The Meaning of Sociology by Joel M. CharonThe Meaning of Sociology by Joel M. Charon

The Meaning of Sociology

byJoel M. Charon, Lee Ga Vigilant

Paperback | June 16, 2008

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This classic introduction to sociology as a perspective gives students a sound understanding of key sociological concepts as well as insight into how sociologists view society and human beings. Clearly written and organized, it shows students how the various aspects of sociology fit together—and are relevant to their own lives.
Title:The Meaning of SociologyFormat:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 8.8 × 5.9 × 0.6 inPublished:June 16, 2008Publisher:Pearson EducationLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:013813328X

ISBN - 13:9780138133283

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Table of Contents

 

IN THIS SECTION:

1.) BRIEF

2.) COMPREHENSIVE

 

 

BRIEF TABLE OF CONTENTS:

 

Preface 

 

Part I:  The Nature of Sociology

Chapter 1 The Discipline of Sociology  

Chapter 2 Sociology as a Perspective: How Sociologists Think  

Chapter 3 Humans Are Embedded in Social Organization  

Chapter 4 Social Structure  

 

Part II:  The Nature of Social Organization

Chapter 5 Inequality in Society  

Chapter 6 Culture  

Chapter 7 Social Institutions  

Chapter 8 Organizations, Societies, and Globalization (Written by Joel Charon and Lee Vigilant)   

 

Part III: Order and Power in Social Organization

Chapter 9 Social Order, Social Control, and Social Deviance  

Chapter 10 Social Power  

 

Part IV:  The Dynamic Nature of Social Life

Chapter 11 Symbols, Self, and Mind: Our Active Nature  

Chapter 12 Social Change  

Chapter 13 The Family in Society  

Chapter 14 Religion, Society, and the Individual (Written by Lee Vigilant and Joel Charon) 

 

Part V:  Conclusion

Chapter 15 The Meaning and Uses of Sociology  

 

Index  


 

COMPREHENSIVE TABLE OF CONTENTS:

 

Preface

 

Part I:  The Nature of Sociology

Chapter 1 The Discipline of Sociology

 

            What Is Sociology?

            Sociology Is an Academic Discipline
            Sociology Focuses on Our Social World
            Sociology Asks Three Questions
            Sociology Focuses on Five Topics
            Sociology Is a Scientific Discipline

            The Meaning of Sociology: A Summary

            The Beginnings of Sociology

            Science Was an Inspiration …

            And So Were the Problems of Industrialization …

            And the Need to Understand Revolution …

            As Well as Experiences with Other Peoples and Societies …

            And a Climate for New Ideas Arose

            The Development of Sociology

            Conclusion and Summary

            Questions to Consider

            Recommended Reading

 

Chapter 2 Sociology as a Perspective: How Sociologists Think  27

 

            Humans Are Social Beings  29

            Humans Exist Within Social Patterns  31

            Humans Are Socialized  33

            Durkheim: The Study of Suicide  36

            Durkheim’s Theory  37

            Durkheim’s Evidence  38

            Extending His Theory  40

            Durkheim’s Influence  42

            Sociology: A Summary  44

            Questions to Consider  45

            Recommended Reading  45

 

Chapter 3 Humans Are Embedded in Social Organization  49

 

            Organization Begins with Social Action  51

            Mutual Social Action Is Social Interaction  53

            Social Organization Is Patterned Social Interaction  56

            The Forms of Social Organization  59

            Dyads Are Twos  59

            Groups Are More  59

            Formal Organizations Write Down Their Rules  62

            Communities Are Self-Sufficient Units of Organization  64

            Societies Are the Most Inclusive Form of Organization  65

            Social Organization Seems to Sit Right on Top of Us  66

            Questions to Consider  69

            Recommended Reading  69

 

Chapter 4 Social Structure  74

 

            We All Fill Positions in Social Structure  75

            Roles Are Attached to Positions  77

            Roles Are Not as Simple as a Script in a Play  80

            Status Positions Form Our Identities  84

            Positions Are Unequal  87

            Unequal Power  88

            Unequal Prestige  89

            Unequal Privileges  90

            Our Positions Also Give Us Our Perspectives  91

            Summary: The Meaning and Importance of Structure 93

            Questions to Consider  94

            Recommended Reading  94

 

Part II:  The Nature of Social Organization

Chapter 5 Inequality in Society  99

 

            The Meaning of Social Class  103

            Gender and Race  106

            Class, Race, and Gender Structures Are Special Social Structures  107

            Social Stratification Affects Placement in Other Social Organizations  109

            The Origin of Social Stratification Systems  111

            Social Mobility  113

            Structural Change  114

            Marx’s View of Social Stratification  116

            Summary  118

            Questions to Consider  119

            Recommended Reading  119

 

Chapter 6 Culture  129

 

            Culture Is a Shared Perspective on the World 130

            Culture Is Learned  131

            Culture Is a Social Inheritance  132

            Culture Is a Body of “Truth”  134

            Culture Is a Set of Values  136

            Values Are Reflected in Action  138

            There Is an American Value System, but It Is Complex and Often Inconsistent  139

            Culture Is a Set of Goals  141

            Culture Is a Set of Norms  142

            Culture, Subculture, and Counterculture  144

            Culture Is Important  146

            The Real Significance of Culture: The Social Construction of Reality  147

            Summary  148

            Questions to Consider  148

            Recommended Reading  149

 

Chapter 7 Social Institutions  154

 

            Institutions Are Social Patterns  155

            Social Institutions Are the Most Central Grooves in Society  156

            Institutions Are the Central Ways a Society Functions and Solves Its Ongoing Problems  156

            Institutions Are Widely Accepted and Deeply Entrenched  158

            Social Institutions Are Real Forces Working on Actors  161

            The Meaning of Institutions: A Summary  162

            Institutions Are Important  165

            Institutionalization and Deinstitutionalization  166

            The Rejection of Social Institutions  167

            Summary  169

            Questions to Consider  170

            Recommended Reading  170

 

Chapter 8 Organizations, Societies, and Globalization (Written by Joel Charon and Lee Vigilant)   175

 

            Social Organizations Influence Each Other  176

            Society in the World Order  179

            Karl Marx: A Future Worldwide Capitalist Order  179

            Immanuel Wallerstein: Core Societies, Semi-Peripheral Societies, and

            Peripheral Societies  180

            Globalization in the Twenty-First Century: Economic, Cultural, and Political  181

            The Meaning of Globalization  181

            Economic Globalization  183

            Cultural Globalization  184

            Political Globalization  185

            Criticisms of Globalization  186

            Conclusion and Summary  187

            Questions to Consider  188

            Recommended Reading  189

 

Part III: Order and Power in Social Organization

Chapter 9 Social Order, Social Control, and Social Deviance  191

 

            Social Order Is Established Through Structure and Culture  194

            Social Order Depends on Working Institutions  197

            Social Order Depends on Socialization  198

            Loyalty to the Organization Is the Fifth Foundation for Social Order  202

            Social Controls Contribute to Social Order  205

            Social Deviance  207

            Summary  211

            Questions to Consider  211

            Recommended Reading  212

 

Chapter 10 Social Power  217

 

            The Meaning of Social Power  218

            Three Definitions of Power  218

            Resources and Social Power  219

            Influence, Control, and Powerlessness  220

            Authority  221

            The Inevitability of Inequality in Organization  223

            Class Position and Power  225

            Organization as Power  226

            Three Theories of Power  227

            Pluralism  228

            The Power Elite  230

            The Corporate Elite  231

            Summary  233

            Questions to Consider  234

            Recommended Reading  235

 

Part IV:  The Dynamic Nature of Human Social Life

Chapter 11 Symbols, Self, and Mind: Our Active Nature  240

 

            Individuality and Freedom  242

            How Can We Explain Individuality?  245

            The Origin of Human Freedom  246

            Human Beings Are Symbol Users  247

            The Meaning of Symbols  247

            The Importance of Symbols  249

            Symbols and Freedom  250

            We Possess Self and Mind  252

            Summary  255

            Questions to Consider  256

            Recommended Reading  256

 

Chapter 12  Social Change  259

 

            Individual Change and Social Change  260

            Acts of Individuals and Groups Change Organization  262

            Social Conflict Changes Organization  266

            External Social Organizations and Environments Change 
            Social Organization  268

            Technology Changes Social Organization  271

            Changes in Population Change Social Organization  274

            Change in Social Patterns Causes Change in Other Social Patterns  276

            Summary  279

            Questions to Consider  280

            Recommended Reading  280

 

Chapter 13 The Family in Society  28

 

            The Importance of the Family to Sociology  286

            Meaning of the Family  288

            Is the Family Universal?  288

            Why Is Definition Difficult?  289

            The Family: A Primary Group in a Household  289

            The Family: The Socialization Function  290

            The Family: Economic and Social Functions  291

            The Family: The Social Class Placement Function  291

            The Family: The Expressive Function  292

            The Meaning of the Family: A Summary  293

            Marriage as an Institution  293

            The Changing Structure of Marriage  295

            Marital Satisfaction  297

            Divorce  299

            Children and Socialization in the Family  300

            Individual Choice and the Changing Family  302

            Summary  304

            Questions to Consider  306

            Recommended Reading  306


Chapter 14 Religion, Society, and the Individual (Written by Lee Vigilant and Joel Charon)  309

 

            The Industrial Revolution: Religion, and the Beginning of Sociology  310

            Auguste Comte (1798-1857): The Death of the Sacred  311

            Ferdinand Tonnies (1855-1936): Religion and Community 313

            Karl Marx (1818-1883): Religion as the Opiate of the Masses  314

            Emile Durkheim (1858-1917: Meaning and Function of Religion  316

            Religion and the Creation of the Sacred  316

            Religion’s Creation and Function Is Social  317

            Religion Creates and Upholds the Morality of Society  318

            Religion Is Important for the Individual  318

            The Future of Society  319

            Max Weber (1864-1920): Religion, the Rationalization of Life, and Social Change  319

            The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism: Religious Thought Influences Economic Action  320

            Rationalization of Life and the Future of Religion  321

            Charismatic Authority and the Role of Religion in Social Change  322

            Weber: A Summary  323

            The Heritage of Sociology from the Early Sociologists: Conclusion 323

            The Study of Religion in the Late-Modern World  324

            Secularization: Is Religion Becoming Less Important Today?  324

            Defenders of the Secularization Thesis  324

            Critics of the Secularization Thesis  325

            The Role of Fundamentalism  327

            Organized Religion and Individual Spirituality  329

            Summary: The Sociology of Religion  330

            Questions to Consider  331

            Recommended Reading  333

 

Part V:  Conclusion

Chapter 15 The Meaning and Uses of Sociology  336

 

            The Uses of Sociology  341

            Questions to Consider  343

            Recommended Reading  344

            Index  346