Seeing Ourselves: Classic, Contemporary, and Cross-Cultural Readings in Sociology, Sixth Edition

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9780131115576: Seeing Ourselves: Classic, Contemporary, and Cross-Cultural Readings in Sociology, Sixth Edition

For courses in introductory sociology.This best-selling collection of 77 classic, contemporary, and cross-cultural articles conveys sociology's diversity of viewpoints and methodologies. Important issues and debates are presented by scholars from many positions on the political spectrum, and capture the fascinating complexity of the social world.

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About the Author:

John J. Macionis, professor of sociology at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He received a bachelor's degree from Cornell University and a doctorate in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania. Macionis has also authored the two leading introductory sociology textbooks—Sociology, the leading comprehensive textbook, and Society: The Basics, the leading brief textbook. In addition, Macionis and Vincent Parrillo have written the urban studies text, Cities and Urban Life. Professor Macionis has been active in academic programs in other countries, having traveled to some fifty nations. In 2002, the American Sociological Association honored Macionis for his work with textbooks and for pioneering the use of new technology in sociology by bestowing on him their prestigious Award for Distinguished Contributions to Teaching. At Kenyon, Macionis offers a wide range of upper-level courses, but his favorite course is Introduction to Sociology, which he schedules every semester. He enjoys extensive contact with students, making an occasional appearance on campus with his guitar and each term inviting his students to enjoy a home-cooked meal. The Macionis family—John, Amy, and children McLean and Whitney—live on a farm in rural Ohio. In his free time, Macionis enjoys bicycling through the Ohio countryside, or a warm afternoon might find him sharing an adventure with his two children.

Nijole V. Benokraitis, professor of sociology at the University of Baltimore, received a bachelor's degree in Sociology and English from Emmanuel College, an M.A. in sociology from the University of Illinois at Urbana, and a doctorate in sociology from the University of Texas at Austin. Professor Benokraitis, who immigrated to the United States from Lithuania with her family when she was six years old, is bilingual and bicultural. She has authored, coauthored, edited, or coedited Marriages and Familes: Changes, Choices, and Constraints; Contemporary Ethnic Families in the United States: Characteristics, Variations, and Dynamics; Feuds about Families: Conservative, Centrist, Liberal, and Feminist Perspectives; Subtle Sexism: Current Practices and Prospects for Change; Modern Sexism: Blatant, Subtle, and Covert Discrimination; and Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity: Action, Inaction, and Reaction. She is the recipient of grants and fellowships from many institutions, including the National Institutes of Mental Health, the Ford Foundation, the American Educational Research Association, the Administration on Aging, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Professor Benokraitis lives in Maryland with her husband, Dr. Vitalius Benokraitis, who teaches in the Computer Science Departmexit at Loyola College in Maryland. They have two children, Gema and Andrius.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

As a number of analysts see it, the twenty-first century actually began on September 11, 2001, when the terrorist attacks destroyed the World Trade Center, damaged the Pentagon, and killed almost 3,000 people. This assertion is reasonable because this tragic event changed the way most of us look at just about everything, shaking our certainty about the present and challenging our optimism about the future.

At the same time, September 11th also renewed our sense of community, reminding us that we are all linked to those around us. In addition, we were prompted to rethink some of our assumptions, realizing, for example, that the work of firefighters is often far more important than that of corporate executives, especially in light of the recent Enron, WorldCom, and other large companies' accounting scandals.

In short, those who live in this new century are likely to display a renewed attention to the society around them. Indeed, change and, especially, crisis always encourages the use of the sociological perspective.

We hope this new edition of Seeing Ourselves can play a small part in the important work of examining the society around us. This revision presents the very best of sociological thought, from the work of the discipline's pioneers to the men and women who are doing today's cutting-edge research. The selections explore both U.S. society as well as global trends. This reader provides excellent material for a wide range of courses, including introductory sociology, social problems, cultural anthropology, social theory, social stratification, American studies, women's studies, and marriage and the family.

THE THREE C'S: CLASSIC, CONTEMPORARY, AND CROSS-CULTURAL

Since its introduction a decade ago, Seeing Ourselves has been the most popular reader in the discipline. The new, sixth edition offers seventy-seven selections that represent the breadth and depth of sociology. Seeing Ourselves is not only the most extensive anthology available, it is the only one that systematically weaves together three kinds of selections. For each general topic typically covered in a sociology course, three types of articles are included: classic, contemporary, and cross-cultural.

Classic articles—thirty in all—are sociological statements of recognized importance and lasting significance. Included here are the ideas of sociology's founders and shakers—including Emile Durkheim, Karl Marx, Max Weber, Georg Simmel, Ferdinand Tunnies, as well as Margaret Mead, W E. B. Du Bois, Louis Wirth, George Herbert Mead, Thomas Robert Malthus, and Charles Horton Cooley. Also found here are more recent contributions by Alfred Kinsey, Jessie Bernard, Robert Merton, Erving Goff-man, Peter Bergen Kingsley Davis and Wilbert Moore, C. Wright Mills, Talcott Parsons, and Leslie White.

We recognize that not everyone will agree about precisely which selections warrant the term "classic:" We hope, however, that instructors will be pleased to see the work of so many outstanding men and women—carefully edited with undergraduate students in mind-available in a single, affordable source.

Twenty-four contemporary selections focus on current sociological issues, controversies, and applications. These articles show sociologists at work and demonstrate the importance of ongoing research. They make for stimulating reading and offer thought-provoking insights about ourselves and the surrounding world. Among the contemporary selections in Seeing Ourselves are Earl Babbie explaining the importance of sociological research, Becky Thompson on our cultural obsession with thinness, Deborah Tannen on how men and women (mis)communicate, George Ritzer on McDonaldization and jobs, David Rosenhan on diagnosing mental illness, Andrew Hacker on patterns of inequality in the United States, Nijole Benokraitis on subtle patterns of gender discrimination, Patricia Hill Collins on black women's oppression, Karen Brodkin Sacks on the social construction of race, William Julius Wilson describing the rising desperation of some innercity residents, Lester Brown's survey of the state of the world's environment, David Myers on the state of US. society, and Kathryn Sikkink analyzing the September 11th attacks.

The twenty-three cross-cultural selections offer sociological insights about the striking cultural diversity of the United States and the larger world. Included are well-known works such as "The Nacirema" by Horace Miner, "India's Sacred Cow" by Marvin Harris, "The Amish: A Small Society" by John Hostetler, J. M. Carrier's "Homosexual Behavior in Cross-Cultural Perspective," and Elijah Anderson's "The Code of the Streets." Other articles focus on how Japanese and U.S. business people behave according to different sets of rules, how mate selection differs around the world, the ways in which global inequality benefits rich countries including the United States, the practice of female genital mutilation, global population increase, and, tracking the great cultural variation in our own society, a survey of health of Native Americans as well as an analysis of job hunting by minority youth in New York City. In short, cross-cultural selections stimulate critical thinking about social diversity in North America as well as broaden students' understanding of other cultures.

ORGANIZATION OF THE READER

This reader parallels the chapter sequence common to textbooks used in introductory sociology. Instructors can easily and effectively use these articles in a host of other courses, just as teachers can assign articles in whatever order they wish. For each of the twenty-three general topics, a cluster of three or four articles is presented, including at least one classic, at least one contemporary, and at least one cross-cultural selection. The expansive coverage of these seventy-seven articles ensures that instructors can choose readings well suited to their own classes.

The first two groupings of articles describe the Stinctive sociological perspective, bring to life ~e promise and pitfalls of sociological research, sad demonstrate the discipline's applications to a variety of issues. The selections that follow focus on key concepts: culture, society, socialization, social interaction, groups and organizations, deviance, and human sexuality. The focus then turns to various dimensions of social inequality, with attention to class, gender, race and ethnicity, and aging. The major social institutions are covered next, including the economy and work; politics, government, and the military; family; religion; education; and health and medicine. The final sets of articles explore dimensions of global transformation—including population growth, urbanization, the natural environment, social movements, and social change.

A NOTE ON LANGUAGE

All readings are presented in their original form; the editors have not altered any author's language. Readers should be aware that some of the older selections—especially the classics—use male pronouns rather than more contemporary gender-neutral terminology and one article employs the term "Negro." We have not changed the language in any article, wishing not to violate the historical authenticity of any document. That said, we urge faculty and students, with the original articles in hand, to consider the significance of changing language in their analysis of the author's ideas.

TEACHING FEATURES

This reader has two features that enhance the learning of students. First, a brief introduction, preceding each selection, presents the essential argument and highlights important issues to keep in mind while completing the reading. Second, each article is followed by three or four "Critical Thinking Questions," which develop the significance of the reading, help students evaluate their own learning, and stimulate class discussion.

INTERNET SITES

Readers are also invited to visit our sociology Web sites. At http://www.prenhall.com/macionis students will find online study guides for the Macionis introductory texts (Sociology and Society: The Basics), including discussion topics, test questions, and Internet links. In addition, http://www.TheSociologyPage.com (or http://www.macionis.com) provides information about the field of sociology, biographies of key sociologists, recent news of interest to sociologists, and more than fifty links to worthwhile Internet sites.

Also, http://www.prenhall.com/benokraitis offers more than 400 "hot links" to topics such as theory, sociological research, culture, socialization, interaction and communication, sexuality, race and ethnicity, gender roles, aging, work, marriage and the family, health, and social change.

INSTRUCTOR'S MANUAL WITH TEST QUESTIONS

Prentice Hall also supports Seeing Ourselves with an Instructor's Manual, prepared by Leda A. Thompson. For each selection, the Instructor's Manual provides a summary of the article's arguments and conclusions, eight multiple-choice questions (with answers), and several essay questions. The multiple-choice questions are also available on computer disk for users of IBM and Macintosh personal computers.

CHANGES TO THE SIXTH EDITION

We are grateful to our colleagues at hundreds of colleges and universities who have made Seeing Ourselves a part of their courses. Energized by this unparalleled reception, the editors have now produced an even stronger edition. Here are the key changes:

1. Fifteen new articles, of a total of seventy-seven, appear in the sixth edition. We have made no changes to the classic selections, which, after all, are selected to stand up well over time. There are nine new "contemporary" selections, including John B. Horrigan, "Ho...

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