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Sociology in Action

Sociology in Action

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January 2018 | 400 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.

Winner of the 2019 Most Promising New Textbook Award from the Textbook & Academic Authors Association (TAA)

Wake up your introductory sociology classes! Sociology in Action helps your students learn sociology by doing sociology.

Sociology in Action will inspire your students to do sociology through real-world activities designed to increase learning, retention, and engagement with course material. This innovative new text immerses students in an active learning experience that emphasizes hands-on work, application, and learning by example. Each chapter explains sociology's key concepts and theories and pairs that foundational coverage with a series of carefully developed learning activities and thought-provoking questions. The comprehensive Activity Guide that accompanies the text provides everything you need to assign, carry out, and assess the activities that will best engage your students, fit the format of your course, and meet your course goals.

Free Poster: What Does Sociology in Action Look Like?

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About the Authors
About the Contributors
CHAPTER 1 Training Your Sociological Eye (Kathleen Odell Korgen)
What Is Sociology?

Changing How You View the World

Sociology as a Social Science

Differentiating between Good Generalizations and Stereotypes

The Obligations of Sociology

The Benefits of Sociology



Key Terms

CHAPTER 2 Understanding Theory (Kathleen Lowney)
What Is Theory?

Understanding the Structural Functionalist Perspective

Understanding the Conflict Theoretical Perspective

Understanding the Symbolic Interactionist Perspective

Full Theoretical Circle



Key Terms

CHAPTER 3 Using Research Methods (Mikaila Mariel Lemonik Arthur)
What Is Research?

What Are Data and Where Do We Get Them?

What Do We Do with Data?

Getting Started Doing Research

Sampling and Measurement

What Makes Research Good?



Key Terms

CHAPTER 4 Recognizing Culture (David Rohall)
Defining Culture

Identifying Elements of Culture

Typology of Societies

Considering Cultural Variations

The Power of Culture



Key Terms

CHAPTER 5 Understanding Socialization (Amy Sodaro)
What Is Socialization?

Understanding Theories of Socialization

Agents of Socialization

Gender Socialization

Status, Social Roles, and Identity



Key Terms

CHAPTER 6 Identifying Deviant Behavior (Rena C. Zito)
Defining Deviance

Understanding Theories of Deviance and Crime

Creating Deviance

Managing Deviant Identities



Key Terms

CHAPTER 7 Confronting Economic Inequality (Sandra Enos)
What Is Economic Inequality?

Why Is There Economic Inequality?

Understanding Social Stratification

Examining the Class System

Mobility within and across Generations

Consequences of Inequality

Addressing Inequality



Key Terms

CHAPTER 8 Constructing Gender, Sex, and Sexuality (Maxine P. Atkinson)
Defining Sex, Gender, Intersex, and Transgender

Major Perspectives Used to Understand Gender

Learning and Creating Gender

Gender, Sexuality, and Work

Intimate Relationships



Key Terms

CHAPTER 9 Recognizing the Importance of Race (Kathleen Odell Korgen)
Defining Race and Ethnicity

The Repercussions of Race

Discrimination by the U.S. Government

Racial and Ethnic Inequality Today

Racism and Ethnocentrism Globally

Responding (or Not) to Racism and Ethnocentrism Today



Key Terms

CHAPTER 10 Understanding Institutions: Family (Carissa Froyum)
What Shapes Families?

The Changing Family across History

Understanding Families through Theory

Families Caring for Each Other

Family Problems

How Work and Policy Shape Families



Key Terms

CHAPTER 11 Understanding Institutions: Education (Melissa S. Fry)
What Is Education as an Institution?

Education and Modes of Production

Theorizing Education

Education and Social Inequality in the United States

Global Education and Global Inequality

Leveling the Playing Field: Public Policy and Education



Key Terms

CHAPTER 12 Understanding Institutions: Religion (Andrea Hunt)
Defining Religion Sociologically

Religious Pluralism and Secularization

Religious Fundamentalism

Changing Religious Life in the United States

Global Diffusion of Religion

Applying Sociological Theory to Religion

Religion, Social Issues, and Social Change



Key Terms

CHAPTER 13 Saving the Environment (John Liu)
Facing Our Environmental Challenges

How Do Sociologists Study Environmental Issues?

How Did We Mess Up? Theories of Environmental Change

Consumption and the Environment

Who Suffers Most from Environmental Problems?

Social Solutions to Environmental Problems



Key Terms

CHAPTER 14 Changing Society through Social Movements (Wendy Christensen)
What Is a Social Movement?

Participating in Social Movements

Types of Social Movements

Social Movement Theory

The Six Steps of Social Movement Success

Success Can Bring Backlash: The Marriage Equality Movement

How Can We Create Social Change?



Key Terms



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
  • 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.



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—includes exclusive access to Doing Sociology activities not available in the print book

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 via the interactive eBook version, 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
    • 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
  • Activity Guide details all Doing Sociology activities from the print book, as well as supplementary exercises such as resources from A.S.A.’s TRAILS (Teaching Resources and Innovation Library for Sociology); each activity is aligned with a learning objective and includes notes to instructors
  • 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
  • Integrated links to the interactive eBook that make it easy for your students to maximize their study time with this “anywhere, anytime” mobile-friendly version of the text. It also offers access to more digital tools and resources, including SAGE Premium Video
  • All tables and figures from the textbook

“I really love the attention to active learning and "doing sociology" in this book; there are clearly laid-out exercises throughout the chapters. I also appreciate the "consider this" and "check your understanding" boxes that prod the students to think more deeply about their prior knowledge while going back over key points in the material. The current examples and pictures from popular culture will really help the students connect to the material. I especially like that the textbook emphasizes the learning outcomes and objectives recently published by the American Sociological Society.”

Lindsay Hamm
Purdue University
Key features


  • Each chapter is contributed by an expert in that subject who also uses active learning techniques in his or her classroom.
  • Several "Doing Sociology" learning activities in each chapter provide instructors with an abundance of ready-to-use activities for a wide range of instructional settings.
  • Choose from a variety of activity types including personal reflection, content and data analysis, collaboration and group activities, observations, and short guided-research projects.
  • Additional activities, including links to outstanding teaching resources from ASA’s TRAILS database, are included on SAGE edge site.
  • "Consider This" discussion questions encourage students to think more deeply about concepts for in-class discussions or assignments.
  • “Sociologists in Action” boxes spotlight the work of a student or a professional sociologist to illustrate how students can use sociological tools to make a positive impact on society.
  • Chapter Summaries emphasize key chapter content as a quick study reference, helping reinforce material.
  • Check Your Understanding questions help students stop and self-assess whether they comprehend the key points of every section.
  • Key terms and a glossary reinforce and define concepts to encourage on-the-spot comprehension.
  • The Activity Guide for instructors includes the complete text of every activity, along with extensive teaching notes.
  • An MCAT Guide on the SAGE edge site maps chapter content to Foundational Concepts and Content Categories in Section 3 of the MCAT test.
  • Assignable SAGE Premium Video (available via the interactive eBook version, linked through SAGE coursepacks) is curated and produced exclusively for this text to bring concepts to life and appeal to diverse learners.

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