Essentials of Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach is heralded by students and instructors alike as the most friendly and inviting introduction to sociology available. James Henslin guides students on an intellectual voyage through through the sociological imagination, helping them better understanding both themselves and their world. With humor, personal reflection and illuminating examples, he shares with readers his passion for sociology.
Six central themes run throughout the text: down-to-earth sociology, globalization, cultural diversity, critical thinking, the new technology and the influence of mass media on everyday life. Each of these themes is reflected in the central narrative, in boxed features throughout the text.
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James M. Henslin was born in Minnesota, graduated from high school and junior college in California and from college in Indiana. Awarded scholarships, he earned his Master’s and doctorate degrees in sociology at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. After this, he was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship from the National Institute of Mental Health, and spent a year studying how people adjust to the suicide of a family member. His primary interests in sociology are the sociology of everyday life, deviance, and international relations. He has published widely in sociology journals, including Social Problems and American Journal of Sociology. While a graduate student, Jim Henslin taught at the University of Missouri at St. Louis. After completing his doctorate, he joined the faculty at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, where he is Professor Emeritus of Sociology. He says, “I’ve always found the introductory course enjoyable to teach. I love to see students’ faces light up when they first glimpse the sociological perspective and begin to see how society has become an essential part of how they view the world.” Henslin enjoys reading and fishing. His two favorite activities are writing and traveling. He especially enjoys visiting and living in other cultures, for this brings him face to face with behaviors and ways of thinking that he cannot take for granted, experiences that “make sociological principles come alive.”
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