Sociology Matters / Edition 5

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Richard T. Schaefer's Sociology Matters is a concise introduction to the discipline of sociology. Its straightforward style, streamlined design, and highly focused coverage make it the perfect affordable, ultra brief, introductory text for instructors who use a variety of materials in their course.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780073528250
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Higher Education
  • Publication date: 2/11/2011
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 302,891
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Growing up in Chicago at a time when neighborhoods were going through transitions in ethnic and racial composition, Richard T. Schaefer found himself increasingly intrigued by what was happening, how people were reacting, and how these changes were affecting neighborhoods and people’s jobs. His interest in social issues caused him to gravitate to sociology courses at Northwestern University, where he received a B.A. in Sociology.

"Originally as an undergraduate I thought I would go on to law school and become a lawyer. But after taking a few sociology courses, I found myself wanting to learn more about what sociologists studied and fascinated by the kinds of questions they raised." This fascination led him to obtain his M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Chicago. Dr. Schaefer’s continuing interest in race relations led him to write his masters’ thesis on the membership of the Ku Klux Klan and his doctoral thesis on racial prejudice and race relations in Great Britain.

Dr. Schaefer went on to become a professor of sociology. He has taught introductory sociology for 30 years to students in colleges, adult education programs, nursing programs, and even a maximum-security prison. Dr. Schaefer’s love of teaching is apparent in his interaction with his students. "I find myself constantly learning from the students who are in my classes and from reading what they write. Their insights into the material we read or current events that we discuss often become part of future course material and sometimes even find their way into my writing."

Dr. Schaefer is author of the third edition of Sociology: A Brief Introduction (McGraw-Hill, 2000). Dr. Schaefer is also the author of Racial and Ethnic Groups now in its eighth edition, and Race and Ethnicity in the United States, second edition. His articles and book reviews have appeared in many journals, including American Journal of Sociology, Phylon: A Review of Race and Culture, Contemporary Sociology, Sociology and Social Research, Sociological Quarterly, and Teaching Sociology. He served as president of the Midwest Sociological Society in 1994-1995.

Dr. Schaefer’s advice to students is to "look at the material and make connections to your own life and experiences. Sociology will make you a more attentive observer of how people in groups interact and function. It will also make you more aware of peoples’ different needs and interests — and perhaps more ready to work for the common good, while still recognizing the individuality of each person."

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Table of Contents


Chapter 1: The Sociological View

Chapter 2: Culture and Socialization

Chapter 3: Social Interaction, Groups, and Social Structure

Chapter 4: Deviance and Social Control

Chapter 5: Stratification in the United States and Global Inequality

Chapter 6: Inequality by Race and Ethnicity

Chapter 7: Inequality by Gender

Chapter 8: Social Institutions: Family and Religion

Chapter 9: Social Institutions: Education, Government, and the Economy

Chapter 10: Population, Community, Health, and the Environment

Chapter 11: Social Movements, Social Change, and Technology



Chapter 1: The Sociological View

What Is Sociology?

The Sociological Imagination

Sociology and the Social Sciences

Sociology and Common Sense

What Is Sociological Theory?

The Development of Sociology

Early Thinkers: Comte, Martineau, and Spencer

Émile Durkheim

Max Weber

Karl Marx

Modern Developments

Major Theoretical Perspectives

Functionalist Perspective

Conflict Perspective

Interactionist Perspective

The Sociological Approach

What is the Scientific Method?

Defining the Problem

Reviewing the Literature

Formulating the Hypothesis

Collecting and Analyzing Data

Developing the Conclusion

In Summary: The Scientific Method

Major Research Designs




Use of Existing Sources

Ethics of Research

Applied and Clinical Sociology


Chapter 2: Culture and Socialization

Culture and Society

Development of Culture Around the World

Cultural Universals


Globalization, Diffusion, and Technology

Elements of Culture





Culture and the Dominant Ideology

Cultural Variation



Culture Shock


Cultural Relativism

The Role of Socialization

Environment: The Impact of Isolation

Heredity: the Impact of Biology

The Self and Socialization

Cooley: Looking-Glass Self

Mead: Stages of the Self

Mead: Theory of the Self

Goffman: Presentation of the Self

Psychological Approaches to the Self

Socialization and the Life Course

The Life Course

Anticipatory Socialization and Resocialization

Agents of Socialization



Peer Group

Mass Media and Technology


Religion and The State


Chapter 3: Social Interaction, Groups, and Social Structure

Defining and Reconstructing Reality

Elements of Social Structure


Social Roles


Social Networks and Technology

Social Institutions

Social Structure in Global Perspective

Durkheim's Mechanical and Organic Solidarity

Tönnies’s Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft

Lenski’s Sociocultural Evolution

Understanding Organizations

Formal Organizations and Bureaucracies

Characteristics of a Bureaucracy

Bureaucracy and Organizational Culture

The Changing Workplace


Chapter 4: Deviance and Social Control

Social Control

Conformity and Obedience

Informal and Formal Social Control

Law and Society

What is Deviance?

Explaining Deviance

Functionalist Perspective

Interactionist Perspective

Labeling Theory

Conflict Theory

Feminist Perspective


Types of Crime

Crime Statistics


Chapter 5: Stratification in the United States and Global Inequality

Understanding Stratification

Systems of Stratification

Perspectives on Stratification

Is Stratification Universal?

Stratification by Social Class

Measuring Social Class

Wealth and Income


Life Chances

Social Mobility

Open versus Closed Stratification Systems

Types of Social Mobility

Social Mobility in the United States

Global Inequality

Legacy of Colonialism


Multinational Corporations



Chapter 6: Inequality by Race and Ethnicity

The Privileges of the Dominant

The Social Construction of Race and Ethnicity



Immigration and New Ethnic Groups

History of Immigration

Functions of Immigration

The Conflict Approach to Immigration

Patterns of Prejudice and Discrimination

Discriminatory Behavior

Institutional Discrimination

Measuring Discrimination


Chapter 7: Inequality by Gender

The Social Construction of Gender

Gender-Role Socialization

Women's and Men's Gender Role

A Cross-Cultural Perspective

Explaining Inequality by Gender

The Functionalist View

The Conflict Response

The Feminist Perpsective

The Interactionist Perspective

Women: The Oppressed Majority

Sexism and Sex Discrimination

Sexual Harrassment

The Status of Women Worldwide

Women in the Workforce of the United States

The Social Consequences of Women's Employment

The Intersection of Gender, Race, and Class


Chapter 8: Social Institutions: Family and Religion

Studying Social Institutions

Functionalist View

Conflict View

Interactionist View

The Family: A Global View

Composition: What is the Family?

Kinship Patterns: To Whom Are We Related?

Authority Patterns: Who Rules?

Studying the Family

Functionalist View

Conflict View

Interactionist View

Feminist View

Religion as a Social Institution

The Integrative Function of Religion

Religion and Social Support

Religion and Social Change

Religion and Social Control: A Conflict View

Religious Behavior




Chapter 9: Social Institutions: Education, Government, and the Economy

Sociological Perspectives on Education

Functionalist View

Conflict View

Interactionist View

Education: Schools as Formal Organizations

Bureaucratization of Schools

Teachers: Employees and Instructors

Student Subcultures

Government: Authority and Power

Types of Authority

Who Rules in the United States?

Economic Systems



Economic Transformation

The Changing Face of the Workforce



Chapter 10: Population, Community, Health, and the Environment

Demography: The Study of Population

Malthus’s Thesis and Marx’s Response

Studying Population Today

Elements of Demography

How Did Communities Originate?

Early Communities

Preindustrial Cities

Industrial and Postindustrial Cities

Urbanization and Its Consequences

Functionalist View: Urban Ecology

Conflict View: New Urban Sociology

Health and Illness: Sociological Perspectives

Functionalist Approach

Conflict Approach

Interactionist Approach

Labeling Approach

Social Epidemiology

Social Class

Race and Ethnicity



The Environment: The World and Our Place in It

Environmental Problems: An Overview

Human Ecology

A Conflict View of Environmental Issues

Environmental Justice


Chapter 11: Social Movements, Social Change, and Technology

Social Movements

The Relative Deprivation Approach

The Resource Mobilization Approach

Gender and Social Movements

New Social Movements

Theories of Social Change

Evolutionary Theory

Functionalist Theory

Conflict Theory

Global Social Change

Resistance to Social Change

Economic and Cultural Factors

Resistance to Technology

Technology and the Future

Computer Technology






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