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Imagining Society

Imagining Society
An Introduction to Sociology

First Edition
Available with:

December 2019 | 528 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Explore sociology's key concepts, theories, methods, and original voices--all in one innovative text.

Imagining Society: An Introduction to Sociology is an versatile and economical resource for your introductory course. With this single text, you can:

  • Teach the discipline’s history, key concepts, subfields, and contributions to social science.
  • Expose students to the central building blocks of sociology—short excerpts from the original works of classical and contemporary sociologists.
  • Explain sociology’s key theoretical insights by connecting them to specific issues.
  • Describe and illustrate the methods used by sociologists—not just in the opening chapter, but throughout the entire text.
  • Engage students in thoughtful, self-directed projects and activities.

This title is accompanied by a complete teaching and learning package. Contact your SAGE representative to request a demo.
  • Digital Option / Courseware
    SAGE Vantage is an intuitive digital platform that delivers this text’s content and course materials in a learning experience that offers auto-graded assignments and interactive multimedia tools, all carefully designed to ignite student engagement and drive critical thinking. Built with you and your students in mind, it offers simple course set-up and enables students to better prepare for class. Learn more.
    • Assignable Video with Assessment
      Assignable video (available with SAGE Vantage) is tied to learning objectives and curated exclusively for this text to bring concepts to life. Watch a sample video now.
  • LMS Cartridge (formerly known as SAGE Coursepacks): Import this title’s instructor resources into your school’s learning management system (LMS) and save time. Don’t use an LMS? You can still access all of the same online resources for this title via the password-protected Instructor Resource Site.  Learn more.
  • SAGE Lecture Spark: Designed to save you time and ignite student engagement, these free weekly lecture launchers focus on current event topics tied to key concepts in Sociology. Access this week’s topic.

Chapter 1: The Sociological Imagination
Society and Culture

The Sociological Imagination

Reading: From The Sociological Imagination by C. Wright Mills

Three Core Foci of Sociology

Three Core Aims of Sociology

Reading: Body Ritual among the Nacirema by Horace Miner

Émile Durkheim and Social Facts

Is Sociology Just Common Sense?

Research Methods: How Do Sociologists Study Society?


Key Terms

For Further Reading

Chapter 2: Socialization and Social Interaction
The Individual and Society

Reading: “Review of Albert Schaeffle, Bau und Leben des Sozialen Körpers: Erster Band” by Émile Durkheim


Methods in Depth: The Socialization of Women in the Hate Movement

Aging and Socialization

The Performance of Social Roles

Reading: “The Presentation of Self” by Erving Goffman


Key Terms

For Further Reading

Chapter 3: Deviance, Law, and Crime
What Is Deviance?

Social Construction

Why Are People Deviant?

Reading: “On Being Sane in Insane Places” by D.L. Rosenhan

The Power of the Situation


Reading: “The Body of the Condemned” by Michel Foucault

Methods in Depth: The Effects of Mass Incarceration After Release


Key Terms

For Further Reading

Chapter 4: Social Stratification and Social Class
Karl Marx: The Basics

Class Struggles

Reading: “Manifesto of the Communist Party” by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

Class Consciousness

Max Weber and the Multiple

Methods in Depth: Women Without Class by Julie Bettis

Bases of Power

Income and Wealth Inequality in the United States

Reading: From Nickel-and-Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich



Key Terms

For Further Reading

Chapter 5: Race and Ethnicity
Race and Ethnicity

Reading: “Optional Ethnicities: For Whites Only?” by Mary C. Waters

The Consequences of Social Constructions

Methods in Depth: Racial Stereotypes and Voting

Where Does Prejudice Come From?


Reading: “Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism” by Benedict Anderson


Key Terms

For Further Reading

Chapter 6: Gender at the Intersections
Sex and Gender

Gender as a Social Construction

Methods in Depth: Learning Gender From Our Parents

Gender and Institutions

Reading: “Commanding the Room in Short Skirts: Cheering as the Embodiment of Ideal Girlhood” by Natalie Adams and Pamela Bettis

Feminism and Feminist Theory



Reading: “The Invention of Heterosexuality” by Johnathan Ned Katz


Key Terms

For Further Reading

Chapter 7: Language, Media, and Culture

Reading: “Racism in the English Language” by Robert B. Moore

Methods in Depth: News Coverage of Refugees

Media and Culture

Corporate Concentration and the Media

Reading: From “The Power Elite” by C. Wright Mills

New Media and Social Media

Media Effects


Key Terms

For Further Reading

Chapter 8: The Family and Intimate Relationships
What Are Families?

Larger Social Changes That Impact the Family

Reading: “What About Love?” from Getting Married: The Public Nature of Our Private Relationships by Carrie Yodanis and Sean Lauer

Theorizing the Family

Intimate Relationships

Reading: “One’s a Crowd” by Erik Klinenberg

Methods in Depth: Surveying Hookup Culture Among Youths


Key Terms

For Further Reading

Chapter 9: Education
The Schooled Society

The Functions of Education

Reading: “A Matter of Degrees” by William Beaver

Education and Social Inequality

Reading: “The Not-So-Pink Ivory Tower” by Ann Mullen

Methods in Depth: Testing the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Education, Cultural Capital, and Social Capital

Education Around the World


Key Terms

For Further Reading

Chapter 10: Work and Rationalization
The Rationalized World

Reading: “The ‘McDonaldization’ of Society” by George Ritzer


The Division of Labor in Society

Methods in Depth: Worker Productivity and the Hawthorne Effect

Changes in Work in the United States

Reading: “Feeling Management: From Private to Commercial Uses” by Arlie Russell Hochschild


Key Terms

For Further Reading

Chapter 11: Health
The Sociology of Health

The Social Determinants of Health

Reading: “The Health Gap” by Michael Marmot

Health Inequality

Reading: “Big Business in the School Cafeteria” by Ivy Ken

Health-Care Systems

Methods in Depth: Testing Solutions to Overdose Deaths


Key Terms

For Further Reading

Chapter 12: Globalization and Global Inequality
What Is Globalization?

Reading: “The Uses of Global Poverty: How Economic Inequality Benefits the West” by Daina Stukuls Eglitis

Understanding Globalization

Methods in Depth: Motivating Action on Climate Change

Global Inequality

Reading: “The Problem with Fair Trade Coffee” by Nicki Lisa Cole and Keith Brown


Key Terms

For Further Reading

Chapter 13: Change Through Policy and the Law
How Does Society Reproduce Itself?

The Rise of the State

The Welfare State

Methods in Depth: Assessing the Effectiveness of Means-Tested Social Programs

Reparation Programs

Reading: “Forty Acres and a Mule: What if America Pays Reparations?” By Dalton Conley

How the State Involves the Public

Reading: “Bowling Alone: America’s Declining Social Capital” by Robert D. Putnam


Key Terms

For Further Reading

Chapter 14: Social Movements
Social Movements

Reading: Excerpt from Facebook Feminism by Alison Dahl Crossley

Trends in Social Movement Participation

Methods in Depth: How Can Activism Change You?

The Media and Social Movements

Success in Social Movements

Reading: “The Meaning of Success from the Strategy of Social Protest” by William Gamson

Public Sociology and Using Our Sociological Imagination


Key Terms

For Further Reading



Instructor Resource Site

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LMS cartridge included with this title for use in Blackboard, Canvas, Brightspace by Desire2Learn (D2L), and Moodle

The LMS cartridge makes it easy to import this title’s instructor resources into your learning management system (LMS). These resources include:

  • Test banks
  • Editable chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides
  • Sample course syllabi
  • Lecture notes
  • All tables and figures from the textbook 
Don’t use an LMS platform?

You can still access all of the same online resources for this title via the password-protected Instructor Resource Site.
Student Study Site


The open-access Student Study Site makes it easy for students to maximize their study time, anywhere, anytime. It offers flashcards that strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts, as well as learning objectives that reinforce the most important material.

Key features
  • This text available as a digital option through SAGE Vantage, an intuitive digital platform that offers auto-graded assignments and interactive multimedia tools—including video—all designed to enable students to better prepare for class. Learn more.

  • Original readings by classic sociologists and modern researchers illustrate how concepts and ideas have their origins in the work of our founding sociologists and how the concepts of our discipline are being applied. 

  • Using Your Sociological Imagination activities provide students with opportunities to apply key sociological concepts and theories to their everyday lives. 

  • Methods in Depth sections in each chapter introduces students to all the major qualitative and quantitative methods used by sociologists to better understand the family, race, gender, education, health, and other areas

  • Learning objectives help students focus on concepts they will learn throughout the chapter.

  • To help reinforce students’ understanding of the content, a short summary can be found at the end of each chapter.

  • A list of key terms is provided at the end of each chapter. Students can find a full glossary in the back of the book.

  • SAGE Coursepacks enables instructors to import high-quality content, such as exceptional teaching resources from A.S.A.’s TRAILS (Teaching Resources and Innovation Library for Sociology), into their school’s learning management system (LMS) with no access codes.

  • SAGE Edge provides students helpful tools, including an MCAT Guide for students that maps chapter content to sociology standards on the MCAT test and connects studentswith free online MCAT study-and-review websites.

  • SAGE course outcomes help you track and measure student success. Crafted with specific course outcomes in mind and vetted by advisors in the field, SAGE course outcomes clearly define and benchmark the knowledge and skills students are expected to achieve upon completion of your course. 
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