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Our Social World: Condensed

Our Social World: Condensed
An Introduction to Sociology

Fifth Edition
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July 2017 | 536 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Our Social World: Introduction to Sociology, Condensed, inspires students to develop their sociological imaginations, to see the world and personal events from a new perspective, and to confront sociological issues on a day-to-day basis. The award-winning author team organizes the text around the "Social World Model,” a conceptual framework that demonstrates the relationships among individuals (the micro level); organizations, institutions, and subcultures (the meso level); and societies and global structures (the macro level). The application of this model across chapters helps students practice using the three levels of analysis and view sociology as an integrated whole rather than a set of discrete subjects.


The Fifth Edition of the Condensed version is adapted from Our Social World: Introduction to Sociology and is one-third shorter by streamlining boxes and the main narrative, and combining four chapters into two (Family/Education, and Politics/Economics).


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Preface: To Our Student 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?  
The Social World Model  
Chapter 2 • Examining the Social World: How Do 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  
The Components of Culture: Things and Thoughts  
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  
Socialization Throughout the Life Cycle  
Agents of Socialization: The Micro–Meso Connection  
Socialization and Macro-Level Issues  
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  
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 Socialization: Micro- to Meso-Level Analyses  
Gender Stratification: Meso- and Macro-Level Processes  
Gender Stratification: Micro- to Macro-Level Theories  
Other Theoretical Perspectives  
Costs and Consequences of Gender Stratification  
PART IV: Institutions
Importance of Institutions  
The Development of Modern Institutions  
The Connections Among Institutions  
Chapter 10 • Family and Education: Institutionalizing Socialization
How Do We Make People?  
What Is a Family?  
Family Dynamics: Micro-Level Processes  
Family as an Institution: Meso-Level Analysis  
Family Issues: Divorce and Same-Sex Marriage  
What Are We Learning?  
The Ins and Outs of Local Schools: Micro-Level Interactions  
Structure and Function of Education: Meso-Level Analysis  
Education Issues: The Road to Opportunity?  
Chapter 11 • 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  
Chapter 12 • 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  
PART V: Social Dynamics
Chapter 13 • Population and Urbanization: Living on Planet Earth
Macro-Level Patterns in World Population Growth  
Meso-Level Institutional Influences on Population Change  
Institutions and Population Patterns  
Micro-Level Population Patterns  
Urbanization: Movement From Rural to Urban Areas  
The Urban Environment and Social Policy: Macro-Level Perspectives  
Chapter 14 • 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  
Technology, Environment, and Change  
About the Authors


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  • All tables and figures from the textbook
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Key features
  • A new full-length chapter on health, illness, and healthcare has been added.
  • Several chapters have been reorganized with updated data, added studies, and newly emerging emphases in sociology.
  • Six new “Sociologists in Action” features added.
  • Four new “Engaging Sociology” features added with new opportunities for data analysis by students.
  • 100 new or updated Tables and Figures, nearly 500 new references, and dozens of older references removed.
  • Many sentences and definitions in the book have been revised for brevity and clarity, and the glossary has been updated for better correspondence with the text.


  • Authors Jeanne Ballantine and Keith Roberts are both former recipients of the ASA “Distinguished Contributions to Teaching” award.
  • Every chapter opens with the “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.
  • Sociologists in Action features provide students with hands-on opportunities to engage with material covered and to hear from public sociologists who are working in the field.
  • Integrated global perspective throughout inspires students to see how events on the other side of the globe may impact their own lives.
  • Engaging Sociology features encourage students to delve more deeply into topics and do primary analysis of data in a map, table, or figure.
  • 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.
  • Contributing to your Social World features provide ideas related to discussions in each chapter for volunteer activities and jobs/internships at the micro, meso, and macro levels.    
  • Deep learning techniques are used throughout, so that students learn, rather than simply memorize, the material.
  • Links to exceptional teaching resources from A.S.A.’s TRAILS (Teaching Resources and Innovation Library for Sociology) available in SAGE coursepacks.
  • MCAT Guide maps chapter content to Foundational Concepts and Content Categories in Section 3 of the MCAT test available in SAGE coursepacks. 

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1: Sociology: A Unique Way to View the World

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