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

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9780132204910: Seeing Ourselves: Classic, Contemporary, and Cross-Cultural Readings in Sociology

This best-selling collection is the only reader that systematically weaves together three types of articles–classic, contemporary, and cross-cultural–for each general topic typically covered in a sociology course. Seeing Ourselves conveys sociology's diversity of viewpoints and methodologies and includes important issues and debates that capture the fascinating complexity of the social world.

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PREFACE If there is a college course that is more exciting for students than the introduction to sociology, we don't know what it is. Both of us began our careers as students taking the "intro course," and we both found it to be life-changing. Over the (many) years since then, we have received thousands of e-mail messages from students that, in different ways and using different words, say pretty much the same thing: "Sociology has given me a new way to see the world around me, it has changed the way I think about myself and our society, it has given me knowledge and skills that I can use every day." Why is sociology so exciting? First, understanding how society operates is a source of power, helping us to recognize the opportunities and challenges that frame our lives and to see that society is a human creation that is subject to change. Second, sociology is liberating. It frees us from the belief that we alone are responsible for our life situations and, by showing how society shapes our world, opens the door to new possibilities. Third, sociology is plain fun. Looking at our families, workplaces, campuses, and local communities with a sociological eye, we suddenly recognize patterns and processes that were always there but went unnoticed. To learn to see sociologically is to have the world around you come alive as it never has before. What could be more fun than that? Sociology is also a vast and diverse body of knowledge that stretches back more than 150 years. Seeing Ourselves: Classic, Contemporary, and Cross-Cultural Readings in Sociology captures this rich legacy, presenting it to readers in the words of the men and women who created it. This collection of readings contains the work of the discipline's founders and others who have made lasting contributions. In addition, it contains important research being done by women and men who are standing on the shoulders of the founders. Finally, it deepens our understanding of our own way of life by making comparisons with other societies and cultural systems. This reader provides excellent material for use in a wide range of courses. Seeing Ourselves is most widely used in introductory sociology, but it is also well suited for courses in social problems, cultural anthropology, social theory, social stratification, American studies, women's studies, and marriage and the family. Since its introduction a decade ago, Seeing Ourselves has been the most popular reader in the discipline. This seventh edition offers eighty-three readings that represent the widest range of material found in any similar text. In short, Seeing Ourselves gives instructors the largest selection of articles to consider for their courses. It also give students the best value for their textbook dollar, costing less per article than competing readers and "custom" readers. THE THREE C'S: CLASSIC, CONTEMPORARY, AND CROSS-CULTURAL Seeing Ourselves is the only reader that systematically weaves together three types 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 Tönnies, as well as Margaret Mead, W. E. B. Du Bois, Louis Wirth, George Herbert Mead, Thomas Robert Malthus, and Charles Horton Cooley. There are also many more recent contributions by Alfred Kinsey, Jessie Bernard, Robert Merton, Erving Goffman, Peter Berger, Kingsley Davis and Wilbert Moore, C. Wright Mills, Talcott Parsons, Leslie White, and Jo Freeman. We realize that not everyone will agree about precisely which selections should be called "classics." But we hope 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. Thirty contemporary selections focus on current sociological issues, controversies, and applications. These articles show sociologists at work and demonstrate the importance of ongoing research. They address many of the issues that concern today's students, providing solid data and reasoned analysis. Among the contemporary selections in Seeing Ourselves are Donna Gaines on teenage suicide, Patricia Madoo Lengermann and Jill Niebrugge-Brantley on women founders of sociology, Becky Thompson on our cultural obsession with thinness, Michael Messner on how our society defines "masculine," Jill Kilbourne on the power of mass-media advertising, Paula Rothenberg on privilege that many of us take for granted, George Ritzer on McDonaldization and jobs, Elijah Anderson on the normative system that operates on the streets of some low-income communities, David Rosenhan on diagnosing mental illness, Andrew Hacker on patterns of inequality in the United States, Judith Lorber on the social construction of gender, Patricia Hill Collins on black women's oppression, Karen Brodkin Sacks on the social construction of race, William Julius Wilson on the rising desperation of some inner-city residents, Barbara Ehrenreich on the realities of living on a low-income job, Thomas Dye on who's at the center of power in the United States, Susan Douglas and Meredith Michaels on motherhood, Naomi Schaefer Riley on student life at religious colleges, Jonathan Kozol on inequality in U.S. public schools, and Eric Schlosser giving an insider look at the fast-food industry. 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 "Body Ritual among the Nacirema" by Horace Miner, "India's Sacred Cow" by Marvin Harris, "The Amish: A Small Society" by John Hostetler, J. M. Carrier's "Homosexuality in Cross-Cultural Perspective," and Elaine Leeder's "Domestic Violence: A Cross-Cultural View." Other articles focus on Arab women and social research, learning to be a doctor in Canada, prostitution around the world, the ways in which global inequality benefits rich countries including the United States, the practice of female genital mutilation, how courtship and marriage differ around the world, global population increase, the health of Native American men, the central role played by Japanese mothers in their children's schooling, and differences in the abortion movements that are found in various countries. Cross-cultural selections broaden students' understanding of other cultures and, in the process, sharpen their understanding of our own society. 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 to five articles is presented, including at least one classic, at least one contemporary, and at least one cross-cultural selection. The expansive coverage of these eighty-three articles ensures that instructors can choose readings well suited to their own classes, and at the lowest cost. The first grouping of articles describes the distinctive sociological perspective, brings to life the promise and pitfalls of sociological research, and demonstrates the discipline's applications to a variety of issues. The selections that follow emphasize key concepts: culture, society, socialization, social interaction, groups and organizations, deviance, and the importance of sexuality to our society. 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; families; 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 One of the advantages of using this reader is allowing students to read the exact words of dozens of notable sociologists. The editors have assembled their selections from the sources in their original form; we have not altered any author's language. At the same time, we want students and instructors to know 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 importance of language and how it has changed in their analysis of the author's ideas. TEACHING FEATURES Seeing Ourselves has two features that enhance the learning of students. First, a brief introduction, placed at the beginning of each selection, summarizes the main argument and highlights important issues to keep in mind while reading the article. Second, at the end of each article are three "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://prenhall.com/macionis, students will find on-line 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, www.prenhall.com/benokraitis offers more than 400 "hot links" to topics such as theory, sociological rese...

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