Limits
Simon: A Modern Critic Takes on Malthus
Marx: Overpopulation or Maldistribution of Wealth?
Malthus, Marx, and Modernity
The Rise of Industry and Early Cities
Sociologists and the City
Cities in the United States
The Emergence of Global Cities
World Urbanization Today
The Local and Global Environment
Population Growth, Modernization, and the Environment
Underdevelopment and Overdevelopment in the Modern World
Why Study Population and Environment From a Sociological Perspective?
18: Social Change and Social Movements
Opening the Floodgates
Sociological Perspectives on Social Change
Functionalist Theories of Societal Change
Conflict Theories of Societal Change
Rise-and-Fall Theories of Societal Change
Sources of Societal Change and Revolution
Collective Behavior
How Do Crowds Act?
Social Movements
Types of Social Movements
Why Do Social Movements Arise?
Micro-Mobilization Contexts for Building Social Movements
Social Movements and Social Change in Our Century
New Social Movements
Social Change in the Twenty-First Century
Why Study Social Change?

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