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Understanding Society: An Introductory Reader 5th Edition

Margaret L. Andersen, Kim A. Logio, Howard F. Taylor

  • Published
  • Previous Editions 2012
  • 624 Pages


UNDERSTANDING SOCIETY: AN INTRODUCTORY READER, Fifth Edition, contains a collection of classic and contemporary sociological readings selected for their timeliness, diversity, interest, and accessibility to students. The book includes the most up-to-date selection available-32 of the 62 articles are new in this edition. The intriguing new articles were selected to engage student interest, to reflect the richness of sociological thought, and to address issues that have emerged since the publication of the last edition (such as the Tea Party movement, low-wage work, football concussion injuries, climate change, same-sex marriage, and the criminalization of undocumented immigrants, to name a few). As always, the editors have included the top names in the field. Five themes run throughout the text: classical sociological theory, contemporary research, diversity, globalization, and the application of the sociological perspective.

Margaret L. Andersen, University of Delaware

Margaret L. Andersen (B.A., Georgia State University; M.A., Ph.D. University of Massachusetts, Amherst) is the Edward F. and Elizabeth Goodman Rosenberg Professor of Sociology at the University of Delaware, where she has also served in several senior administrative positions, including most recently as Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and Diversity. She holds secondary appointments in Black American Studies and Women and Gender Studies. She is the author of several books, including (among others) THINKING ABOUT WOMEN, recently published in its tenth edition; the best-selling anthology, RACE, CLASS, AND GENDER (co-edited with Patricia Hill Collins, now in its ninth edition); LIVING ART: THE LIFE OF PAUL R. JONES, AFRICAN AMERICAN ART COLLECTOR; and ON LAND AND ON SEA: A CENTURY OF WOMEN IN THE ROSENFELD COLLECTION. She is a member of the National Advisory Board for Stanford University's Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, the Past Vice President of the American Sociological Association, and Past President of the Eastern Sociological Society, from which she received the ESS Merit Award. She has also received two teaching awards from the University of Delaware and the American Sociological Association's Jessie Bernard Award.

Kim A. Logio, St. Joseph's University

Kim A. Logio is Associate Professor and Chair of Sociology at Saint Joseph's University, where she recently received a teaching award. She often teaches research methods and guides students through the completion of their undergraduate thesis projects. A member of the American Sociological Association and the Eastern Sociological Society, Dr. Logio has been interviewed for local television and National Public Radio for her work on body image and race, class, and gender differences in nutrition and weight control behavior. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Delaware and lives in Delaware County, Pa., with her husband and three children.

Howard F. Taylor, Princeton University

Howard F. Taylor has taught at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Syracuse University, and Princeton University, where he is presently Professor of Sociology and former director of the African American Studies Center. He has published over fifty articles in sociology, education, social psychology, and race relations. His books include THE IQ GAME (Rutgers University Press), a critique of hereditarian accounts of intelligence; BALANCE IN SMALL GROUPS (Van Nostrand Reinhold), translated into Japanese; and the forthcoming RACE AND CLASS AND THE BELL CURVE IN AMERICA. He has appeared widely before college, radio, and TV audiences, including ABC's Nightline. Past president of the Eastern Sociological Society, Dr. Taylor is a member of the American Sociological Association and the Sociological Research Association, an honorary society for distinguished research. He is a winner of the DuBois-Johnson-Frazier Award, given by the American Sociological Association for distinguished research in race and ethnic relations, and the President's Award for Distinguished Teaching at Princeton University. Raised in Cleveland, Ohio, he graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Hiram College and has a Ph.D. in sociology from Yale University.
  • Thirty-two new articles refresh and update the contents of the book.
  • This edition focuses on new topics that relate to student interests, including climate change, hooking up culture, low-wage work, marriage and motherhood, food sustainability, and even an analysis of football concussion injuries and the social construction of masculinity, among others.
  • Some of the top names in the field offer sociological analysis of current political issues, including the rise of conservative politics (such as in the Tea Party movement), the Affordable Care Act, same-sex marriage, the criminalization of undocumented immigrants, and the rise of Muslim religious faith in America.
  • The fifth edition separates major social institutions (family, health care, religion, economy and work, and government and politics) into separate sections, thus providing a new student exercise, key concepts, and discussion questions for each institution.
  • Student Exercises appear at the end of each major section. Through these exercises, students can-on their own or in group projects-apply what they have learned to their own observations of social behavior.
  • Brief introductions before each article place the article in context and help frame students' understanding of the selection. Discussion questions at the end of each reading help students think about the implications of what they have read.
  • This reader presents a contemporary collection of articles for introductory sociology courses, selected for their interest and readability. As always, the editors have included the top names in the field.
  • UNDERSTANDING SOCIETY: AN INTRODUCTORY READER, Fifth Edition, provides a comprehensive analysis of race, class, and gender in an effort to improve student comprehension of how diverse groups experience the structure of society.
  • Five themes are consistently emphasized throughout the text: classical sociological theory, contemporary research, diversity, globalization, and the application of the sociological perspective.
  • The section on culture includes several articles that explore popular culture-an increasingly important subject in the experiences of student readers.
  • A list of Key Concepts at the conclusion of each article reinforces students' retention and understanding of important takeaway messages.
1. “The Sociological Imagination,” C. Wright Mills.
2. “Invitation to Sociology: A Humanistic Perspective,” Peter Burger.
3. “Human Inquiry and Science,” Earl Babbie.
4. “Promoting Bad Statistics,” Joel Best.
5. “Body Ritual among the Nacirema,” Horace Minor.
6. “Gamers, Hackers, and Facebook-Computer Cultures, Virtual Community, and Postmodern Identity,” Ross Haenfler.
7. “Global Culture: Sameness or Difference?,” Manfred B. Steger.
8. “Barbie Girls versus Sea Monsters: Children Constructing Gender,” Michael A. Messner.
9. “Klaus Barbie, and Other Dolls I''d Like to See,” Susan Jane Gilman.
10. “Leaving Home for College: Expectations for Selective Reconstruction of Self,” David Karp, Lynda Lytle Holmstrom, and Paul S. Gray.
11. “Anybody''s Son Will Do,” Gwynne Dyer.
12. “The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life,” Erving Goffman.
13. “The Impact of Internet Communications on Social Interaction,” Thomas Well Brignall III and Thomas Van Valey.
14. “Code of the Street,” Elijah Anderson.
15. “The McDonaldization of Society,” George Ritzer.
16. “Racism in Toyland,” Christine L. Williams.
17. “Sexual Assault on Campus: A Multilevel, Integrative Approach to Party Rape,” Elizabeth A. Armstrong, Laura Hamilton, and Brian Sweeney.
18. “The Functions of Crime,” Emile Durkheim.
19. “The Medicalization of Deviance,” Peter Conrad and Joseph W. Schneider.
20. “The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison,” Jeffrey H. Reiman.
21. “The Communist Manifesto,” Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.
22. “Aspects of Class in the United States: An Introduction,” John Bellamy Foster.
23. “America Without a Middle Class,” Elizabeth Warren.
24. “The State of Poverty in America,” Peter Edelman.
25. “Globalization: An Introduction,” D. Stanley Bitzen and Maxine Baca Zinn.
26. “Global Strategies for Workers: How Class Analysis Certifies Us and Them and What We Need to Do,” Katie Quan.
27. “The Rise of Food Democracy,” Brian Halweil.
28. “Why Migration Matters,” Khalid Koser.
29. “The Souls of Black Folk,” W. E. B. Dubois.
30. “Toward a Framework for Understanding Forces That Contribute to or Reinforce Racial Inequality,” William Julius Wilson.
31. “Racial Formation,” Michael Omi and Howard Winant.
32. “Color-Blind Privilege: The Social and Political Functions of Erasing the Color Line in Post Race America,” Charles A. Gallagher.
33. “Subordinating Myth: Latino/a Immigration, Crime, and Exclusion,” Jamie Longazel.
34. “The Social Construction of Gender,” Margaret L. Andersen.
35. “What It Means to Be Gendered Me: Life on the Boundaries of a Dichotomous System,” Betsy Lucal.
36. “Examining Media Contestation of Masculinity and Head Trauma in the National Football League,” Eric Anderson and Edward M. Kian.
37. “The Many Faces of Gender Inequality,” Amartya Sen.
38. “''Dude, You''re a Fag'': Adolescent Masculinity and the Fag Discourse,” C. J. Pacoe.
39. “Strategic Ambiguity: Protecting Emphasized Femininity and Hegemonic Masculinity in the Hookup Culture,” Danielle M. Currier.
40. “Sex, Love, and Autonomy in the Teenage Sleepover,” Amy Schalet.
41. “Beyond the Nuclear Family: The Increasing Importance of Multigenerational Bonds,” Vern L. Bengston.
42. “''Why Can''t I Have What I Want'': Timing, Employment, Marriage, and Motherhood,” Rosanna Hertz.
43. “Gay Marriage: Why Now? Why at All?”, Reese Kelly.
44. “The Myth of the Missing Black Father,” Roberta L. Coles and Charles Green.
45. “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism,” Max Weber.
46. “Muslims in America,” Jen''nan Ghasal Read.
47. “All Creatures Great and Small: Megachurches in Context,” Mark Chaves.
48. “A School in a Garden,” Mitchell Stevens.
49. “From the Achievement Gap to the Education Debt: Understanding Achievement in U.S. Schools,” Gloria Ladson-Billings.
50. “Education: Inclusive Disability Studies,” Dan Goodley.
51. “Children of the Great Recession: A Tour of the Generational Landscape,” from Struggles to Successes, Coast to Coast, Ronald Brownstein.
52. “Harder Times: Undocumented Workers and the U.S. Informal Economy,” Richard D. Vogel.
53. “Working on People,” by Robin Leidner.
54. “The Power Elite,” C. Wright Mills.
55. “The Rise of the New Global Elite,” Chrystia Freeland.
56. “Cultures of the Tea Party,” Andrew J. Perrin, Steven J. Tepper, Neal Caren, and Sally Morris.
57. “The Social Meanings of Illness,” Rose Weitz.
58. “Beyond the Affordable Care Act: Achieving Real Improvements in Americans'' Health,” David R. Williams, Mark B. McClellan, and Alice M. Rivlin.
59. “Beyond Caring: The Routinization of Disaster,” Daniel Chambliss.
60. “Poisoning the Planet: The Struggle for Environmental Justice,” David Naguib Pellow and Robert J. Brulle.
61. “Zooming in on Diversity,” William Frey.
62. “Climate Denial and the Construction of Innocence: Reproducing Transnational Environmental Privilege in the Face of Climate Change,” Karl Marie Norgaard.