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Sociology: The Study of Society

Ed Vaughan; C. Edwin Vaughan

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ISBN 10: 0130280585 / ISBN 13: 9780130280589
Published by Prentice Hall, 2000
Used Condition: Used: Good Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Sociology: The Study of Society

Publisher: Prentice Hall

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:Used: Good

About this title


This up-to-date book stresses the impact of society on social arrangements and social behavior, and it emphasizes the interdependence of societies—which are increasingly influenced by international corporate capitalism and international government and non-government organizations. It uses a comparative and historical perspective to illustrate patterns of social change, and focuses on the economical/political arena as a dominant source of it. Chapter topics include the study of society; society and culture; urban and rural society; social stratification; ethnicity and social diversity; domination by gender and age; social organization and social interaction; political and economic institutions; religion and society; socializing new individuals into society; social control, deviance and crime; and social change, civil society, and individual responses. For individuals to gain a better understanding of social institutions and social behavior—using the basic concept of society.

From the Inside Flap:


I HAVE TAUGHT INTRODUCTORY SOCIOLOGY FOR THIRTY YEARS AND HAVE USUALLY been, to varying degrees, disappointed in the available introductory textbooks. Often I have felt that the textbooks do not rise to the level of student ability or interest. I hope to present a level of social analysis and a variety of the substance of sociology that will challenge more inquisitive students. To this end, I go into considerable detail on special topics in each chapter. In addition, I introduce students to the idea of reading about sociology in the original words of significant figures.

This text focuses on society as the most basic concept for understanding social institutions and social behavior. Social interaction and social arrangements are always embedded in a particular society and exist in a historic context. Accordingly, the early chapters focus on the structure of society and various sources of social domination. The final three chapters focus more on the socialization of individuals and how individuals respond to and sometimes resist social domination.

This text recognizes that contemporary societies cannot be understood apart from the world economy and the many related international organizations that are involved with economically developing societies. To this end, there is a strong emphasis upon historical and comparative perspectives on social arrangements. In addition, every chapter includes a section entitled "The New World Order." This section examines the impact of international corporate capitalism on the United States and on other societies.

I share the opinion of many sociologists that our discipline cannot and should not be neutral or value-free. I am critical of social inequality that is distributed on the basis of gender, ethnicity, and social class. It is difficult to study society and ignore the way individual lives are sometimes diminished by social arrangements. Accordingly, the place of values within sociology is raised in several different chapters. The concept of human rights is the underlying value. Sociologically this issue can be viewed by asking the question, "What kinds of social arrangements increase or diminish the choices available to each individual?" Such questions can only be raised in an introductory text. To ignore such questions means removing oneself from the world in which most students and citizens live.

Chapter 1 introduces the origins of sociology as an academic discipline and reviews some of the ways sociology is an empirical science. This chapter introduces the two major theoretical models that developed in European sociology between the French Revolution and World War I. Chapter 2 analyzes the related concepts of society and culture. It considers the importance of language and discusses the emergent nature of human society.

Chapter 3 considers the impact of population size and migration on social arrangements. It stresses the importance of cities as dominant features of modern life while not ignoring the ongoing interaction between rural and urban areas.

Chapters 4 through 6 analyze the predominant patterns of social domination that occur in all societies. In succession these chapters focus on social domination and inequality from the perspectives of social stratification, ethnicity, and gender. Chapter 7 analyzes the various levels into which societies are organized—from interacting individuals through complex bureaucracies and nation-states. Chapters 8 through. 11 analyze the major social institutions occurring in all complex societies: the economy/polity, education, family, and religion. In analyzing social institutions we consistently use an economic/political perspective because of the dominant influence of this arena of societies and cultures. I am not an economic determinist but too many texts overlook the importance of this arena for explaining patterns of social domination and inequality.

Chapters 12 through 14 look more at the individual and the response of individuals to patterns of socialization and domination. In Chapter 12 I develop the main ideas of symbolic interactionism, the major contribution of sociology in the United States. This theory was originally developed to explain socialization—the social origin of the self. Chapter 13 examines social control and deviance and the way individuals respond to and sometimes resist domination. Chapter 14 considers collective responses and social movements as the best way to understand social change. Civil society is the arena of human values and discourse where citizens resist the influence of large-scale, bureaucratically organized forms of social domination. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the concept of human rights and how these values can be influential in both civil society and sociology. SUPPLEMENTS

For each chapter in the text, this resource provides a detailed outline, a list of objectives, discussion questions, and additional activities. The compilation of this manual was supervised by the author, and the carefully prepared selection of multiple choice, true/false, and essay questions provides instructors with a variety of testing options. (0-13-040410-1)

This computerized Test Item File allows instructors to create their own exams by editing any of the items in the file and adding their own questions. Other special features of this program, which is available for Microsoft® Windows (0-13-040455-1) and Macintosh® (0-13-040454-3), include random generation of an item set, creation of alternative versions of the same test, scrambling question sequence, and test preview before printing.

This guide provides a brief introduction to navigating the Internet, along with references related specifically to the Sociology discipline and instructions for using the companion websites available for many Prentice Hall textbooks. This supplementary book is free to students when shrinkwrapped as a package with any Prentice Hall Sociology title. (0-13-027759-2)

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