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Discover Sociology: Core Concepts

Discover Sociology: Core Concepts

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January 2018 | 496 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Proud sponsor of the 2019 SAGE Keith Roberts Teaching Innovations Award—enabling graduate students and early career faculty to attend the annual ASA pre-conference teaching and learning workshop.

Discover Sociology: Core Concepts
explores sociology as a discipline of curious minds, with the theoretical, conceptual, and empirical tools needed to understand, analyze, and even change the world—all in a more streamlined format. It is adapted from Discover Sociology, Third Edition and offers in-depth coverage of 12 high-priority topics that are at the core of almost all introductory sociology courses. 

Core Concepts maintains its reader-friendly narrative and the hallmark themes of the parent book, including the unequal distribution of power in society (“Inequality Matters”), the sociological imagination (“Private Lives, Public Issues”), and career skills (“What Can I Do With a Sociology Degree?”).  A new feature, “Discover and Debate,” shows students how to take effective, evidence-based positions on important social issues, and how to argue in a respectful manner that recognizes the value of different perspectives. See the full list of topics here.

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About the Authors
Chapter 1: Discover Sociology
A Curious Mind

The Sociological Imagination

Critical Thinking

The Development of Sociological Thinking

Sociology: One Way of Looking at the World—or Many?

Principal Themes in This Book

Why Study Sociology?

Chapter 2: Discover Sociological Research
No Roof Overhead: Researching Eviction in America

Sociology and Common Sense

Research and the Scientific Method

Doing Sociological Research

Doing Sociology: A Student’s Guide to Research

Why Learn to Do Sociological Research?

Chapter 3: Culture and Mass Media
Zombie Apocalypse

Culture: Concepts and Applications

Culture and Language

Culture and Mass Media

Culture, Class, and Inequality

Culture and Globalization

Why Study Culture and Media Through a Sociological Lens?

Chapter 4: Socialization and Social Interaction
Selfie and Society

The Birth of the Social Self

Agents of Socialization

Socialization and Aging

Total Institutions and Resocialization

Social Interaction

Why Study Socialization and Social Interaction?

Chapter 5: Groups, Organizations, and Bureaucracies
Marooned: Group Dynamics on a Deserted Island

The Nature of Groups

The Power of Groups

Economic, Cultural, and Social Capital



Why Study Groups and Organizations?

Chapter 6: Deviance and Social Control
The Death of Len Bias

What Is Deviant Behavior?

How Do Sociologists Explain Deviance?

Types of Deviance

Social Control of Deviance

Why Study Deviance?

Chapter 7: Social Class and Inequality
Poverty and Prosperity in the United States Today

Stratification in Traditional and Modern Societies

Sociological Building Blocks of Social Class

Class and Inequality in the United States: Dimensions and Trends

The Problem of Neighborhood Poverty

Why Do Stratification and Poverty Exist and Persist in Class Societies?

Dimensions of Global Inequality and Poverty

Theoretical Perspectives on Global Inequality

Why Study Inequality in the United States and Around the World?

Chapter 8: Race and Ethnicity
Athletes Stand for Racial Equality

The Social Construction of Race and Ethnicity

Minority and Dominant Group Relations

Theoretical Approaches to Ethnicity, Racism, and Minority Status

Prejudice, Stereotyping, and Discrimination

Racial and Ethnic Groups in the United States

Race and Ethnicity From a Global Perspective

Why Study Race and Ethnicity From a Sociological Perspective?

Chapter 9: Gender and Society
The College Gap: Women and Men on Campus

Concepts of Sex, Gender, and Sexuality

Constructing Gendered Selves

Gender and Society

Gender and Economics: Men, Women, and the Gender Wage Gap

Classical Theories, Feminist Thought, and the Sociology of Masculinities

Women’s Lives in a Global Perspective

Why Study Gender From a Sociological Perspective?

Chapter 10: Families and Society
Millennials and Marriage

How Do Sociologists Study the Family?

Theoretical Perspectives on Families

U.S. Families Yesterday and Today

Socioeconomic Class and Family in the United States

Globalization and Families

Why Study Family Through a Sociological Lens?

Chapter 11: Education and the Economy
Robots and the Future of Work

Education, Industrialization, and the “Credential Society”

Theoretical Perspectives on Education

Education, Opportunity, and Inequality

The Economy in Historical Perspective

The Technological Revolution and the Future of Work

Why Study Education and the Economy?

Chapter 12: Social Movements and Social Change
Students and Social Movements

Sociological Perspectives on Social Change

Sources of Social Change

Social Movements

Why Study Social Change?



Student Study Site

SAGE EDGE FOR STUDENTS enhances learning, it’s easy to use, and offers:

  • eFlashcards that strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts, and make it easy to maximize student study time, anywhere, anytime
  • eQuizzes that allow students to assess how much they’ve learned and where they need to focus your attention
  • Chapter summaries with learning objectives that reinforce the most important material
  • Chapter-specific study questions that allow students to engage with the material
  • Multimedia resources that bring concepts to life through open-source videos and podcasts
  • Exclusive access to influential SAGE journal and reference content that ties important research and scholarship to chapter concepts to strengthen learning
Instructor Resource Site

Instructors: The following online resources are included FREE with this text. For a brief demo, contact your sales representative today.


Instructor Teaching Site 


SAGE COURSEPACKS FOR INSTRUCTORS makes it easy to import our quality content into your school’s learning management system (LMS)*. Intuitive and simple to use, it allows you to

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*For use in: Blackboard, Canvas, Brightspace by Desire2Learn (D2L), and Moodle


Don’t use an LMS platform? No problem, you can still access many of the online resources for your text via SAGE Edge.


SAGE coursepacks includes:

  • Our content delivered directly into your LMS
  • Intuitive, simple format that makes it easy to integrate the material into your course with minimal effort
  • Assessment tools that foster review, practice, and critical thinking, and offer a more complete way to measure student engagement, including:

o    Diagnostic chapter pre tests and post tests that identify opportunities for improvement, track student progress, and ensure mastery of key learning objectives

o    Test banks built on Bloom’s Taxonomy that provide a diverse range of test items with ExamView test generation

o    Activity and quiz options that allow you to choose only the assignments and tests you want

o    Instructions on how to use and integrate the comprehensive assessments and resources provided

  • Chapter-specific discussion questions to help launch engaging classroom interaction while reinforcing important content
  • Assignable SAGE Premium Video (available on the SAGE Vantage platform, linked through SAGE Coursepacks) that is curated and produced exclusively for this text to bring concepts to life and appeal to diverse learners, featuring:
    • Corresponding multimedia assessment options that automatically feed to your gradebook

o    Comprehensive, downloadable, easy-to-use Media Guide in the Coursepack for every video resource, listing the chapter to which the video content is tied, , a helpful description of the video content, and assessment questions

    • Videos include animated concept videos, as well as licensed AP news clips
  • Interactive data maps help students take a closer look at the data presented in the print text and display additional data not found in the corresponding text maps.
  • Links to exceptional teaching resources from A.S.A.’s TRAILS (Teaching Resources and Innovation Library for Sociology)
  • MCAT Guide maps chapter content to Foundational Concepts and Content Categories in Section 3 of the MCAT test. 
  • EXCLUSIVE, influential SAGE journal and reference content, built into course materials and assessment tools, that ties important research and scholarship to chapter concepts to strengthen learning
  • Editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides that offer flexibility when creating multimedia lectures so you don’t have to start from scratch but you can customize to your exact needs
  • Sample course syllabi with suggested models for structuring your course that give you options to customize your course in a way that is perfect for you
  • Lecture notes that summarize key concepts on a chapter-by-chapter basis to help you with preparation for lectures and class discussions
  • All tables and figures from the textbook


Key features


  • Available as a digital option through SAGE Vantage, an intuitive digital platform that offers auto-graded assignments and interactive multimedia tools, all carefully designed to ignite student engagement and drive critical thinking. Contact your rep to learn more.
  • Assignable SAGE Premium Video (available on the SAGE Vantage platform, linked through SAGE Coursepacks) is curated and produced exclusively for this text to bring concepts to life and appeal to diverse learners, featuring animated concept videos, as well as licensed AP news clips.
  • Provides comprehensive coverage of 12 key topics that are most often assigned in introductory courses.
  • A unique new chapter, “Education and the Economy”, explores the connections among our educational system, occupational opportunity, the economy, and the types of work we do.
  • The new “Discover and Debate” feature offers students both interesting issues and points for debate, and models evidence-based arguments and a respectful exchange of ideas. Topics include:
    • Discover Sociological Research – Motion: Polling is an accurate way of gauging public attitudes about politics and society
    • Culture and Mass Media – Motion: Exposure to violence in films, television programs, music, and video games is harmful to children. It has negative individual and societal effects
    • Socialization and Social Interaction – Motion: Students in grades K-12 have too much homework. Homework should be banned.
    • Groups, Organizations and Bureaucracies – Motion: Schools should regulate and punch cyberbullying committed by their students against other students
    • Deviance and Social Control – Motion: Mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes are good policy for deterring and punishing drug use and trafficking
    • Class and Inequality – Motion: Gentrification is reviving urban neighborhoods in the United States that have suffered from poverty and crime
    • Race and Ethnicity – Motion: Developed, democratic states like the United States have an obligation to accept refugees fleeing conflict and danger
    • Equal Gender Representation – Motion: Equal gender representation should be a priority in the U.S. president’s cabinet appointments. One way to ensure fair gender representation is through a quota system
    • Sociology of the Family – Motion: Marriage is a fundamental part of a healthy society and a healthy family. The state should adopt policies that encourage and support marriage
    • Education and the Economy – Motion: Politicians and the public should support a $15 federal minimum wage
    • Social Movements and Social Change – Motion: Online social activism is an effective way to foster social change
  • “What Can I Do with a Sociology Degree?” demonstrates how studying sociology develops specific and marketable career skills.
  • Social Life/Social Media essay boxes provide a sociological perspective on pervasive social media.
  • “Behind the Numbers” help guide students to become critical consumers of information on topics such as how stats on poverty and unemployment figures are calculated.



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