Thinking About Sociology: A Critical Introduction

Paperback | January 7, 2016

byKaren L. Anderson

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Using a critical, inequality-based approach, Thinking About Sociology explores social theory through real-world examples that challenge students to rethink their own assumptions about their roles in society and the social institutions with which they interact. Through the two chapters onresearch methods and multiple chapters on various inequalities, a focus is placed on building a solid critical sociological foundation that allows for the development of complex thinking, research, and problem-solving skills throughout. The robust visual program, integration of important questions,and useful student-friendly pedagogy -- including relevant, real-world examples -- keep students reflective and engaged. The new, second edition is comprehensive, including a new chapter on crime and deviance, and yet concise, with more focused coverage of gender and sexuality to better reflect teaching and learning approaches across Canada. Thoroughly updated data, theory, visuals, research, and topics in everychapter provide a contemporary and in-depth picture of sociology as a discipline today.

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Using a critical, inequality-based approach, Thinking About Sociology explores social theory through real-world examples that challenge students to rethink their own assumptions about their roles in society and the social institutions with which they interact. Through the two chapters onresearch methods and multiple chapters on various...

Karen Anderson is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology at York University, where she has taught since 1988. She completed her PhD at the University of Toronto and specializes in sex and gender systems, classical, contemporary, and feminist theory, as well as social change and social history. Her current research intere...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:592 pages, 10 × 8 × 0.69 inPublished:January 7, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199014825

ISBN - 13:9780199014828

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Table of Contents

PART I THE SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE AND ITS CORE KNOWLEDGE BASE1. The Sociological PerspectiveLearning ObjectivesIntroduction: The Sociological Perspective and Its Core Knowledge Base- Core Concepts- Core Skills- Core TopicsA Core Sociological Concept: The Social Construction of Reality- Proposition 1: Society Is a Human Product- Proposition 2: All Human Activity Is Habitualized, and This Habitualization Is the Groundwork for InstitutionalizationA Second Core Sociological Concept: The Sociological Imagination- The Great Depression: A Public Issue (NEW)- "Reality" and the Sociological ImaginationContributions from PhilosophyApplying a Sociological Perspective: Three Examples- Example 1: Individualism- Example 2: Racial Prejudice- Example 3: Romantic LovePART II CORE SKILLS: CRITICAL COMPLEX THINKING AND RESEARCH2. Critical Sociological ThinkingLearning ObjectivesIntroductionCritical Thinking in Historical PerspectiveCharacteristics and Habits of a Critical Thinker- Independence of Mind- Intellectual Curiosity- Intellectual Courage- Intellectual Humility- Intellectual Empathy- Intellectual Perseverance- Reflexive DispositionCritical Sociological Thinking- Example 1 of Critical Sociological Thinking: The Socially- Constructed Nature of Media Reports about Climate Change in Canada (NEW)- Example 2 of Critical Sociological Thinking: Who Goes to University and Why?- Example 3 of Critical Sociological Thinking: Canadian Multiculturalism in Crisis- Example 4 of Critical Sociological Thinking: The Social Determinants of Health (NEW)3. Quantitative and Qualitative Research StrategiesLearning ObjectivesIntroductionGeneral Factors Influencing Sociological Research- Theory- Epistemology- Values- Ontology- Politics (NEW)- Practical Considerations (NEW)Quantitative Research Strategy- Deductive Theory- Positivist Epistemological Orientation- Objectivist Ontological Orientation- Value NeutralityTheory, Ontology, Epistemology, and Quantitative Research- Emile Durkheim on Suicide- Durkheim and Suicide TodayQualitative Research Strategy- Inductive Theory- Interpretivist Epistemological Orientation- Constructivism as an Ontological Orientation- Value Relevance4. Research Design and Research MethodsLearning ObjectivesIntroductionResearch Design- The Simple Case Study- The Longitudinal Study- The Comparison Study (or Cross Sectional Study)- The Longitudinal Comparison Study- Experimental ResearchVariablesResearch MethodsResearch Methods Used with a Quantitative Research Strategy- Surveys, Questionnaires, and InterviewsResearch Methods Used with a Qualitative Research Strategy- Interview, Group Discussion, and Observation: Learning to Labour- Participatory Action Research (PAR)- Critical Discourse Analysis- Institutional EthnographyResearch EthicsPART III EARLY SOCIOLOGICAL THEORISTS5. The Beginnings of Sociology and the Contributions of Emile DurkheimLearning ObjectivesIntroduction- Political Revolutions- The Industrial Revolution and the Rise of Capitalism- The Rise of Socialism- Urbanization- Religion- The Growth of ScienceHenri de Saint-Simon and the Study of Industrial SocietyAuguste Comte and the Founding of "Sociology"Littre and the Societe de Sociologie: Sociology as Political PracticeHarriet Martineau: Methods of Sociological ResearchThe Contributions of Emile Durkheim- Society- Social Facts- The Sociological Method- Social Norms and Anomie- A Critique of DurkheimThe Beginnings of Canadian Sociology6. Karl Marx and Max WeberIntroductionKarl Marx and Dialectical Materialism- Intellectual Influences- Friedrich Engels- Historical Materialism- Marx's Analysis of the Capitalist Mode of Production- Why Marx Is Still Relevant to Sociologists Today- Why Marx Is Still Relevant to Sociologists TodayMax Weber and Interpretive Sociology- Intellectual Influences- Themes in Weber's Work- Value-Free Sociology: Is Objectivity Possible?- Weber's Significance TodayMarx and Weber Compared7. The Social Interactionist PerspectiveIntroductionThe Social Interactionist PerspectiveSocial Interactionism and the Contributions of George Herbert Mead- Intellectual InfluencesMead's Sociology- Meaning Is a "Conversation of Gestures"- Human Communication Involves "Significant Symbols" and Language- Mind and "Taking the Role of the Other"- The "Emergent" Self- Elementary Selves and the Unified Self- The Two Phases of the Self: The "I" and the "Me"- Stages in the Development of the Self: Play, Game, and the "Generalized Other"- Society Emerges Out of Ongoing Human Social InteractionsTwo Current Examples of Social-Interactionist Research- Iranian Immigrants' Perception of Sexuality in Canada- A Social-Interactionist Perspective on Time and Collective MemoryPART IV CORE CONCEPTS8. Socialization and the Young ChildIntroductionThe Pre-Socialized InfantAre Humans Social from Birth?- Mirror Neurons (NEW)Feral and Abandoned Children- The Wild Boy of Aveyron- GenieTwo Theories of Early Socialization: Attachment Theory and Intersubjectivity- John Bowlby, Mary Ainsworth, and Attachment Theory- The Intersubjective View of the Social InfantNineteenth-Century Concerns Compared with Contemporary Concerns9. Social Performance and Interaction RitualsLearning ObjectivesIntroductionSocialization as an Active Process- Social Actor- Status and Status Set- RoleSocialization as a Product: The Presentation of Self and Performance- Dramaturgical Metaphor: Social Interaction as Performance- Impression Management- Teams- Face Work and Face-Saving InterchangesInteraction Rituals- The Bridal Shower as an Interaction Ritual10. CultureLearning ObjectivesIntroductionCulture as an All-Pervasive Way of LifeCulture as a "Tool Kit"- Crossing Cultural BarriersThe Production-of-Culture Perspective- Culture and Identity: Canadian Mohawk Youth and Western Pop CultureCulture and Human Embodiment- Death and Culture- Memory and Culture11. Social Structure and Social AgencyLearning ObjectivesIntroductionSocial Structure- Structural Functionalism- The Revolt against Functionalist TheorySocial Structure and Agency- Shoppers and the Supermarket- Anthony Giddens and Structuration Theory- Pierre Bourdieu and "Habitus"Social Network AnalysisThe "Greying" of the Canadian Population- The Social Networks of Elderly Canadians12. Social Inequality, Stratification, and ClassLearning ObjectivesIntroductionSocial Stratification in Canada as Measured by Income Inequality- The "Poverty Line" (NEW)- Child and Family Poverty in Canada- Income Inequality in Canada- Regional DisparitiesWealth Inequality in CanadaSocial Class- Class and the Capitalist Mode of Production in the Work of Karl Marx- Max Weber on "Class" and "Status"Contemporary Sociologists on Social Class- Erik Olin Wright on Class and Occupation- Peter Kaufman: The Reproduction of Class- Identity and Social Mobility- Pierre Bourdieu: Class, Culture, and "Taste"Contributing Factors to Social InequalityPART V CORE TOPICS: DIFFERENCE, INEQUALITY, AND DEVIANCE13. Sex and Sexual OrientationLearning ObjectivesIntroductionBiological Sex and Social Behaviour- Genetic Differences- Differences in Cognitive Capacities and BehavioursHow Many Sexes Are There?- One-Sex and Two-Sex Models- The Third Sex/Gender: Two-Spirit People in Native North American SocietiesIntersex, Transgender, and Transsexual IssuesSexual Orientation- Causes of Sexual Orientation- Homophobia- Non-Heteronormative Relations14. Gender Difference and InequalityLearning ObjectivesIntroductionUnderstanding Gender and SexGender and the Classical Tradition in Sociology: A Focus on Innate Differences- Comte, Durkheim, and Engels: Women, Men, and the "Fathers"of Sociology- Functionalism, Parsons, and the Biological Basis of Sex RolesFunctionalism, Parsons, and the Biological Basis of Sex RolesRe-defining Gender: Feminist Contributions- Gender as "Performance": Esther Newton and Judith ButlerGender StereotypingDoing GenderGender Stratification- Employment and Earnings- Unpaid Domestic Work, Child Care, and Senior Care- Gender and PoliticsA Gender Revolution?- Marriage, Work, and Family Roles- Young Adults' Views on the Future of Home and Work15. Race and Ethnicity in CanadaLearning ObjectivesIntroductionRace: What Geneticists Have to SaySocial Kinship versus Genetic KinshipRace: A Social Construct- Racialization- Racialization in the Canadian Context: Aboriginal Peoples- How Race Is Constructed SociallyRace as a Stratifying Practice in Social Institutions- The Privileges of "Whiteness"The Social Construction of Multi-Racial Identity- Study Background- Reflected Appraisals- "Public" versus "Internalized" IdentitiesPrejudice, Discrimination, and Racism- Institutional (Systemic) Racism and Discrimination (NEW)- Globalization, Transnationalism, and Mexican Farm Workers in Canada (NEW)Ethnicity, Minorities, and Ethnic Diversity in Canada- Ethnicity- Minorities (NEW)- Ethnic Diversity (NEW)- Ethnic Discrimination in Canada: The Case of Employment16. Deviance and Crime (NEW)Learning ObjectivesIntroductionSocial Foundations of Deviance- Deviance Is Socially Constructed- An Entire Status Group May Be Defined as Deviant- Individuals Considered Deviant in One Context May Be Considered Conformist in AnotherSociological Perspectives on Deviance and Crime- Structural-Functionalist Perspective- Conflict/Critical Perspective- Symbolic Interactionist Perspective- Deviance and StigmaThe Sociology of Sexualities: Changing Definitions of "Deviance"Crime and Criminology- Differential Association- Self-Control Theory and Social Learning Theory- Critical Feminist CriminologyClassification of Crimes- Legal Classifications- Sociological ClassificationsDemographics and Crime- Age- Gender- Regional Differences- Ethnicity, "Race," and Over-RepresentationPART VI NEW TOPICS, NEW DIRECTIONS17. Popular, Mass, and Elite Cultures, and Mass MediaLearning ObjectivesIntroductionPopular CultureElite/High Culture (NEW)Mass Culture (NEW)- Mass Culture and the Industrial Revolution- The Communication of Mass Culture: From One-to-One and Many-to-Many RelationsMass Media and the Communication and Consumption of Cultural "Goods and Services"- Mass Customization (NEW)- The Three ScreensMass Media Violence and Social Behaviour- Mass Media and Violence- Some Research Questions- Moving Beyond the Debates (NEW)18. The Internet, Social Media, and Social NetworkingLearning ObjectivesIntroductionThe Internet, the Web, and Social MediaSocial Media Trends and Behavior (NEW)- Example 1. Social Media, Data Collection and the Creation of Collective Intelligence- Example 2. Social Media and Social Protest: The 2010 Toronto G-20 Summit- Example 3. Social Media and Social Influence in Canadian Politics (NEW)Social Networking- Social Networking Sites and News Consumption (NEW)Race, Class, and Social Networking- Social Capital and Social Networking Sites- Mediated and Co-Present Social Interaction RitualsPrivacy and Social Networking (NEW)19. Sociologists and Social ActivismLearning ObjectivesIntroductionThe Role of Sociological Inquiry TodayFour Types of Sociological Knowledge- Sociology as a Combat Sport (NEW)Making Sociology RelevantJohn Porter and Classic Canadian "Public Sociology"Research for Whom and to What Purpose? Sociologists in Action- Research and Advocacy in Thunder Bay- Environmental Justice- Public Sociology and the Case of CCTV: Some Challenges (NEW)Explanatory Stories: Charles Tilly on Making Sociology Relevant