Down to Earth Sociology: Introductory Readings / Edition 14

Down to Earth Sociology: Introductory Readings / Edition 14

by James M. Henslin
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Free Press


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Down to Earth Sociology: Introductory Readings / Edition 14

For thirty-five years and through thirteen editions, Jim Henslin's Down to Earth Sociology has opened new windows onto the social realities that shape our world. Now in its fourteenth edition, the most popular anthology in sociology includes new articles on our changing world while also retaining its classic must-read essays. Focusing on social interaction in everyday life, the forty-six selections bring students face-to-face with the twin projects of contemporary sociology: understanding the individual's experience of society and analyzing social structure.

The fourteenth edition's exceptional new readings include selections on the role of sympathy in everyday life, mistaken perceptions of the American family, the effects of a criminal record on getting a job, and the major social trends affecting our future. Together with these essential new articles, the selections by Peter Berger, Herbert Gans, Erving Goffman, Donna Eder, Zella Luria, C. Wright Mills, Deborah Tannen, Barrie Thorne, Sidney Katz, Philip Zimbardo, and many others provide firsthand reporting that gives students a sense of "being there." Henslin also explains basic methods of social research, providing insight into how sociologists explore the social world. The selections in Down to Earth Sociology highlight the most significant themes of contemporary sociology, ranging from the sociology of gender, power, politics, and religion to the contemporary crises of racial tension, crime, rape, poverty, and homelessness.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416536208
Publisher: Free Press
Publication date: 02/13/2007
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 624
Sales rank: 139,531
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

James M. Henslin is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville. He is the author of many textbooks, including Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach, 7th ed.; Essentials of Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach, 6th ed.; and Social Problems, 7th ed.

Read an Excerpt

Preface to the Twelfth Edition

Sociology has the marvelous capacity to open new windows of perception on our familiar worlds, leaving no aspect of our lives untouched.
-- Author

It is with pleasure that I introduce the twelfth edition of Down to Earth Sociology, a pleasure akin to seeing a dear friend reach another cheerful milestone in his or her life. Adopters of earlier editions will find themselves at home, I believe, in this latest edition. They will see many selections that they have already used successfully in the classroom, and I trust they will welcome the many newcomers.

Following the suggestions of those who have used earlier editions of Down to Earth Sociology, I have strived to continue to present down to earth articles in order to make the student's introduction to sociology enjoyable as well as meaningful. These selections narrate the first-hand experiences of their authors -- researchers who put a human voice on sociological experiences -- those who have "been there" and who, with a minimum of jargon and quantification, insightfully share their experiences with the reader.

Focusing on social interaction in everyday activities and situations, these selections share some of the fascination of sociology. They reflect both the individualistic and the structural emphases of our discipline. They make clear how social structure is not simply an abstract fact of life, but vitally affects our lives. These selections help students become more aware of how the decisions of the rich, the politically powerful, and the bureaucrats provide social constraints that augment those dictated by birth, social class, and other circumstances. They help students understand how their location in a social structure lifts or limits their vision of life, closes or opens their chances of success, and, ultimately, brings tears and laughter, hope and despair.

So much of sociology, however, goes about its business as though data were unconnected to people, as though the world consisted of abstract social facts. Yet from our own experiences in social life, we know how far these suppositions are from the truth -- how divorced they are from real life. Consequently, I have sought to include authors who are able to share the realities that directly affect people's lives. As I see it, sociology is the most fascinating of the social sciences, and it is this fascination that these selections are designed to convey.

It is my hope that I have succeeded in accomplishing this goal, because sociology has the marvelous capacity to open new windows of perception on our familiar worlds, leaving no aspect of our lives untouched. If these readings even come close to this goal, I am indebted to the many adopters of earlier editions, whose reactions and suggestions have helped give shape to this one. To all of you, a sincere and fond thank you.

I owe a special debt of gratitude to the instructors who shared with me their experiences with earlier editions. Their sharing proved invaluable in shaping this present version. I wish to acknowledge the help of

Richard Ambler, Southern Arkansas University
Julie E. Artis, DePaul University
Joe Bishop, Dakota State University
John Bowman, University of North Carolina at Pembroke
Tom Boyd, Berea College
Suzanne Brandon, College of St. Catherine
John C. Bridges, Immaculata College
Grace Budrys, DePaul University
Meryl Cozart, Towson University
Rolf Diamon, University of Southern Maine
Merl Dirksen, Lee University
Robert B. Enright, Jr., University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
David C. Erickson, Northwest College
Kerry Ferris, Bradley University
Richard Gendron, Assumption College
Frank Glamser, University of Southern Mississippi
Peter R. Grahame, Mount Saint Mary's College
Susan F. Greenwood, University of Maine-Orono
Larry D. Hall, Spring Hill College
Terrell A. Hayes, Davis & Elkins College
Ines W. Jindra, Bethany Lutheran College
Cathryn Johnson, Emory University
Susan L. Johnson, Carl Sandburg College
James W. Jordan, Longwood College
Quintus Joubeve, Rutgers University
Mariame Kaba, Northeastern Illinois University
Meg Wilkes Karraker, University of St. Thomas
Margot Kempers, Fitchburg State College
Marilyn Krogh, Loyola University of Chicago
Anthony Lack, Lee College
Helene M. Lawson, University of Pittsburgh
Bill Lockhart, New Mexico State University
Jerry Lowney, Carroll College
Philip Luck, Georgia State University
Kristin Marsh, Emory University
Tina Martinez, Blue Mountain Community College
R. Robin Miller, Drury University
Sharon L. Miller, Hope College
Janine Minkler, Northern Arizona University
Elizabeth J. Mitchell, Rutgers University
Thomas S. Moore, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Christopher W. Mullins, Southwestern Illinois College
Peter F. Parilla, University of St. Thomas
Kristin Park, Westminster College
Tim Pippert, Augsburg College
Paul-Jahi Price, Pasadena City College
Pam Rosenberg, Gettysburg College
Richard Rubinson, Emory University
Ross T. Runfola, Medaille College
Allen Scarboro, Augusta State University
Richard Senter, Jr., Central Michigan University
Ryan Sheppard, King's College
Rick L. Shifley, Montserrat College of Art
Thomas Soltis, Westmoreland County Community College
Marybeth C. Stalp, University of Georgia
Judith Stepan-Norris, University of California-Irvine
Jordan J. Titus, University of Alaska
Kathy Trosen, Muscatine Community College
Suzanne Tuthill, Delaware Technical and Community College
Judy C. Vaughan, Arkansas Tech University
Anita Veit, University of North Carolina
Abram Lawrence Wehmiller, Greenhill School
Clovis L. White, Oberlin College
Fred Zampa, Macon State College

One of the more interesting tasks in preparing this book is to gather information on the contributors' backgrounds. In addition to biographical data concerning their education, teaching, and publishing, this section also contains their statements telling us why they like sociology or became sociologists. You may want to assign this section with the articles to help personalize the readings and increase the student's awareness of biographical factors that go into the choice to become a sociologist.

The selections in this edition continue to be organized to make them compatible with most introductory textbooks. Through subjects that are inherently interesting, we cover the major substantive areas of sociology. Part I, an introduction to the sociological perspective, invites students to view the world in a new way by participating in this exciting enterprise we call sociology. Part II is designed to answer the basic question of how sociologists do research. Part III examines the cultural underpinnings of social life, those taken-for-granted assumptions and contexts that provide the contours of our everyday lives. Part IV focuses on that essential component of our beings, gender and sexuality. There we look at both the process by which we assume the social identity of male or female and how those identities provide the basis for interaction among adults.

In Part V, we examine social groups and social structure, looking behind the scenes to reveal how people's assumptions, their location on social hierarchies, and the features of social settings establish both constraints and freedoms in human relationships. In Part VI, we consider the relativity of deviance and the process of becoming deviant, especially the social context that shapes deviance. We also examine features of social control, those aspects of social groups that are designed to minimize deviance. In Part VII, we focus on social stratification, beginning with the micro level of physical appearance and then looking at gender, race-ethnicity, poverty, wealth, and power as dimensions of social inequality. In Part VIII, we analyze the social institutions of economics, marriage and family, education, sports, the mass media, religion, medicine, law, and the military. In this edition, we add an analysis of science, examining how myth creeps into its "objective" knowledge. We conclude the book with a look at social change, the focus of Part IX. After examining how everyday life is being rationalized in a process called McDonaldization, we look at resistance to social change -- how the Amish withdraw from mainstream society and how male soldiers undermine the integration of women in the military. We then conclude the book with a look at how people adjust to the aftermath of a hurricane.

These selections bring the reader face-to-face with the dual emphases of contemporary sociological research: the focus on the individual's experiences, and the analysis of social structure. Uncovering the basic expectations that underlie routine social interactions, these articles emphasize the ways in which social institutions are interrelated. It is to their authors' credit that we lose sight of neither the people who are interacting nor the structural base that so directly influences the form and content of their interactions.

In some of the selections written before stylistic changes occurred in our language, "he," "his," "him," "himself," "man," "world of men," and so on, are generic, referring to both males and females. Although the linguistic style is outdated, the ideas are not.

Jim Henslin
December 2002

Copyright © 1991, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003 by James M. Henslin Copyright © 1972, 1976, 1981, 1985, 1988 by The Free Press

Table of Contents

Credits and Acknowledgments v

Preface to the Fourteenth Edition xvii

About the Contributors xxiii


Exploring the social world
1. Invitation to Sociology / Peter L. Berger 3

An overview of sociology
2. What Is Sociology? Comparing Sociology and the Other Social Sciences / James M. Henslin 8

The sociological imagination
3. The Promise / C. Wright Mills 20


How sociologists gather data
4. How Sociologists Do Research / James M. Henslin 35

Interviewing in a difficult situation
5. "Riding the Bull at Gilley's": Convicted Rapists Describe the Rewards of Rape / Diana Scully, Joseph Marolla 48

Using experiments to uncover causation
6. Would You Hire an Ex-Convict? / Devah Pager 63

Learning the ropes: Fieldwork in an urban setting 7. Doing Research with Streetcorner Crack Dealers / Bruce A. Jacobs 73


Ritual and magic in everyday life
8. Body Ritual Among the Nacirema / Horace Miner 87

Where violence is taken for granted
9. Doing Fieldwork Among the Yanomamö / Napoleon A. Chagnon 92

Conforming to internalized culture
10. The Sounds of Silence / Edward T. Hall, Mildred R. Hall 109

Following rules we don't even know we have
11. Sympathy in Everyday Life / Candace Clark 118

Impression management
12. The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life / Erving Goffman 135


Learning to be human
13. Extreme Isolation / Kingsley Davis 151

Learning to be male
14. On Becoming Male: Reflections of a Sociologist on Childhood and Early Socialization / James M. Henslin 161

Learning to be female
15. On Becoming Female: Lessons Learned in School / Donna Eder 173

Putting boundaries around the sexes
16. Sexuality and Gender in Children's Daily Worlds / Barrie Thorne, Zella Luria 180

Talking past one another
17. "But What Do You Mean?" Women and Men in Conversation / Deborah Tannen 192


Gender and selling cars
18. Attacking Nicely: Women Selling Cars / Helene M. Lawson 203

Making our bodies conform
19. Religion and Morality in Weight Loss Groups / Kandi M. Stinson 217

Desexualizing social interaction
20. Behavior in Pubic Places: The Sociology of the Vaginal Examination / James M. Henslin, Mae A. Biggs 229

The discards of industrial society
21. The Lives of Homeless Women / Elliot Liebow 242

Preparing for final farewells
22. Handling the Stigma of Handling the Dead / William E. Thompson 249


Conformity and group pressure
23. If Hitler Asked You to Electrocute a Stranger, Would You? Probably / Philip Meyer 269

Doing the unthinkable
24. Eating Your Friends Is the Hardest: The Survivors of the F-227 / James M. Henslin 277

Neutralizing extreme deviance
25. Becoming a Hit Man / Ken Levi 287

How labels affect life
26. The Saints and the Roughnecks / William J. Chambliss 299

The deviance of social control
27. The Pathology of Imprisonment / Philip G. Zimbardo 315

What is normal?
28. On Being Sane in Insane Places / David L. Rosenhan 322


Physical appearance
29. The Importance of Being Beautiful / Sidney Katz 341

Gender oppression
30. Fraternities and Rape on Campus / Patricia Yancey Martin, Robert A. Hummer 349

Race-ethnicity and identity
31. Showing My Color / Clarence Page 360

Race-ethnicity and hatred
32. The Racist Mind / Raphael Ezekiel 369

Poverty and powerlessness
33. The Uses of Poverty: The Poor Pay All / Herbert J. Gans 376

Social mobility and status inconsistency
34. Moving Up from the Working Class / Joan M. Morris, Michael D. Grimes 383

Wealth, power, and privilege
35. The U.S. Upper Class / Stephen Higley 395


Economics: Not making it
36. Nickel and Dimed / Barbara Ehrenreich 411

Marriage and family: Glorifying the past
37. The American Family / Stephanie Coontz 425

Medicine: The technological takeover of childbirth
38. Giving Birth the American Way / Robbie E. Davis-Floyd 432

Education: Learning the student role
39. Kindergarten as Academic Boot Camp / Harry L. Gracey 446

Religion: Peering beneath the surface
40. India's Sacred Cow / Marvin Harris 461

Law: Learning the ropes
41. Police Accounts of Normal Force / Jennifer Hunt 470

The Military: Turning civilians into soldiers
42. Anybody's Son Will Do / Gwynne Dyer 481


The McDonaldization of society
43. Over the Counter at McDonald's / Robin Leidner 497

Resisting social change
44. Social Change Among the Amish / Jerry Savells 508

Social movements
45. Women in the Military / Laura L. Miller 518

Living with globalization
46. Caught Between the Ages / William Van Dusen Wishard 535

Glossary 547

References 559

Appendix: Correlation Chart 569

Name Index 579

Subject Index 583

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Down to Earth Sociology: Introductory Readings 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The cover shows it as the eleventh edition and yet once you get it and look within it is the 14th ed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago