Essentials of Sociology

Essentials of Sociology

Second Edition
Experience with SAGE edge

© 2017 | 472 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Join the conversation with one of sociology’s best-known thinkers.

Essentials of Sociology
, Second Edition adapted from Ritzer’s Introduction to Sociology, Third Edition, provides the same rock-solid foundation in a shorter and more streamlined format. Like the original Ritzer text, Essentials of Sociology illuminates traditional sociological concepts and theories, and focuses on some of the most compelling contemporary social phenomena: globalization, consumer culture, the Internet, and the “McDonaldization” of society. As technology flattens the globe, students are challenged to apply a sociological perspective to their world, and to see how “public” sociologists are engaging with the critical issues of today.

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Chapter 1: An Introduction to Sociology in the Global Age
The Changing Nature of the Social World - And Sociology  
Central Concerns for a Twenty-First-Century Sociology  
Sociology: Continuity and Change  
The Social Construction of Reality  
Sociology's Purpose: Science or Social Reform?  
Sociology, the Other Social Sciences, and Common Sense  
Chapter 2: Thinking about and Researching the Social World
Classical Sociological Theory  
Other Important Early Theorists  
Contemporary Sociological Theory  
Researching the Social World  
The Scientific Method  
Sociological Research  
Secondary Data Analysis  
Issues in Social Research  
Chapter 3: Culture
A Definition of Culture  
The Basic Elements of Culture  
Cultural Differences  
Emerging Issues in Culture  
Chapter 4: Socialization and Interaction
The Individual and the Self  
The Individual as Performer  
Micro-Level Social Structures  
Chapter 5: Organizations, Societies, and the Global Domain
Contemporary Organizational Realities  
The Global Domain  
Chapter 6: Deviance and Crime
Theories of Deviance  
Chapter 7: Social Stratification in the United States
Dimensions of Social Stratification  
Economic Inequality  
Social Mobility  
Theories of Social Stratification  
Consumption and Social Stratification  
Global Stratification  
Positions in Global Stratification  
Global Economic Inequalities  
Changing Positions in Global Stratification  
Theories of Global Stratification  
Chapter 8: Race and Ethnicity
The Concepts of Race and Ethnicity  
Majority-Minority Relations  
Race and Ethnicity in a Global Context  
Chapter 9: Gender and Sexuality
Gender and Sex  
The Sociology of Sexuality  
Sexuality, Gender, and Globalization  
Global Flows Related to Gender  
Chapter 10: Families
Family, Marriage, and Intimate Relationships  
Broad Changes in Marriage and the Family  
Theorizing the Family  
Problems in the Family  
Global Families  
Chapter 11: Education and Religion
Inequality in Education  
Components of Religion  
Types of Religious Institutions  
Religion and Globalization  
Chapter 12: Politics and the Economy
Politics: Democracy or Dictatorship  
Who Rules the United States?  
Global Politics  
The U.S. Economy: From Industrialization to Deindustrialization  
Work and Consumption  
Globalization and the Economy  
Chapter 13: The Body, Medicine, Health, and Health Care
The Body  
The Sociology of Health and Medicine  
Globalization and Health  
Chapter 14: Population, Urbanization, and the Environment
The Environment  
Chapter 15: Social Change, Social Movements, and Collective Action
Social Movements  
Collective Action  
Social Change: Globalization, Consumption, and the Internet  


Instructor Resource Site

SAGE edge for Instructors supports teaching with quality content and a rich learning environment for students:

  • Course Management System integration to make it easy for student test results and graded assignments to seamlessly flow into instructor gradebooks
  • Test banks built on Bloom’s Taxonomy to provide a diverse range of test items with electronic test generation
  • Learning Objectives reinforce the most important material
  • Lecture Notes summarize key concepts on a chapter-by-chapter basis to help with preparation for lectures and class discussions.
  • Editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides that offer flexibility when creating multimedia lectures
  • Tables and Figures are available in an easily-downloadable format for use in papers, hand-outs, and presentations
  • Sample course syllabi with suggested models for structuring one’s course
  • Chapter-specific discussion questions help launch conversation by prompting students to engage with the material and by reinforcing important content.
  • EXCLUSIVE access to full-text SAGE journal articles and readings to expose students to important research and scholarship tied to chapter concepts
  • Chapter Activities: for individual or group projects provide lively and stimulating ideas for use in and out of class reinforce active learning.
  • Video and multimedia content that enhance student engagement and appeal to different learning styles
Student Study Site

SAGE edge for Students helps students accomplish their coursework goals in an easy-to-use learning environment that offers:

  • A customized action plan that includes tips and feedback on progress through course materials.
  • Learning objectives reinforce the most important material
  • Mobile-friendly eFlashcards which strengthen understanding of key concepts
  • Mobile-friendly practice quizzes to encourage self-guided assessment and practice
  • Carefully selected video and multimedia content that enhance exploration of key topics
  • EXCLUSIVE access to full-text SAGE journal articles and other readings, which support and expand on chapter concepts 
Key features


  • The Gender and Sexuality chapter (Ch. 9) has undergone a major revision with the help of gender and sexuality expert Rebecca Plante. This edition also gives more attention to the inclusion of gender and sexuality throughout.
  • The chapter on Social Stratification (Ch. 7) has expanded coverage of the causes and consequences of stratification on a global scale.
  • New and revised chapter openers and opening vignettes are drawn from events of contemporary interest such as the Charlie Hebdo attacks and medical marijuana. 
  • New coverage of timely issues such as the Ebola crisis in Africa, ISIL, conflicts between citizens and police in Ferguson and throughout the country, the new sharing economy, medical tourism, and the ever-growing divide between rich and poor.
  • Updated statistics in every chapter reflect the most current data available from the Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Center for Disease Control, and Pew Research, among others.
  • Maps, graphs, and tables have been almost entirely revised to reflect the most current data and trends.
  • Selected U.S. and World Maps in the text are also available online as SAGE data maps—fully interactive GIS maps for closer data analysis.


  •  The text focuses on the same themes as Introduction to Sociology 3E, reflecting the author’s longtime interests and theoretical insights:
  • Globalization
  • Consumer Culture
  • The Internet
  • The “McDonaldization” of Society
  • McDonaldization is introduced in the opening chapters as a key aspect of contemporary social life, and connected to ideas about globalization and consumption in other chapters; but Essentials does not include extended examples of “McDonaldized” social life in every chapter.
  • Uses the same approach to sociological theory as Introduction to Sociology 3E, presenting the three major paradigms and important offshoots throughout. Some coverage of theory has been streamlined to make the text more accessible.
  • The chapters on Sociological Theory and Research Methods have been combined into a single chapter (Ch. 2).
  • The chapters on Religion and Education have been combined into a single chapter (Ch. 11).
  • “Public Sociology” boxes highlight the efforts of sociologists, activists, and journalists who have committed themselves to social reforms and representing sociology to a wider audience.
  • The main narrative and boxed features have been edited for brevity and focus on the most important theories, concepts, and examples.
  • In Chapter 1, “An Introduction to Sociology in A Global Age,” students get a conceptual foundation for understanding sociology (Globalization, The Sociological Imagination, The Social Construction of Reality, Social Structure and Processes) before they encounter sociological theory and methods in Chapter 2.
  • Global Maps throughout the text provide geographical context to the discussion of globalization.
  • Active Sociology exercises, which can serve as chapter assignments or class discussion starters, use popular websites like Facebook, Twitter, Trip Advisor, WebMd, and YouTube to demonstrate concepts like prosumption and the social construction of reality.
  • An Interactive eBook version of the text is available for students in online and traditional courses who prefer a more contemporary, multimedia-integrated presentation for learning. In addition to a full electronic textbook, they can link directly from the "page" to video, audio, additional enrichment readings, glossary terms, and other relevant resources, bringing sociology to life in a way that a traditional print text can't.

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ISBN: 9781506334455
ISBN: 9781483380896