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Essentials of Sociology
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Essentials of Sociology

Fourth Edition
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December 2019 | 576 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

The author is a proud sponsor of the 2020 SAGE Keith Roberts Teaching Innovations Award—enabling graduate students and early career faculty to attend the annual ASA pre-conference teaching and learning workshop.

Join the conversation with one of sociology’s best-known thinkers.

In the fully updated Fourth Edition of Essentials to Sociology, bestselling author George Ritzer shows students the relevance of sociology to their lives. Adapted from Ritzer’s Introduction to Sociology, this text provides students with a rock-solid foundation in a shorter and more streamlined format. Students will learn about traditional sociological concepts and theories, as well as some of the most compelling contemporary social phenomena: globalization, consumer culture, the Internet, and the “McDonaldization” of society. Packed with current examples and the latest research of how “public” sociologists are engaging with the critical issues of today, this new edition encourages students to apply a sociological perspective to their worldview—empowering them to participate in a global conversation about current social problems.


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Letter from the Author
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
CHAPTER 1: An Introduction to Sociology in the Global Age
A Sociology of Revolutions and Counterrevolutions

 
The Changing Nature of the Social World—and Sociology

 
Central Concerns for a Twenty-First-Century Sociology

 
Sociology: Continuity and Change

 
The Social Construction of Reality

 
Sociology’s Purpose: Science or Social Reform?

 
Sociology, the Other Social Sciences, and Common Sense

 
Summary

 
Key Terms

 
Review Questions

 
 
CHAPTER 2: Thinking About and Researching the Social World
Do Sociological Theory and Research Help Us Understand Today’s Overheated Politics?

 
Theorizing the Social World

 
Contemporary Sociological Theory

 
Researching the Social World

 
Issues in Social Research

 
Summary

 
Key Terms

 
Review Questions

 
 
CHAPTER 3: Culture
A Reflection of U.S. Culture

 
A Definition of Culture

 
The Basic Elements of Culture

 
Cultural Differences

 
Global Culture

 
Summary

 
Key Terms

 
Review Questions

 
 
CHAPTER 4: Socialization and Interaction
Socialization and Variance

 
The Individual and the Self

 
The Individual as Performer

 
Socialization

 
Interaction

 
Micro-Level Social Structures

 
Summary

 
Key Terms

 
Review Questions

 
 
CHAPTER 5: Organizations, Societies, and Global Relationships
Questioning Governmental Authority

 
Organizations

 
Contemporary Organizational Realities

 
Societies

 
Global Relationships

 
Summary

 
Key Terms

 
Review Questions

 
 
CHAPTER 6: Deviance and Crime
Norms, Labels, and Judgment

 
Deviance

 
Theories of Deviance

 
Crime

 
Globalization and Crime

 
Summary

 
Key Terms

 
Review Questions

 
 
CHAPTER 7: Social Stratification in the United States and Globally
Student “Haves” and “Have-Nots” in Higher Education

 
Dimensions of Social Stratification

 
Economic Inequality

 
Social Mobility

 
Theories of Social Stratification

 
Consumption and Social Stratification

 
Global Stratification

 
Other Global Inequalities

 
Changing Positions in Global Stratification

 
Theories of Global Stratification

 
Summary

 
Key Terms

 
Review Questions

 
 
CHAPTER 8: Race and Ethnicity
Minorities Acquire Political Power

 
The Concepts of Race and Ethnicity

 
Majority–Minority Relations

 
Racism

 
Race and Ethnicity in a Global Context

 
Summary

 
Key Terms

 
Review Questions

 
 
CHAPTER 9: Gender and Sexuality
Challenging Gender Stereotypes

 
Gender and Sex

 
The Sociology of Sexuality

 
Sexuality, Gender, and Globalization

 
Global Flows Related to Gender

 
Summary

 
Key Terms

 
Review Questions

 
 
CHAPTER 10: Families
Fictional Families Get Real

 
Family, Marriage, and Intimate Relationships

 
Broad Changes in Marriage and the Family

 
Theorizing the Family

 
Problems in the Family

 
Global Families

 
Summary

 
Key Terms

 
Review Questions

 
 
CHAPTER 11: Education and Religion
Science versus Religion in the Public Schools

 
Education

 
Inequality in Education

 
Globalization and Education

 
Religion

 
Types of Religious Institutions

 
Religion and Globalization

 
Summary

 
Key Terms

 
Review Questions

 
 
CHAPTER 12: Politics and the Economy
The Interrelationship of Government and the Economy

 
Politics: Democracy or Dictatorship

 
Who Rules the United States?

 
Global Politics

 
The U.S. Economy: From Industrial to Postindustrial

 
Work, Consumption, and Leisure

 
Globalization and the Economy

 
Summary

 
Key Terms

 
Review Questions

 
 
CHAPTER 13: The Body, Medicine, Health, and Health Care
The Opioid Crisis

 
The Sociology of Health

 
The Body

 
The Sociology of Medicine

 
Globalization and Health

 
Summary

 
Key Terms

 
Review Questions

 
 
CHAPTER 14: Population, Urbanization, and the Environment
Too Few, Too Old

 
Population

 
Urbanization

 
Cities and Globalization

 
The Environment

 
Summary

 
Key Terms

 
Review Questions

 
 
CHAPTER 15: Social Change, Social Movements, and Collective Action
Workers’ Rights, Consumer Activism, and Social Change

 
Social Movements

 
Emergence, Mobilization, and Impact of Social Movements

 
Collective Action

 
Social Change: Globalization, Consumption, and the Internet

 
Summary

 
Key Terms

 
Review Questions

 
 
Glossary
 
References: Chapter-Opening Vignettes
 
References: Comprehensive List
 
Index

Supplements

Instructor Resource Site
Supplements

Instructors: SAGE Coursepacks and SAGE Edge for Instructors are included FREE with this text and give you access to all of the online resources and tools you need for your course. For a brief personalized demo, contact your sales representative today.
 

Import course content into your LMS
 
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    • test banks built on Bloom’s Taxonomy that provide a diverse range of test items
  • editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides that offer flexibility when creating multimedia lectures
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Prefer to access your course resources online?

With SAGE Edge for Instructors you get:

  • a password-protected site for complete and protected access to all text-specific instructor resources
  • sample course syllabi with suggested models for structuring your course
  • editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides that offer complete flexibility for creating a multimedia presentation for your course
  • lecture notes that summarize chapters to help you prepare for lectures and class discussions
Instructor Resource Site

SAGE EDGE FOR STUDENTS enhances learning, it’s easy to use, and offers:

  • An MCAT Guide for students that maps chapter content to sociology standards on the MCAT test and connects students with free online MCAT study-and-review websites ·        
  • 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 ·        
  • Learning objectives that reinforce the most important material
Student Study Site
SAGE EDGE FOR STUDENTS enhances learning, it’s easy to use, and offers:
  • An MCAT Guide for students that maps chapter content to sociology standards on the MCAT test and connects students with free online MCAT study-and-review websites
  • 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
  • Learning objectives that reinforce the most important material

Key features
NEW TO THIS EDITION:
  • Available as a digital option through SAGE Vantage, an intuitive digital platform that offers auto-graded assignments and interactive multimedia tools, all carefully designed to ignite student engagement and drive critical thinking. Contact your rep to learn more.

  • Assignable SAGE Premium Video (available on the SAGE Vantage platform, linked through SAGE Coursepacks) is curated and produced exclusively for this text to bring concepts to life and appeal to diverse learners, featuring animated concept videos, as well as licensed AP news clips.

  • Updated examples in the text and "Digital Living" boxes keep pace with changes in digital technology and online practices, including genealogy websites, Uber, Bitcoin, Tinder, the #MeToo movement, digital privacy, WikiLeaks, and cyberbullying.
  • New topics in the “Trending” boxes demonstrate the diversity of sociology's practitioners, methods, and subject matter. Featured authors include:
    • Robert Wuthnow (The Left Behind: Decline and Rage in Rural America)
    • Adam Reich and Peter Bearman (Working for Respect: Community and Conflict at Walmart)
    • Bruce Western (Homeward: Life in the Year after Prison)
    • Arlene Stein (Unbound: Transgender Men and Remaking of Identity)
    • Tressie McMillan Cottom (Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy)
    • Zevnep Tufekci (Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest)
    • Arlie Hochschild (Strangers in Their Own Land)
    • Lori Peek and Alice Fothergill (Children of Katrina)
    • Caitlyn Collins (Making Motherhood Work: How Women Manage Careers and Caregiving)
    • Jonathan Metzl (Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment is Killing America’s Heartland)
  • New or updated subjects apply sociological thinking to the latest issues including:
    • the 2016 U.S. election
    • Brexit
    • the global growth of ISIS
    • climate change
    • further segmentation of wealthy Americans as the "super rich"
    • transgender people in the U.S. armed forces
    • charter schools
    • the legalization of marijuana
    • the Flint water crisis
    • fourth-wave feminism
       

KEY FEATURES:

  • The text focuses on several themes that help define social life today:
    • Globalization—the flow of people, goods, institutions, and ideas across national borders. 
    • Consumer Culture—the meaning attached to getting and using material goods. 
    • Digital Living—social life mediated by digital technologies. 

  • A conceptual foundation for understanding sociology is provided in the first chapter so students can build upon that foundation when they are introduced to different sociological theories.    

  • Strong coverage of sociological theory is presented in an enhanced three-category system that is similar to the approach of most introductory sociology texts, but richer—encompassing classical theories as well as the most important offshoots of those theories developed in recent years.  

  • Contemporary public sociologists, whose works and ideas have entered the national conversation, appear in "Trending" boxes to encourage students to join a public conversation by providing key insights about current sociological issues. 

  • Global maps illustrate the global “flows” of people, goods, and ideas in the contemporary world.

  • SAGE Coursepacks enables instructors to import high-quality content, such as exceptional teaching resources from A.S.A.’s TRAILS (Teaching Resources and Innovation Library for Sociology), into their school’s learning management system (LMS) with no access codes.

  • SAGE Edge provides students helpful tools, including an MCAT Guide for students that maps chapter content to sociology standards on the MCAT test and connects students with free online MCAT study-and-review websites.
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