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Social Inequality in a Global Age

Social Inequality in a Global Age

Seventh Edition

July 2023 | 360 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Social Inequality in a Global Age provides a sociological framework for analyzing inequality within the United States in the context of global stratification and a rapidly changing world economy. With insightful analysis, and using examples drawn straight from today's headlines, Scott Sernau explores the multiple dimensions of inequality—class privilege, race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, status and power—and how they intersect with each other. As it explores each dimension of inequality, the text analyzes the relationship between changing global power structures and growing inequalities within societies. Throughout, a focus on social action and community engagement encourages students to become involved, active learners in the classroom and engaged citizens in their communities.

Part I Roots of Inequality
Chapter 1 The Gordian Knot of Race, Class, and Gender
Chapter 2 The Great Debate
Chapter 3 The Global Divide: Inequality Across Societies
Part II Dimensions of Inequality
Chapter 4 Class Privilege
Chapter 5 Racial and Ethnic Inequality
Chapter 6 Gender and Sexual Inequality
Chapter 7 Status Prestige
Chapter 8 Power and Politics
Part III Challenges of Inequality
Chapter 9 Moving Up: Education and Mobility
Chapter 10 Abandoned Spaces, Forgotten Places: Poverty and Place
Chapter 11 Reversing the Race to the Bottom: Poverty and Policy
Chapter 12 Challenging the System: Social Movements in a Global Age


Key features


  • Examination of the COVID-19 pandemic's lingering economic and sociological effects.
  • Expanded discussion of social issues including racial issues related to policing and the criminal justice system, LGBTQ and transgender rights and participation, housing and food insecurity, immigration, environmental justice, and activism on sexuality and reproductive care.
  • Coverage of the political climate following the 2020 presidential election and the effects of the rise of populism and authoritarian regimes.
  • Updated tables and graphs, including new data from the 2020 Census, United Nations, and World Bank, look at key issues like trends in inequality in rapidly developing nations.


  • Social inequalities in the United States, and how they are affected by global inequalities, are covered in vivid detail.
  • "Making Connections" and "Making a Difference" features help students make practical connections between what they're learning and the world around them.
  • Discussion of the intersection of race, class, and gender demonstrates to students the importance of social actors and social change. 
  • Graphs and tables throughout the text summarize key data about inequality.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Ch01_Roots of Inequality

Ch02_The Great Debate

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