+1443 776-2705 panelessays@gmail.com

Using the textbook attached answer the following. 

Discussion 1- Chapter 2

1. Write down the first three steps of the scientific method. Think of a broad topic that you are interested in, and which would make a good sociological study—for example, ethnic diversity in a college, homecoming rituals, athletic scholarships, or teen driving. Now, take that topic through the first steps of the process. For each step, write a few sentences or a paragraph: 1) Ask a question about the topic. 2) Do some research and write down the titles of some articles or books you’d want to read about the topic. 3) Formulate a hypothesis. (200 words minimum)

2.  Would you willingly participate in a sociological study that could potentially put your health and safety at risk, but had the potential to help thousands or even hundreds of thousands of people? For example, would you participate in a study of a new drug that could cure diabetes or cancer, even if it meant great inconvenience and physical discomfort for you or possible permanent damage? (200 words minimum)

Discussion 2- Chapter 3

In January 2011, a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America presented evidence indicating that the hormone oxytocin could regulate and manage instances of ethnocentrism.

Copy and paste the link below to access the study. Read the full article here: http://openstaxcollege.org/l/oxytocin  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3029708/

Relying on your reading of chapter 3 and the study above, summarize the study by clearly stating your perception from a sociological lens.

The Real World
SIXTH EDITION

n
W. W. NORTON

NEW YORK • LONDON

The Real World
An Introduction to Sociology

SIXTH EDITION

Kerry Ferris | Jill Stein

W. W. Norton & Company has been independent since its founding in 1923, when William Warder Norton and
Mary D. Herter Norton first published lectures delivered at the People’s Institute, the adult education division 
of New York City’s Cooper Union. The firm soon expanded its program beyond the Institute, publishing books 
by celebrated academics from America and abroad. By midcentury, the two major pillars of Norton’s publishing 
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oldest publishing house owned wholly by its employees.

Copyright © 2018, 2016, 2014, 2012, 2010, 2008 by Kerry Ferris and Jill Stein

All rights reserved
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v

KERRY FERRIS is Associate Professor of Sociology at Northern Illinois University.
She  uses ethnographic methods and a symbolic interactionist approach to study
celebrity as a system of social power. Her past studies have included analyses of
fan- celebrity relations, celebrity sightings, celebrity stalking, red- carpet celebrity
interviews, and the work lives of professional celebrity impersonators. Her current
project examines small- market television newscasters in the American Midwest
and their experiences of celebrity on a local level. Her work has been published in
Symbolic Interaction, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, The Journal of Popular
Culture, and Text & Performance Quarterly. She is the coauthor, with Scott R. Harris,
of Stargazing: Celebrity, Fame, and Social Interaction.

JILL STEIN is Professor of Sociology at Santa Barbara City College, which was recently
named the top community college in the United States by the Aspen Institute. She
teaches introduction to sociology in both face- to- face and online formats every
semester. In addition, she is involved in many student- success initiatives at the local
and state levels. Her research examines narrative processes in twelve- step programs,
the role of popular culture in higher learning, and group culture among professional
rock musicians. Her work has been published in Symbolic Interaction, Youth & Society,
and TR AILS (Teaching Resources and Innovations Library).

About the
Authors

vii

Contents
PREFACE xxiii

CHANGES IN THE SIXTH EDITION xxix

PART I: Thinking Sociologically and
Doing Sociology 2

CHAPTER 1: Sociology and the Real World 6

How to Read This Chapter 9

Practical vs. Scientific Knowledge 9

What Is Sociology? 9

The Sociological Perspective 10
Beginner’s Mind 10

DATA WORKSHOP: Analyzing Everyday Life: Doing Nothing 11

IN RELATIONSHIPS: It’s Official: Men Talk More Than Women 12

Culture Shock 12
The Sociological Imagination 13

Levels of Analysis: Micro- and Macrosociology 14

IN THE FUTURE: C. Wright Mills and the Sociological Imagination 15

Sociology’s Family Tree 16
Sociology’s Roots 16

Macrosociological Theory 19
Structural Functionalism 19
Conflict Theory 21

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE: Eurocentrism and Sociological Theory 23

Weberian Theory 25

ON THE JOB: Famous Sociology Majors 26

Microsociological Theory 27
Symbolic Interactionism 28

CONTENTSviii

DATA WORKSHOP: Analyzing Media and Pop Culture: Theories of
Celebrity Gossip 31

New Theoretical Approaches 33
Postmodern Theory 33
Midrange Theory 34

Closing Comments 35

CHAPTER 2: Studying Social Life:
Sociological Research Methods 38

How to Read This Chapter 41

An Overview of Research Methods 41
The Scientific Approach 41
Which Method to Use? 43

Ethnography/Participant Observation 45
Advantages and Disadvantages 47

DATA WORKSHOP: Analyzing Everyday Life: Watching People Talk 47

Interviews 48
Advantages and Disadvantages 49

IN THE FUTURE: Action Research 50

Surveys 50
Advantages and Disadvantages 52

DATA WORKSHOP: Analyzing Media and Pop Culture: Media Usage
Patterns 53

Existing Sources 54
Advantages and Disadvantages 55

Experimental Methods 56
Advantages and Disadvantages 57

Social Network Analyis 57

IN RELATIONSHIPS: Social Networking Sites as Sources of Data 58
Advantages and Disadvantages 59

Issues in Sociological Research 59
Nonacademic Uses of Research Methods 59
Values, Objectivity, and Reactivity 60

ON THE JOB: Sociology, Market Research, and Design Strategy 61

Research Ethics 63

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE: The Nuremberg Code and Research Ethics 64

Closing Comments 65

CONTENTS ix

PART II: Framing Social Life 68

CHAPTER 3: Culture 72

How to Read This Chapter 75

What Is Culture? 75
How Has Culture Been Studied? 75
Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativism 75

ON THE JOB: The Sharing Economy and Unlikely Cultural
Ambassadors 77

Components of Culture 78
Material Culture 78
Symbolic Culture 79
Values, Norms, and Sanctions 81

IN RELATIONSHIPS: Individual Values vs. University Culture 82

DATA WORKSHOP: Analyzing Everyday Life: Seeing Culture in a
Subculture 84

Variations in Culture 85
Dominant Culture 85
Subcultures and Countercultures 85

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE: Otaku
Culture and the Globalization
of Niche Interests 86

Culture Wars 87
Ideal vs. Real Culture 88

DATA WORKSHOP: Analyzing
Media and Pop Culture:
How the Image Shapes the
Need 89

Cultural Change 90
Technological Change 90
Cultural Diffusion and Cultural Leveling 90
Cultural Imperialism 91

American Culture in Perspective 91

IN THE FUTURE: Online Radicalization 92

Closing Comments 93

CONTENTSx

CHAPTER 4: Socialization, Interaction, and
the Self 96

How to Read This Chapter 99

What Is Human Nature? 99
The Nature vs. Nurture Debate 99

The Process of Socialization 99

IN THE FUTURE: Genetics and Sociology 100

Social Isolation 100

Theories of the Self 102
Psychoanalytic Theory: Sigmund Freud 103
The Looking- Glass Self: Charles Cooley 104
Mind, Self, and Society: George Herbert Mead 105
Dramaturgy: Erving Goffman 106

DATA WORKSHOP: Analyzing Everyday Life: Impression Management
in Action 108

Agents of Socialization 109
The Family 109
Schools 110
Peers 110
The Media 111

DATA WORKSHOP: Analyzing Media and Pop Culture: TV as an Agent
of Socialization 112

Adult Socialization 113

IN RELATIONSHIPS: Sister Pauline Quinn and Training Dogs in
Prison 114

Statuses and Roles 115
Multiple Roles and Role Conflict 115

Emotions and Personality 116
The Social Construction of Emotions 116

Interacting Online 116

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE: Cross- Cultural Responses to Grief 117

ON THE JOB: The Wages of Emotion Work 118

Closing Comments 119

CONTENTS xi

CHAPTER 5: Separate and Together: Life in
Groups 122

How to Read This Chapter 125

What Is a Group? 125
Primary and Secondary Groups 125
Social Networks 126

Separate from Groups: Anomie or Virtual Membership? 127

IN THE FUTURE: What Happens to Group Ties in a Virtual World? 128

DATA WORKSHOP: Analyzing Media and Pop Culture: “Who’s in Your
Feed?” 130

Group Dynamics 131
Dyads, Triads, and More 131

IN RELATIONSHIPS: Social Networking: You’re Not the Customer—
You’re the Product 132

In- Groups and Out- Groups 132
Reference Groups 133

DATA WORKSHOP: Analyzing Everyday Life: The Twenty Statements
Test: Who Am I? 134

Group Cohesion 135

Social Influence (Peer Pressure) 136
Experiments in Conformity 137

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE: Group vs. Individual Norms: Honor Killings 138

Working Together: Teams and Leadership 141
Teamwork 141

ON THE JOB: Teamwork and the Tour de France 142

Power, Authority, and Style 142

Bureaucracy 144
The McDonaldization of Society 145
Responding to Bureaucratic Constraints 146

Closing Comments 147

CHAPTER 6: Deviance 150

How to Read This Chapter 153

Defining Deviance 153

Deviance across Cultures 153

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE: Body Modification 154

Theories of Deviance 155
Functionalism 155

CONTENTSxii

Conflict Theory 156
Symbolic Interactionism 157

IN RELATIONSHIPS: Cyberbullying, Trolls, and Online Deviance 158

The Stigma of Deviance 161
Managing Deviant Identities 162

ON THE JOB: Is “Cash Register Honesty” Good Enough? 163

DATA WORKSHOP: Analyzing Everyday Life: AA’s Pioneer Women 164

Studying Deviance 165
The Emotional Attraction of Deviance 165

The Study of Crime 165
Crime and Demographics 167

DATA WORKSHOP: Analyzing Media and Pop Culture: Norm Breaking
on Television 169

The Criminal Justice System 170

IN THE FUTURE: American vs. Scandinavian Prisons 171

Reconsidering Deviance? 172

Closing Comments 173

PART III: Understanding
Inequality 176

CHAPTER 7: Social Class: The Structure of
Inequality 180

How to Read This Chapter 184

Social Stratification and Social Inequality 184

Systems of Stratification 184
Slavery 184
Caste 185

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE: Systems of Stratification around the
World 186

Social Class 188

Social Classes in the United States 188
The Upper Class 188
The Upper- Middle Class 189
The Middle Class 189

CONTENTS xiii

The Working ( Lower- Middle) Class 190
The Working Poor and Underclass 190
Problematic Categories 190

Theories of Social Class 191
Conflict Theory 191
Weberian Theory 191
Structural Functionalism 192
Postmodernism 193
Symbolic Interactionism 193

DATA WORKSHOP: Analyzing Everyday Life: Everyday Class
Consciousness 195

Socioeconomic Status and Life Chances 195
Family 195

IN RELATIONSHIPS: Socioeconomic Status and Mate Selection 196

Health 196
Education 197
Work and Income 198
Criminal Justice 199

Social Mobility 200

Poverty 201
Social Welfare and Welfare Reform 202
The “Culture of Poverty” and Its Critics 204

ON THE JOB: Get a Job! Minimum Wage or Living Wage? 205

The Invisibility of Poverty 206

Inequality and the Ideology of the American Dream 209

IN THE FUTURE: Why We Can’t Afford the Rich 210

DATA WORKSHOP: Analyzing Media and Pop Culture: Advertising and
the American Dream 212

Closing Comments 213

CHAPTER 8: Race and Ethnicity as Lived
Experience 216

How to Read This Chapter 219

Defining Race and Ethnicity 219
“Ethnic Options”: Symbolic and Situational Ethnicity 221

DATA WORKSHOP: Analyzing Everyday Life: Displaying Ethnicity 222

The U.S. Population by Race 223
What Is a Minority? 223

CONTENTSxiv

Racism in Its Many Forms 224
Prejudice and Discrimination 224
White Nationalism 225
White Privilege and Color- Blind Racism 226
Microagressions 227
Cultural Appropriation 227
Reverse Racism 229
Antiracist Allies 229

IN THE FUTURE: Whose Lives Matter? 230

Theoretical Approaches to Understanding Race 230
Structural Functionalism 230
Conflict Theory 231
Symbolic Interactionism 232

IN RELATIONSHIPS: From the Lovings to Kimye: Interracial Dating and
Marriage 234

Race, Ethnicity, and Life Chances 236
Family 236
Health 237
Education 238
Work and Income 238

ON THE JOB: Diversity Programs: Do They Work? 239

Criminal Justice 240
Intersectionality 241

DATA WORKSHOP: Analyzing Media and Pop Culture: Does TV Reflect
the Realities of Race? 241

Intergroup Relations: Conflict or
Cooperation 243

Genocide 243
Population Transfer 243
Internal Colonialism and

Segregation 244
Assimilation 244

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE: “The Biggest
Humanitarian and Refugee Crisis
of Our Time” 245

Pluralism 246

Closing Comments 247

CONTENTS xv

CHAPTER 9: Constructing Gender and
Sexuality 250

How to Read This Chapter 253

Sex and Gender 253
Sex 253

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE: Different Societies, Different Genders 254

Gender 254

Sexuality and Sexual Orientation 256
“Queering the Binary” 257

Socialization: Sex, Gender, and Sexuality 257
Families 257

IN RELATIONSHIPS: Rape Culture and Campus Social Life 258

Schools 259
Peers 260
The Media 260

DATA WORKSHOP: Analyzing Media and Pop Culture: The Fashion
Police: Gender and the Rules of Beauty 261

Prejudice and Discrimination 262
Gendered Language and Microaggressions 264

Sociological Theories of Gender Inequality 264
Functionalism 264
Conflict Theory 265
Interactionism 265
Feminist Theory 266

Gender, Sexuality, and Life Chances 266
Families 267
Health 267
Education 268

ON THE JOB: Female Athletes and the Battle for Equal Pay 268

Work and Income 269

DATA WORKSHOP: Analyzing Everyday Life: The Second Shift: Gender
Norms and Household Labor 271

Criminal Justice 273

IN THE FUTURE: Human Trafficking 274

Intersectionality 275

Social Movements 276
Women’s Movements 276
Men’s Movements 277
LGBTQ Movements 277

Closing Comments 279

CONTENTSxvi

PART IV: Social Institutions and the
Micro- Macro Link 282

CHAPTER 10: Social Institutions: Politics,
Education, and Religion 286

How to Read This Chapter 289

What Is Politics? 289
Political Systems: Government 289
The American Political System 291
Who Rules America? 292
The Media and the Political Process 295

DATA WORKSHOP: Analyzing Media and Pop Culture: Satirical News
Shows 298

Patriotism and Protest 300
Politics: The Micro- Macro Link 302

What Is Education? 302
A Brief History of Modern Education 302
Education and the Reproduction of Society 303
Classic Studies of Education 305

IN THE FUTURE: A College Degree: What’s It Worth? 306

The Present and Future of Education 306

ON THE JOB: For- Profit Colleges: At What Cost? 310

Education: The Micro- Macro Link 312

What Is Religion? 313
Theoretical Approaches to Religion 313
Religion in America 315
Religious Trends 315

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE: Thou Shalt Not Kill: Religion, Violence, and
Terrorism 316

DATA WORKSHOP: Analyzing Everyday Life: Measures of
Religiosity 318

A Secular Society? 319

IN RELATIONSHIPS: Can a Relationship with God Improve Your
GPA? 320

Religion: The Micro- Macro Link 321

Closing Comments 321

CONTENTS xvii

CHAPTER 11: The Economy and Work 324

How to Read This Chapter 327

Historical and Economic Changes 327
The Agricultural Revolution 327
The Industrial Revolution 328
The Information Revolution 330

DATA WORKSHOP: Analyzing Media and Pop Culture: The World of
Work and Workers as Seen on TV 331

World Economic Systems 332
Capitalism 332
Socialism 333
The U.S. Economy 333

ON THE JOB: Internships: Free Menial Labor or a Leg Up? 334

The Nature of Work 335
Agricultural Work 335
Industrial Work 335
Postindustrial Work 336

Resistance Strategies: How Workers Cope 339
Individual Resistance: Handling Bureaucracy 339
Collective Resistance: Unions 340

IN RELATIONSHIPS: The Value of Break Time 342

The Conscience of Corporate America 343
GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE: World of Warcraft and “Gold Farming” in

China 344

The Economics of Globalization 345
International Trade 346
Transnational Corporations 346
Global Sweatshop Labor 348

DATA WORKSHOP: Analyzing Everyday Life: Are Your Clothes Part of
the Global Commodity Chain? 349

Outsourcing 350

Different Ways of Working 351
Professional Socialization in Unusual Fields 351

IN THE FUTURE: Will Your Job Be “ Uber- ized”? 352

The Contingent Workforce 354
The Third Sector and Volunteerism 355

Time for a Vacation? 356

Closing Comments 357

CONTENTSxviii

CHAPTER 12: Life at Home: Families and
Relationships 360

How to Read This Chapter 363

What Is the Family? 363

Sociological Perspectives on Families 363

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE: Talking about Kin 364

Structural Functionalism 364
Conflict Theory 365
Symbolic Interactionism 365
Feminist and Queer Theory 366

Mate Selection 367

Relationship Trends 368
Unmarried Life 368
Single and Solo Parenting 369
Blended Families 370
Childfree Living 371

Breaking Up 371
ON THE JOB: When Building Families Is Part of Your Job 372

Custody, Visitation, and Child Support 373

The Work of Family 373
DATA WORKSHOP: Analyzing Everyday Life: Comparative

Mealtime 374

Gender, Sexuality, and Family Labor 375

Family and the Life Course 376
IN RELATIONSHIPS: From Boomerang Kids to the Sandwich

Generation 377

Aging in the Family 378

Trouble in Families 378
Intimate Partner Violence 379

DATA WORKSHOP: Analyzing Media and Pop Culture: Family Troubles
in Film 380

Child and Elder Abuse 381

IN THE FUTURE: Trends in Baby Making: Back to the Future? 382

Postmodern Families: The New Normal 383

Closing Comments 383

CONTENTS xix

CHAPTER 13: Leisure and Media 386

How to Read This Chapter 389

A Sociology of Leisure 389
What Is Leisure? 389
Trends in Leisure 390
ON THE JOB: Professional Musicians: Playing Is Work 392

The Study of Media 393
The Media and Democracy 393
The Structure of Media Industries 394

DATA WORKSHOP: Analyzing Media and Pop Culture: Blockbuster Hits
and the Business of Movies 394

The Regulation of Media Content 398

Culture and Consumption of Media 399
High, Low, and Popular Culture 399

IN THE FUTURE: The Return of Free- Range Kids? 400

Media Effects and Audiences 401
Theories of Media Effects 402
Active Audiences: Minimal Effects Theories 402
Interpretive Strategies and Communities 403

Leisure and Relationships 405
GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE: The Other Football 406

Leisure and Community 407
Collectors and Hobbyists 408
Hangouts: The Third Place 409

IN RELATIONSHIPS: Fan– Celebrity Relations 410

DATA WORKSHOP: Analyzing Everyday Life: Now Go Hang Out 410

Travel and Tourism 412

Closing Comments 413

CHAPTER 14: Health and Illness 416

How to Read This Chapter 419

The Sociology of Medicine, Health, and Illness 419

Defining Health and Illness 420
Types of Illnesses 420
Approaches to Medical Treatment 421

DATA WORKSHOP: Analyzing Everyday Life: Student Health Issues
Survey 421

CONTENTSxx

The Process of Medicalization 423
The Social Construction of Mental Illness 423

IN THE FUTURE: Solving the Mystery of Autism 424

Epidemiology and Disease Patterns 425

Social Inequality, Health, and Illness 427
Intersections of Class 427

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE: Zika Virus: Women and Children Last 428

Intersections of Race 429
Intersections of Gender 429

IN RELATIONSHIPS: Better Living through Chemistry 430

Inequality and the Problem of Food Deserts 430

Medicine as a Social Institution 432
Institutional Contexts 433
Doctor– Patient Relations 433

ON THE JOB: Cultural Competence in Health Professions 434

The Sick Role 436

DATA WORKSHOP: Analyzing Media and Pop Culture: Medicine on
Television 437

Issues in Medicine and Health Care 438
Health Care Reform in the United States 438
Complementary and Alternative Medicine 439
Medical Ethics 440
End of Life 441

Closing Comments 441

PART V: Envisioning the Future and
Creating Social Change 444

CHAPTER 15: Populations, Cities, and the
Environment 448

How to Read This Chapter 451

Population 451
Demography 451

IN THE FUTURE: Living to 150 453

Theories of Population Change 454

CONTENTS xxi

Cities 456
Trends in Urbanization 458

ON THE JOB: Agriculture: From the Country to the City 459

DATA WORKSHOP: Analyzing Media and Pop Culture: Imagining the
Cities of Tomorrow 460

Living in the City 462

IN RELATIONSHIPS: Encounters with Strangers 464

The Environment 465
Environmental Problems 466

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE: Water, Water Everywhere but Not a Drop to
Drink 470

Environmental Sociology 471

DATA WORKSHOP: Analyzing Everyday Life: Student Attitudes on
Environmentalism 472

Closing Comments 477

CHAPTER 16: Social Change 480

How to Read This Chapter 483

What Is Social Change? 483
ON THE JOB: Helping Professions: Agents of Social Change 484

Collective Behavior 485
Crowds 485
Mass Behavior 487

Social Movements 489
Promoting and Resisting Change 489

IN RELATIONSHIPS: Hashtag Activism: #Resist with #Indivisible 491

Theories of Social Movements 492

DATA WORKSHOP: Analyzing Everyday Life: Activist Groups Get
Organized 494

Stages in a Social Movement 495

Technology and Social Change 496
IN THE FUTURE: Utopia— or Doomsday? 497

DATA WORKSHOP: Analyzing Media and Pop Culture: The “Unplug”
Experiment 498

Technology in the Global Village 499

CONTENTSxxii

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE: Bhutan and Gross National Happiness 500

Living in a Postmodern World 502

Closing Comments 503

GLOSSARY G- 1

REFERENCES R- 1

CREDITS C- 1

INDEX I- 1

xxiii

Preface

Welcome to the Sixth Edition of The Real World: An Introduction to Sociology. We hope you will appreciate what is new not only in the textbook’s fresh look and updated materials, but also what is new in the innovative ways
it goes about teaching sociology. That’s exactly what we set out to do when we first
embarked on the original project of writing this textbook, and it’s what we continue to
do here in the Sixth Edition.

At the beginning, we had had years of experience in college and university class-
rooms, teaching introductory sociology to thousands of students from all backgrounds
and walks of life; we had discovered a lot about what works and what doesn’t when it
comes to making sociology exciting and effective. As seasoned instructors, we had
developed an approach to teaching and learning that reflected our passion for the sub-
ject and our concern with best practices in pedagogy. But we were having trouble finding
a textbook that encompassed all the elements we had identified and that made such a
difference in our own experience. We were tired of seeing the same old formulas found
in almost every textbook. And we figured we were not alone. Other students and instruc-
tors were probably equally frustrated with repetitive formats, stodgy styles, and seem-
ingly irrelevant or overly predictable materials. That is a great misfortune, for sociology,
at its best, is a discipline that holds great value and is both intellectually stimulating
and personally resonant. Although the impetus to write this textbook began as a way of
answering our own needs, our goal became to create a textbook of even greater benefit to
others who might also be looking for something new.

We are gratified by the response The Real World has received from instructors and
students alike, so we are preserving many of the features that have made the textbook
a success. At the same time, we have done more than just simply revise the textbook. In
this edition, you will find significant new content and added features that will further
enhance the teaching and learning process, and keep us as close to the cutting edge as
possible. Many of the original elements we developed for students and instructors appear
again in these pages. As a foundation, we have maintained a writing style that we hope
is accessible and interesting as well as scholarly. One of the core pedagogical strengths
of this textbook is its focus on everyday life, the media, technology, and pop culture. We
know that the combination of these themes is inherently appealing to students, and that
it relates to their lives. And because both new generations and more experienced soci-
ology instructors might also be looking for something different, another of this book’s
strengths is an integrated emphasis on critical thinking and analytic skills. Rather than
merely presenting or reviewing major concepts in sociology, which can often seem dry
and remote, we seek to make the abstract more concrete through real- world examples
and hands- on applications.

In this text we take a fresh and accessible theoretical approach appropriate to our con-
temporary world. While we emphasize the interactionist perspective, we cover a range
of theoretical thought, including postmodernism. We also build innovative methodo-
logical exercises into each chapter, giving students the opportunity to put into practice
what they are learning. We present material that is familiar and relevant to students in
a way that allows them to make profound analytic connections between their individual

PREFACExxiv

particular real- world case study. This serves as a simple,
practical model for students to then make their own applica-
tions and analyses.

Bolded In- Text Terms
As a student of sociology, you will be learning many new
concepts and terms. Throughout each chapter, you will see
a number of words or phrases in bold type. You may already
recognize some of these from their more common vernacu-
lar use. But it is important to pay special attention to the way
that they are used sociologically. For this reason you will find
definitions in the margins of each page, where you can refer
to them as you read. You should consider these bolded words
and phrases your conceptual “tools” for doing sociology. As
you progress through the chapters in this textbook, you will
be collecting the contents of a toolkit that you can use to bet-
ter understand yourself and the world around you. The bolded
terms can also be found in the Glossary at the back of the book.

Relevance Boxes
In each chapter you will find Relevance Boxes with three
different themes: On the Job, In Relationships, and In the
Future. Relevance Boxes allow students to see the practi-
cal implications and personal value of sociology in their
lives. On the Job explores the ways different people use
sociological training or insights in a variety of work set-
tings. In Relationships looks at how sociology can help us to
better understand our friendships, intimate partnerships,
and family relations. In the Future provides a glimpse into
emerging trends in a rapidly changing society, and what stu-
dents might expect to encounter on the horizon. We include
these boxes to show how taking this course could bear fruit
in your life (and in the lives of others) beyond just fulfilling
your college requirements.

Data Workshops
Data Workshops are designed to give students the opportu-
nity to gain hands- on experience in the practice of sociology
while they are learning. We think this is one of the most fun
parts of being a sociologist. Each chapter features two Data
Workshops, one on “Analyzing Everyday Life” and one on
“Analyzing Media and Pop Culture.” Students will use one
of the research methods covered in Chapter  2 to deal with
actual data from the real world— whether it’s data they col-
lect themselves or raw data provided from another source.
The Data Workshops lead students through the process of
analyzing data using the related conceptual tools they have
just acquired in the chapter. For the Sixth Edition, we now
offer online tutorials for eight of the in- text Data Workshops,
which we hope will make these popular exercises easier to
assign and grade. Each Data Workshop is also included in the
Interactive Instructor’s Guide (IIG).

lives and the structure of their society. We provide instruc-
tors with ways to reenergize their teaching, and we give even
general education students a reason to be fascinated by and
engrossed in their sociology courses. We do this by staying in
touch with our students and the rapidly changing real world,
and by bringing our insight, experience, and intellectual rigor
to bear on a new way of teaching introductory sociology.

Whether you are a student or an instructor, you have prob-
ably seen a lot of textbooks. As authors, we have thought very
carefully about how to write this textbook to make it more
meaningful and effective for you. We think it is important to
point out some newly added and unique features of this text-
book and to tell you why they are included and what we hope
you will get out of them.

Part Introductions
The sixteen chapters in this text are grouped into five parts, …