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An Introduction to Sociology

An Introduction to Sociology

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May 2022 | 528 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

An Introduction to Sociology is your essential guide to understanding the social forces that shape our lives and the world around us.

This innovative textbook introduces you to the key theories, themes, and concepts in the discipline of sociology and helps you to develop as a sociologist by providing comprehensive coverage of all the main areas of study. Presenting you with the history, current debates and recent research developments for each topic, this book covers everything from classical sociologies and traditional subjects such as class, families, and religion, through to more progressive areas like digital society, social media, migration, and the interconnectedness of modern global society. The book's extensive coverage means it can be used throughout your studies, from first year to final year.

Key features:

  • Each chapter is written by an internationally renowned expert who uses specialist insight and the latest research to provide a reliable and up-to-date overview.
  • Includes a selection of unique learning features such as “Hear from the Expert” boxes and “Key Cases” from around the world, as well as reflective activities and revision questions that will enhance your knowledge.
  • Features a section titled “What is sociology useful for?” which includes chapters on the public value of sociology and the role of sociology in contemporary society.

The book is supported by a wide-ranging collection of online teaching and learning resources including exclusive video content from SAGE Video, links to SAGE Journal Articles, sample essay questions, and a selection of multiple-choice questions.

This definitive text is perfect for first-year sociology undergraduates and anyone studying sociology at university or college level.

Part One Thinking Sociologically
Introduction to Part One
Chapter 1 Approaching Sociology
Chapter 2 What is Sociological about the Digital Society?
Chapter 3 What is Sociological about the Environment?
Chapter 4 What is Sociological about Crime?
Chapter 5 What is Society?
Chapter 6 Sociology of an Interconnected World
Part Two Theories and Methods
Introduction to Part Two
Chapter 7 Classical Sociologies
Chapter 8 Contemporary Social Theory
Chapter 9 Beyond the Qualitative/Quantitative Divide
Chapter 10 Visual and Digital Methods of Research
Part Three Inequalities and Identities
Introduction to Part Three
Chapter 11 Class
Chapter 12 Gender
Chapter 13 Race
Chapter 14 Age
Part Four Connecting the Personal and the Social
Introduction to Part Four
Chapter 15 Families and Households
Chapter 16 Intimacies, and Relationships
Chapter 17 Work
Chapter 18 Health
Chapter 19 Education
Chapter 20 Religion
Part Five Sociological Frontiers
Introduction to Part Five
Chapter 21 Cultures and Consumption
Chapter 22 War and Violence
Chapter 23 Science and Technology
Chapter 24 Migrations
Chapter 25 Social Movements
Part Six What is Sociology Useful For?
Introduction to Part Six
Chapter 26 Sociology as a Science?
Chapter 27 Public Sociology
Chapter 28 Using Sociology

Each chapter of this particularly comprehensive and thoughtful Introduction to Sociology  has the great virtue of being written by a particularly knowledgeable expert able to convey what it means to approach a topic sociologically. The book provides a perfect foundation for the first years of study for students who want to understand social reality through more complex and accurate analytical lenses. As such, it is an essential tool for undergraduate intellectual development.

Professor Michele Lamont
Harvard University

An Introduction to Sociology provides new and up to date insights into persistent social issues. Through its 28 chapters, the volume covers topics ranging from digital society and the environment  to migration and employment. Material is presented in an accessible format that will appeal to a wide range of readers from A-Level to undergraduates and will be a useful, practical teaching resource for lectures.

Louise Ryan
London Metropolitan University

This superb introduction to sociological thinking and research covers a rich variety of themes and approaches. In a multifaceted way and with timely examples, it introduces both classical sociological research fields, such as working life and criminology, and rapidly developing fields of study on digital society and environmental sociology. Its up-to-date focus on decolonial and global perspectives, and intersectional perspectives on race, gender and class make it essential reading for new sociology students and inspiration to lecturers teaching sociology courses.

Suvi Keskinen
University of Helsinki

A helpful textbook for social work students who need to understand sociological ideas.

Mr Stefan Brown
Department of Health & Social Care, Royal Holloway, University of London
October 18, 2023

Comprehensive guide to sociology that includes current topic related focussed chapters which are useful on the health and social care programmes that I teach on. References included for each chapter and reflection/learning points help to build ideas for lessons.

Ms Angela Woods
Dept of Health & Social Studies, Bolton University
December 15, 2021

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 12: Gender

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