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Our Social World - Interactive eBook

Our Social World - Interactive eBook
Introduction to Sociology

Seventh Edition

January 2019 | SAGE Publications, Inc

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This dynamic interactive eBook goes way beyond highlighting and note-taking, giving you access to SAGE Premium Video—curated and produced specifically for Our Social World: Introduction to Sociology, Seventh Edition. Read your mobile-friendly eBook and access SAGE Premium Video and multimedia tools anywhere, anytime across desktop, smartphone, and tablet devices. Simply click on icons in the eBook to experience a broad array of multimedia features, including:

  • VIDEO: Boost learning and bolster analysis with SAGE Premium Video! Recapping the fundamentals in every chapter, each video activity is paired with chapter learning objectives and tied to assessment via SAGE coursepacks, offering an engaging approach that appeals to diverse learners.
  • AUDIO: Listen to engaging podcasts and audio resources that supplement and enrich key points within the text.
  • REFERENCE AND JOURNAL ARTICLES: Access articles from SAGE’s influential journals, handbooks, and encyclopedias that offer important background and exposure to seminal work in your field of study.
  • OFFLINE READING: Using the VitalSource Bookshelf® platform, download your book to a personal computer and read it offline.
  • SOCIAL SHARING AND FOLLOWING: Share notes and highlights with instructors and classmates who are using the same eBook, and “follow” friends and instructors as they make their own notes and highlights.
  • ONLINE CONTENT: Access more online content via links to important data, relevant background, and profiles that enrich key concepts in the text.
  • SAGE COURSE OUTCOMES: 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. See how outcomes tie in with this book’s chapter-level objectives.

Preface: To Our Readers
Instructors: How to Make This Book Work for You
A Personal Note to the Instructor
PART I: Understanding Our Social World: The Scientific Study of Society
Chapter 1 • Sociology: A Unique Way to View the World
What Is Sociology?  
Why Does Sociology Matter?  
Sociology in Our Social World  
The Social World Model  
Chapter 2 • Examining The Social World: How Do We Know What We Know?
The Development of Sociology  
Sociology’s Major Theoretical Perspectives  
Ideas Underlying Science  
How Sociologists Study the Social World  
PART II: Social Structure, Processes, and Control
Chapter 3 • Society and Culture: Hardware and Software of Our Social World
Society: The Hardware  
Culture: The Software  
Society, Culture, and Our Social World  
Theories of Culture  
The Fit Between Hardware and Software  
Chapter 4 • Socialization: Becoming Human and Humane
Nature Versus Nurture—or Both Working Together?  
The Importance of Socialization  
Socialization and the Social World  
Development of the Self: Micro-Level Analysis  
Agents of Socialization: The Micro-Meso Connection  
Socialization and Macro-Level Issues  
Policy and Public Sociology  
Chapter 5 • Interaction, Groups, and Organizations: Connections That Work
Networks and Connections in Our Social World  
The Process of Interaction: Connections at the Micro Level  
Groups in Our Social World: The Micro-Meso Connection  
Organizations and Bureaucracies: The Meso-Macro Connection  
National and Global Networks: The Macro Level  
Chapter 6 • Deviance and Social Control: Sickos, Weirdos, Freaks, and Folks Like Us
What Is Deviance?  
What Causes Deviant Behavior? Theoretical Perspectives  
Crime and Individuals: Micro-Level Analysis  
Crime and Organizations: Meso-Level Analysis  
National and Global Crime: Macro-Level Analysis  
Controlling Crime: Social Policy Considerations  
PART III: Inequality
Chapter 7 • Stratification: Rich and Famous—or Rags and Famine?
The Importance of Social Stratification  
Theoretical Explanations of Stratification  
Individuals’ Social Status: The Micro Level  
Social Mobility: The Micro-Meso Connection  
Major Stratification Systems: Macro-Level Analysis  
Poverty and Social Policy  
Bridging the National and Global Digital Divide: Macro-Level Stratification  
Chapter 8 • Race and Ethnic Group Stratification: Beyond “Us” and “Them”
What Characterizes Racial and Ethnic Groups?  
Prejudice: Micro-Level Analysis  
Discrimination: Meso-Level Analysis  
Dominant and Minority Group Contact: Macro-Level Analysis  
Policies Governing Minority and Dominant Group Relations  
Chapter 9 • Gender Stratification: She/He—Who Goes First?
Sex, Gender, and the Stratification System  
Gender Stratification: Meso- and Macro-Level Processes  
Gender Stratification: Micro- to Macro-Level Theories  
Costs and Consequences of Gender Stratification  
Changing Gender Stratification and Social Policy  
PART IV: Institutions
Chapter 10 • Family: Partner Taking, People Making, and Contract Breaking
What Is a Family?  
Theoretical Perspectives on Family  
Family Dynamics: Micro-Level Processes  
Family as an Institution: Meso-Level Analysis  
National and Global Family Issues: Macro-Level Analysis  
Marriage, Divorce, and Public Sociology  
Chapter 11 • Education: What Are We Learning?
State of the World’s Education: An Overview  
The Ins and Outs of Local Schools: Micro-Level Interactions in Educational Organizations  
After the School Bell Rings: Meso-Level Analysis of Educational Organizations  
Education and the Social Institution of Family  
Education, Society, and the Road to Opportunity: The Macro Level  
Education and Public Policy  
Chapter 12 • Religion: The Social Meaning of Sacred Meaning
What Does Religion Do for Us?  
Becoming Part of a Faith Community: Micro-Level Analysis  
Religion and Modern Life: Meso-Level Analysis  
Religion in Society: Macro-Level Analysis  
Religion in the Modern World  
Social Policy: Same Sex Marriage, Gay or Lesbian Clergy, and Transgender People  
Chapter 13 • Politics and Economics: Probing Power, Dissecting Distribution
What Is Power?  
Power and Privilege in Our Social World  
Theoretical Perspectives on Power and Privilege  
Individuals, Power, and Participation: Micro-Level Analysis  
Power and Resource Distribution: Meso-Level Analysis  
National and Global Systems: Macro-Level Analysis  
Chapter 14 • Health Care: An Anatomy of Health and Illness
Why Is Health a Social Issue?  
Theoretical Perspectives on Health and Illness  
Status and Roles of the Sick Person: Micro-Level Analysis  
Modern Health Care Systems: Meso-Level Analysis  
Health Care Issues at the National And Global Level: Macro-Level Analysis  
PART V: Social Dynamics
Chapter 15 • Environmental Sociology: Population, Urbanization, and Climate Change
Macro-Level Patterns in World Population Growth  
Meso-Level Institutional Influences on Population Change  
Micro-Level Population Patterns  
Urbanization: Movement From Rural to Urban Areas  
Cities as Micro-Level Living Environments  
How Did Cities Evolve? Meso-Level Organizational Structures  
The Urban Environment and Social Policy: Macro-Level Perspectives  
Chapter 16 • Process of Change: We Can Make a Difference!
Complexity of Change in Our Social World  
Social Change: Process and Theories  
Collective Behavior: Micro- to Meso-Level Change  
Planned Change in Organizations: Meso-Level Change  
Social Movements: Macro-Level Change  
About the Authors
Key features


  • 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. See how outcomes tie in with this book’s chapter-level objectives
  • A new chapter on Environmental Sociology adds an important emerging field.
  • Four new Sociology in Action boxes and one new Sociology in Our Social World box on the Sociology of Sports (written by a student). 
  • Added explanation of how Our Social World relates to The Sociology Literacy Framework in the note to the instructor at the beginning of the book.
  • Hundreds of new maps, photos, and figures add new critical topics.
  • Hundreds of new/updated references represent new information and data. 
  • Updated "Contributing to Our Social World: What Can We Do?" features encourages active involvement and social awareness and contributions.



  • Authors Jeanne Ballantine and Keith Roberts are both former recipients of the ASA “Distinguished Contributions to Teaching” award.
  • Chapters open with the “Our Social World” model, a full-page diagram that shows how the key concepts and issues in that chapter fit into the book’s micro-to-macro framework.
  • Boxes throughout highlight careers and volunteer opportunities for those with a background in sociology as well as policy issues that sociologists influence, exposing readers to the practical side of sociology.
  • The text provides various research strategies and illustrates concrete examples of the method being used, encouraging critical thinking and helping students develop a more sophisticated epistemology.
  • Think About It questions, relevant to everyday life and posed at the outset of each chapter, transform students from passive readers who run their eyes across the words into curious active readers who read to answer a question and be reflective.
  • Opening vignettes interest students in the upcoming subject matter by helping them relate to a personalized story.
  • Thinking Sociologically questions ask students to think critically and apply material to some aspect of their lives or the social world and can be the basis for in-class discussions or assigned as questions to start conversations with friends and families to learn how the topics relate to their own lives.
  • Engaging Sociology features keep the material interesting and fun by having students do activities such as applying a population pyramid to the business world or taking a survey to understand why differences in social and cultural capital can make first-generation students feel alienated on a college campus.
  • Sociologists in Action features examine profiles of public sociologists who are working in the field.

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