Sociology as a Life or Death Issue / Edition 1

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Overview

This beautifully written book examines the social causes of death through analyses of hip hop culture, the motivations of Palestinian suicide bombers, and the plight of victims of hurricanes in the Caribbean region and the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. The five linked essays bring sociology alive by taking you into worlds that figure prominently in today's popular culture and headline news stories. Ending with a synopsis of the promise of the sociological imagination, this thought-provoking book will inspire your hope for a better world for future generations.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Robert Brym's SOCIOLOGY AS A LIFE OR DEATH ISSUE is likely the most approachable short book for students since Howard Becker's OUTSIDERS. I see [it] as a modern-day INVITATION TO SOCIOLOGY melded with Mills's THE SOCIOLOGICAL IMAGINATION set to the chorus of contemporary issues in North America. Bravo! Not only does Brym weave three seemly unrelated topics - hip hop culture; the Israel/Palestine conflict; and Hurricane Katrina, he does so in a way that is challenging and value-neutral.""Absolutely [I would adopt this text]! In fact, with the Virginia Tech shootings, I wish that I could give it to my students NOW. I find it critical and approachable - perfect for an introductory Sociology class. In place of a reader, I could see Brym's book leading to a multitude of discussions about the construction of knowledge and social understanding in society.""The distinctive quality of this book is that it not only weaves a modern INVITATION TO SOCIOLOGY with current issues that would be of interest to students but also introduces major concepts and theories of our discipline…it is written in a plain-spoken, almost personal, manner that I believe will really connect readers with the issues and conclusions.""I believe this book could become a staple of sociology classes." Casey Cornelius, Delta College

"Outstanding book - I loved reading it. Is this the entire book? Are there more chapters coming out?...The author approaches subjects that are controversial (rap music and suicide bombers) and does an excellent job giving both sides of the issue without any chance that anyone could get offended. And that takes an excellent writer.""Yes, I could definitely see me incorporating this into my class. I think it would make a great second book to a major intro text. I would assign different chapters to the various topics that we cover in the intro course. For example, I would have them read the second chapter while we are discussing race. The blending of the two readings would make for a great educational experience.""There are several aspects that I really like about this book. It is very interesting and very well written. It is written in a format that is an 'easy read' in that my students would not get intimidated…at the same time I feel it is not 'dumbing down' the material. The length of the chapters is just right - too many sociology books have chapters that are too long." Scott Potter, Marion Technical College.

"The choice of topics is excellent. This small book packs a lot of food for thought. It provides wonderful modeling of the sociological imagination - this is something often lacking in standard textbook.""The examples are timely and interesting. If you've ever been frustrated at not being able to teach the sociological imagination adequately - this book will assist one immensely to that end." Sue Wika, Minnesota State Community and Technical College.

"I like that the author avoids jargon and shows that sociology is not just a class, but it is a part of the everyday. I was impressed by how current his examples are especially in hip hop. He also included very interesting topics of discussion (such as Hurricane Katrina and the effects of disasters in our lives or suicide bombers). Such topics would create immediate discussion in the classroom." Yasemin Besen, Montclair State.

"Magnificent introduction to sociology! Brilliant idea to develop the theme of life and death and brilliant execution through the specific topics covered. These are indeed life and death issues and all the more credit for showing the light sociology casts upon them. We are usually so pathetically weak on the question of violence. Equally to the point, teaching as public sociology is underdeveloped and under appreciated. So this is very important." - Michael Burawoy, UC Berkeley

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780495600756
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning
  • Publication date: 7/28/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 1,062,026
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert J. Brym is Professor and Associate Chair (Undergraduate) of the Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He has published widely on politics and social movements in Canada, Russia, and the Middle East. His most recent books are New Society, 7th edition (2014) and Society in Question, 7th edition (2014), both published by Nelson. He has served as editor of several scholarly journals and won numerous awards for his teaching and scholarly work. Brym recently completed a project on state and collective violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the results of which were published in Social Forces, the British Journal of Sociology, and elsewhere. He is currently conducting research on the democracy movement in the Middle East and North Africa.

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Table of Contents

Preface: The Fifth Dimension. 1. Sociology as a Life or Death Issue. 2. Hip Hop from Caps to Bling. 3. Explaining Suicide Bombers. 4. Hurricane Katrina and the Myth of Natural Disasters. 5. Sociology as a Vocation. Glossary. References. Index. About the Author.

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