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The Meaning of Sociology: A Reader / Edition 9

The Meaning of Sociology: A Reader / Edition 9

by Joel M. Charon, Lee Ga Vigilant


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The Meaning of Sociology: A Reader / Edition 9

This classic reader captures the excitement inherent in the field of sociology with 56 classic and contemporary selections from a wide variety of authors and sources. The reader is organized around basic sociological concepts and connects these concepts to the study of Sociology or our world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780135157862
Publisher: Pearson
Publication date: 03/25/2008
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 245,118
Product dimensions: 6.80(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Bolded entries indicate new selection

Part I: The Discipline of Sociology

1. Sociology as a Passion to Understand, Peter L. Berger

2. The Sociological Imagination, C.Wright Mills
3. Critical Thinking About Statistics, Joel Best

4. Generalizing, Stereotyping, and Social Science, Joel M. Charon

5. Religious Fundamentalism: A Sociological Study, Nancy Tatom Ammerman

Part II: The Perspective of Sociology: The Importance of the Social World

6. Social identity, Richard Jenkins

7. The Importance of Primary Groups, Dexter C. Dunphy

8. Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, Erving Goffman

9. Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple,Charles Lindholm

10. Collective Trauma at Buffalo Creek, Kai Erikson

11. The Meaning and Importance of the City, William A. Schwab

12. Society, Social Control, and the Individual, Peter L. Berger

Part III: Social Structure

13. Pathology of Imprisonment, Phillip E. Zimbardo

14. If Hitler Asked You to Electrocute a Stranger, Would You? Probably, Phillip Meyer

15. The Mai Lai Massacre: A Military Crime of Obedience, Herbert Kelman and V. Lee Hamilton

16. Gender as Structure, Barbara J. Risman

17. Four Modes of Inequality, William M. Dugger

Part IV: Social Structure: Class

18. The New American Class Structure, Robert Perrucci and Earl Wysong

19. The Uses of Poverty: The Poor Pay All, Herbert J. Gans

20. Class in Everyday Life, Stanley Aronowitz

21. Inequality in Europe and the United States, James W. Russell

22. The Polarization of Class in the World, Robert Bellah

Part V: Social Structure: Race and Ethnicity

23. Race, Wealth, and Equality, Melvin L. Oliver and Thomas M. Shapiro

24. Occupational Opportunities and Race, Stephen Steinberg

25. Punishment and Inequality in America, Bruce Western

26. Yellow Face: Asian Americans in Popular Culture, Robert G. Lee

27. Children of Immigrants: Adaptation and Identity, Carola Suarez-Orozco

Part VI: Social Structure - Gender

28. The Meaning of Gender, Judith Howard and Jocelyn Hollander

29. The Working Wife as an Urbanized Peasant, Arlie Russel Hochschild with Anne Machung

30. What Marriage Means, Kathryn Edin and Maria Kefalas

31. The Betrayal of the American Man, Susan Faludi

Part VII: Culture

32. Culture: A Sociological View, Howard Becker

33. The Code of the Street, Elijah Anderson

34. American Culture: Individualism and Community, David A. Karp

35. The American Dream, Stephen J. McNamee and Robert K. Miller, Jr.

36. Cultures of Cruelty, Fred Emil Katz

Part VIII: Social Institutions: Economic and Political

37. The Meaning and Origin of Social Institutions, Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann

38. The Institution of Capitalism, Michael Zweig

39. The Rise of Big Business in the United States, Charles Perrow

40. The Dominance of the Corporation, Carl Boggs

41. The Politics of the Contented, John Kenneth Galbraith

42. Government Programs and Social Cohesion, Theda Skocpol

43. Liberal Democracy and Democratic Culture, Larry Diamond

Part IX: Social Institutions: Familial, Religious, and Educational

44. Family in Transition, 2007, Arlene S. Skolnick and Jerome H. Skolnick

45. Family Life and Economic Success, Lisa A. Keister

46. Unequal Childhoods, Annette Lareau

47. The Meaning of Religion,Emile Durkheim

48. Religious Diversity in America, Robert Wuthnow

49. Religious Cults, Steven E. Barkan

50. The Shame of the Nation, Jonathan Kozol

51. The Culture of the School, Maureen T. Hallinan

Part X: Social Change

52. Class, Social Conflict and Social Change, Karl Marx

53. Society and Change, Michel Crozier

54. Social Movements and Social Change, Cyrus Zirakzadeh

55. American Social Trends, Charles L. Harper and Kevin Leicht

56. Globalization, Anthony Giddens


The purpose of this reader is to share the excitement of sociology. Each selection has been chosen carefully according to the following criteria: Is it interesting? Is it a good example of sociology? Does it illustrate an idea or concept that is central to the sociological perspective? Is it written at a level that can be understood by a student who does not have an extensive background in sociology?

Sociology can be applied to every aspect of our lives. It is the study of society and the individual, interaction and organization, social patterns and institutions, social issues and social problems, social order and social change. The selections in this reader attempt to capture this diversity.

Some selections are written by professional sociologists, and some are written by people who think like sociologists. Some are very recent; whereas some happen to be older. Some are theoretical; whereas, some are empirical. Diversity and balance have been my aim.

I also have tried to take selections from a wide variety of sources. The experience of writing seven editions has led me to rely more and more on selections taken from books rather than journals. Always, my concern is to include what I consider to be good representatives of how sociologists think about the human being, and to include articles that students can understand and apply to their lives.

This is the seventh edition of this reader. It is always difficult to know which selections should be kept and which should be replaced. In making decisions for this edition, I relied heavily on a poll of several users of the sixth edition. Although I did not always take their suggestions, they caused me to question mychoices, and they gave me good leads. In the end, I decided to use forty-one selections from the sixth edition. Twenty-four selections are new.

I really believe that the selections here are interesting and contribute to an understanding of sociology and society. If some are especially relevant to your life, please let me know. If some are either not interesting or non-relevant I would like to know that too.

I would like to thank Sharon Chambliss, Nancy Roberts, and the staff at Prentice Hall for their confidence in me and for their encouragement and advice. I also thank the Prentice Hall reviewers Russell L. Curtis, Jr., University of Houston; Jonathon Epstein, University of Southern Indiana; Sharon L. Hardesty, Eastern Kentucky University; Mark Jones, Indiana University at South Bend; Ginger E. Macheski, Valdosta State University; and William F. Poley, Jr., Kent State University, for their helpful suggestions for this revision.

I would like to dedicate this book to Denise Krause—friend, colleague, and supporter.

Joel M. Charon

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