The Practical Skeptic: Core Concepts in Sociology / Edition 1

The Practical Skeptic: Core Concepts in Sociology / Edition 1

by Lisa J. McIntyre
     
 

ISBN-10: 1559349549

ISBN-13: 9781559349543

Pub. Date: 09/28/1998

Publisher: Mayfield Publishing Company

The Practical Skeptic, a concise introduction to sociology, focuses on core concepts as the central building blocks for understanding sociology. Lisa McIntyre's straightforward, lively, even humorous style and her emphasis on critical thinking make this an engaging and user-friendly text for students of all levels. Through this conversational narrative,

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Overview

The Practical Skeptic, a concise introduction to sociology, focuses on core concepts as the central building blocks for understanding sociology. Lisa McIntyre's straightforward, lively, even humorous style and her emphasis on critical thinking make this an engaging and user-friendly text for students of all levels. Through this conversational narrative, students are able to grasp key sociological concepts and learn the essential lesson that there is much that goes on in the social world that escapes the sociologically untrained eye.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781559349543
Publisher:
Mayfield Publishing Company
Publication date:
09/28/1998
Edition description:
Older Edition
Pages:
247
Product dimensions:
6.69(w) x 9.45(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Ch. 1Responding to chaos : a brief history of sociology5
Inquiries into the physical world6
Technology, urbanization, and social upheaval10
The origins of modern sociology in France : Emile Durkheim12
Excerpt : Emile Durkheim, from Suicide (1897) and The rules of the sociological method (1904)14
The origins of modern sociology in Germany : Ferdinand Tonnies, Max Weber, and Karl Marx16
Excerpt : Ferdinand Tonnies, from Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft (1887)17
Karl Marx20
The origins of modern sociology in England : Herbert Spencer21
Sociology in the United States23
The place of sociology in modern society25
Ch. 2The sociological eye28
The focus on the social28
Skepticism33
Ch. 3Science and fuzzy objects : specialization in sociology38
Dividing up the task40
Topic area or subject matter41
Theoretical perspectives (paradigms) : functionalist, conflict, and symbolic interactionist41
Which paradigm is correct?43
Levels of analysis : microsociology and macrosociology44
Ch. 4Who's afraid of sociology?47
The empirical world and inconvenient facts47
Ethnocentrism49
Avoiding ethnocentrism can be difficult52
Cultural relativism53
Ch. 5The vocabulary of science55
Variables55
Hypotheses57
Kinds of variables : independent versus dependent59
Kinds of relationships : directionality61
Operational definitions62
Ch. 6Doing social research75
Two traditions : quantitative and qualitative research75
First things first : the lit review76
The survey78
The experiment82
Observation85
Unobtrusive (nonreactive) research86
The importance of triangulation89
Ch. 7Culture95
Material and nonmaterial culture96
How it adds up103
Culture as a product of action104
Culture as a conditioning element of further action105
Social institutions107
Social change : cultural diffusion and leveling108
Subcultures and countercultures108
Excerpt : Margaret Visser, from Much depends on dinner (1986)110
Ch. 8Social structure114
Statuses114
Roles116
Master status120
Groups120
Ch. 9Society and social institutions129
Societal needs132
The nature of social institutions135
Social change : the trend toward increasing specialization141
Ch. 10Socialization144
Nature and nurture : biological and social processes144
How socialization works146
Excerpt : George Herbert Mead, from Play and games in the genesis of self (1934)152
Resocialization and total institutions158
Ch. 11Deviance and social control161
The relativity of deviance (what we already know)161
Nonsociological theories of deviance163
Sociological theories of deviance : Emile Durkheim and suicide164
More structural strain : Robert Merton and anomie168
Learning to be deviant : Howard Becker's study of marijuana use172
The societal reaction perspective : labeling theory176
The functions of deviance : maintenance of the status quo and social change179
Ch. 12Stratification and inequality183
Caste systems184
Estate systems187
Class systems190
Theoretical conceptions of class191
Some words about slavery195
Social mobility and open versus closed systems196
Ch. 13Inequality and achievement : social class201
Explaining social stratification206
The Pygmalion effect : the power of expectations214
The fallacy of hard work216
Social mobility, social structure, and social change217
Ch. 14Inequality and ascription : race, ethnicity, and gender222
Why a dollar is not always a dollar223
Prejudice228
Discrimination229
Discrimination and "isms"232
The social construction of minority groups237
Gender240

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