Higher Education

Power and Society: An Introduction to the Social Sciences, 13th Edition

  • Brigid C. Harrison Montclair State University
  • ISBN-10: 1133604412  |  ISBN-13: 9781133604419
  • 480 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2011, 2008, 2005
  • © 2014 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $192.00
  • Newer Edition Available
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Designed as a basic text for an introductory, interdisciplinary social science course, POWER AND SOCIETY, Thirteenth Edition introduces students to key concepts in anthropology, sociology, economics, psychology, political science, and history. Employing the central integrative theme of power, the text first introduces each of the social sciences and demonstrates how the various disciplines differ in their focus and methods. Next, the text presents an interdisciplinary viewpoint to illustrate the nature and uses of power in society. POWER AND SOCIETY ignites students' interest in the social sciences by exploring some of the central challenges and contemporary controversies facing American society; for example, ideological conflict, racism and sexism, poverty and powerlessness, crime and violence, community problems, and international relations. Available with InfoTracĀ® Student Collections http://gocengage.com/infotrac.

Features and Benefits

  • Case Studies facilitate the understanding of important concepts in each chapter. New topics in this edition include an examination of Americans' views of the "most important issue" in the 2012 presidential campaign (Chapter 7); "The Insanity Defense" in Chapter 12, which discusses the shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords and the mental instability of the shooter; and a close-up look at Aboriginal Australians.
  • "Focus" features explore topics such as whether marriage is becoming obsolete (Chapter 4, "Power and Culture") and the changing demographics of the United States (Chapter 10, "Power, Race, and Gender").
  • "Controversies in the Social Sciences" features place important concepts in context. Topics include the Occupy Wall Street Movement (Chapter 3); whether the distribution of wealth in the United States is fair (Chapter 5); Charles Beard and the economic interests of the Founders (Chapter 6); and the costs of incarceration versus education (Chapter 12).
  • "International Perspectives" features provide students with a view on an issue from outside the United States. Topics include the Gallup organization's World Poll (Chapter 2), individuals' perceptions of their own economic well being (Chapter 8), and an analysis of mental depression worldwide (Chapter 9).
  • A student self-assessment quiz at the end of each chapter helps students gauge their understanding of concepts.

Table of Contents

1. Power, Society, and Social Science.
2. Social Sciences and the Scientific Method.
3. Power and Ideology.
4. Power and Culture: An Anthropologist's View.
5. Power and Sociology: The Importance of Social Class.
6. Power and History.
7. Power and Politics.
8. Power and the Economy.
9. Power and Psychology.
10. Power, Race, and Gender.
11. Poverty and Powerlessness.
12. Power, Violence, and Crime.
13. Power and the Global Community.
14. Power among Nations.

What's New

  • Learning Objectives now begin each chapter, and are further reinforced in newly organized and rewritten chapter summaries.
  • Critical thinking skills and research methodologies receive greater attention throughout the text and are highlighted in a new "Research This!" feature in every chapter. Students analyze legitimacy as a source of power (Chapter 1), consider the importance of religion in various societies (Chapter 2), examine how Americans describe their political ideology (Chapter 3), and evaluate 2010 Census Bureau data (Chapter 5). Students also analyze and compare the Declaration of Independence and the Declaration of Sentiments (Chapter 6) and review U. S. citizens' feelings of security (Chapter 12).
  • Coverage has been brought up to date to reflect current events and contemporary concerns. New content includes discussion of the Occupy and Tea Party Movements, 2010 Census data (Chapters 2, 5, 8, and 11), the 2012 presidential election (Chapter 7), and the global economic recession and slow recovery (Chapters 8 and 13). Discussion of new developments in International affairs includes the use of child soldiers (Chapter 13), the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq (Chapter 14), and the Arab Spring movements of 2011 throughout the Middle East (Chapter 14).
  • Each chapter now introduces its discipline, subfields, and concerns more systematically. For instance, Chapter 3, "Power and Ideology," presents an updated discussion of Modern Conservatism. Chapter 6 includes a new section, "How Historical Analysis Informs the Social Sciences," which describes the process of historical analysis. Chapter 12, "Power, Violence, and Crime," features streamlined coverage of violence.
  • Data has been meticulously updated in the narrative, tables, and figures throughout the book.
  • Key terms with definitions now appear at the end of each chapter, facilitating students' review of important concepts.
  • InfoTracĀ® Student Collections are specialized databases expertly drawn from the Gale Academic One library. Each InfoTracĀ® Student Collection enhances the student learning experience in the specific course area related to the product. These specialized databases allow access to hundreds of scholarly and popular publications - all reliable sources - including journals, encyclopedias, and academic reports. Learn more and access at: http://gocengage.com/infotrac.

Efficacy and Outcomes


"The Harrison text offers up-to-date and complete information [and is] well organized. . . . The illustrative 'Focuses' are particularly appealing because they can be used for class discussion and debate, illustrating the material presented in the chapter."

— Charles Matzke, Michigan State University

"It is written at the proper level, relatively simply, for undergraduates with little or no background in the subject matter. It is well organized, and the units (parts) break at appropriate times for testing purposes. . . . I particularly appreciate the controversies sections. I like my students to understand that there are legitimate disputes among credible scholars. It makes them more mature and critical in their approach to the subject matter. I try to elicit discussion on these topics."

— Hal Bass, Ouachita Baptist University

"I like the integration of power into the topics of the book. Power surrounds us in every aspect of our lives. . . . The case studies are important as they give a face to the material presented in the book. I also like the international perspectives to the topics in each of the chapters."

— Geraldine Finn, University of Findlay


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the main title. Select the main title's "About" tab, then select "What's New" for updates specific to title's edition.

For more information about these supplements, or to obtain them, contact your Learning Consultant.

Instructor Supplements

Online Instructor's Manual with Test Bank  (ISBN-10: 1285058585 | ISBN-13: 9781285058580)

This password-protected Instructor's Manual and Test Bank are accessible by logging into your account at www.cengage.com/login.

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Brigid C. Harrison

Brigid Callahan Harrison is professor of political science and law at Montclair State University, where she has taught since 1994. In addition to Power and Society, she is the author of AMERICAN DEMOCRACY NOW (Fourth Edition, McGraw-Hill Publishers, 2015), A MORE PERFECT UNION (McGraw-Hill Publishers, 2011), WOMEN IN AMERICAN POLITICS (Wadsworth, 2003), and various journal articles. A frequent commentator in print and electronic media on U.S. politics, Harrison often provides political analysis to FOX News, local affiliates of ABC, NBC, and CBS, and NPR radio programs. She writes a weekly column on New Jersey politics for The Bergen Record, and her editorials have appeared in THE NEW YORK TIMES, USA TODAY, THE STAR-LEDGER, and THE PRESS OF ATLANTIC CITY. Harrison's research interests include Congress and the Presidency, and American public opinion. She is an expert on the politics of the Millennial Generation. She received her M.A. from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and her Ph.D. from Temple University, where she was a national MENSA graduate fellow. She has served as president of the National Women's Caucus for Political Science, section chair of the Northeast Political Science Association, president-elect of the New Jersey Political Science Association, and president of the Midwest Women's Caucus for Political Science. Inducted into the Atlantic County Women's Hall of fame in 2009, she also was the recipient of the "Distinguished Alumna of the Year" from the Richard Stockton College Council of Black Faculty and Staff.