Sociology in Our Times: The Essentials

Sociology in Our Times: The Essentials

by Diana Elizabeth Kendall




Diana Kendall helps you learn about sociology by showing you how it is relevant to your life. As you explore such diverse issues as body image and global warming and such phenomena as, Kendall guides you as you learn to view your world with a sociological perspective. She also encourages you to find other ways to use sociology in your daily life. One way the text accomplishes this is with its You Can Make a Difference boxes. These boxes present concrete ideas on ways you can address one of the social issues raised in the chapter, personally get involved, and make a difference in your community. Thomson would also like to make a difference. Thomson is donating a portion of the proceeds from the sale of new copies of this textbook to a national charity that makes a difference in the community. For more details, go to

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780495002901
Publisher: Wadsworth
Publication date: 01/01/2006
Pages: 592

About the Author

Diana Kendall is Professor of Sociology at Baylor University, where she has been recognized as an Outstanding Professor. She has taught a variety of courses, including Introduction to Sociology, Sociological Theory (undergraduate and graduate), Sociology of Medicine, Sociology of Law, and Race, Class, and Gender. Previously, she enjoyed many years of teaching sociology and serving as chair of the Social and Behavioral Science Division at Austin Community College. Dr. Kendall's areas of specialization and primary research interests are sociological theory and the sociology of medicine. Her textbooks include SOCIOLOGY IN OUR TIMES: THE ESSENTIALS (Cengage Learning, 2016), THE POWER OF GOOD DEEDS: PRIVILEGED WOMEN AND THE SOCIAL REPRODUCTION OF THE UPPER CLASS (Rowman & Littlefield, 2002), MEMBERS ONLY: ELITE CLUBS AND THE PROCESS OF EXCLUSION (Rowman & Littlefield, 2008), and FRAMING CLASS: MEDIA REPRESENTATIONS OF WEALTH AND POVERTY IN AMERICA, 2nd Edition (Rowman & Littlefield, 2012). Actively involved in national and regional sociological associations, she is a member of the American Sociological Association, Sociologists for Women in Society, the Society for the Study of Social Problems, and the Southwestern Sociological Association. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin, where she was invited to membership in Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.

Table of Contents

Studying Society and Social Life
The Sociological Perspective and Research Process     2
Putting Social Life into Perspective     4
Why Study Sociology?     4
The Sociological Imagination     5
The Importance of a Global Sociological Imagination     6
The Development of Sociological Thinking     8
Early Thinkers: A Concern with Social Order and Stability     9
Differing Views on the Status Quo: Stability Versus Change     12
The Beginnings of Sociology in the United States     14
Contemporary Theoretical Perspectives     15
Functionalist Perspectives     15
Conflict Perspectives     17
Symbolic Interactionist Perspectives     18
Postmodern Perspectives     20
The Sociological Research Process     21
The "Conventional" Research Model     22
A Qualitative Research Model     26
Research Methods     28
Survey Research     28
Secondary Analysis of Existing Data     31
Field Research     32
Experiments     33
Ethical Issues in Sociological Research     34
Culture     38
Culture and Society in a Changing World     40
Material Culture and Nonmaterial Culture     41
Cultural Universals     43
Components of Culture     46
Symbols     46
Language     47
Values     50
Norms     51
Technology, Cultural Change, and Diversity     53
Cultural Change     53
Cultural Diversity     54
Culture Shock     58
Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativism     59
A Global Popular Culture?     60
High Culture and Popular Culture     60
Forms of Popular Culture     60
Sociological Analysis of Culture     62
Functionalist Perspectives     62
Conflict Perspectives     62
Symbolic Interactionist Perspectives     63
Postmodernist Perspectives     64
Culture in the Future     66
Socialization     70
Why Is Socialization Important Around the Globe?     72
Human Development: Biology and Society     72
Problems Associated with Social Isolation and Maltreatment     74
Social Psychological Theories of Human Development     77
Freud and the Psychoanalytic Perspective     77
Piaget and Cognitive Development     77
Kohlberg and the Stages of Moral Development     79
Gilligan's View on Gender and Moral Development     80
Sociological Theories of Human Development     81
Cooley and the Looking-Glass Self     81
Mead and Role-Taking     81
Recent Symbolic Interactionist Perspectives     84
Agents of Socialization     84
The Family     85
The School     86
Peer Groups     87
Mass Media     87
Gender and Racial/Ethnic Socialization     90
Socialization Through the Life Course     91
Childhood     92
Adolescence     92
Adulthood     92
Late Adulthood and Ageism     93
Resocialization     94
Voluntary Resocialization     94
Involuntary Resocialization     95
Socialization in the Future     95
Social Groups and Social Control
Social Structure and Interaction in Everyday Life     100
Social Structure: The Macrolevel Perspective     102
Components of Social Structure     104
Status     104
Roles     108
Groups     111
Social Institutions     112
Societies: Changes in Social Structure     114
Durkheim: Mechanical and Organic Solidarity     114
Tonnies: Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft     115
Industrial and Postindustrial Societies     116
Social Interaction: The Microlevel Perspective     117
Social Interaction and Meaning     117
The Social Construction of Reality     120
Ethnomethodology     121
Dramaturgical Analysis     122
The Sociology of Emotions     124
Nonverbal Communication     124
Changing Social Structure and Interaction in the Future     129
Groups and Organizations     132
Social Groups     134
Groups, Aggregates, and Categories     134
Types of Groups     134
Group Characteristics and Dynamics     138
Group Size     139
Group Leadership     140
Group Conformity     141
Groupthink     143
Formal Organizations in Global Perspective     144
Types of Formal Organizations     144
Bureaucracies     146
Problems of Bureaucracies     150
Bureaucracy and Oligarchy      152
Alternative Forms of Organization     152
Organizational Structure in Japan     153
Organizations in the Future     155
Deviance and Crime     158
What Is Deviance?     160
Who Defines Deviance?     161
What Is Social Control?     162
Functionalist Perspectives on Deviance     163
What Causes Deviance, and Why Is It Functional for Society?     163
Strain Theory: Goals and Means to Achieve Them     164
Opportunity Theory: Access to Illegitimate Opportunities     165
Conflict Perspectives on Deviance     166
Deviance and Power Relations     167
Deviance and Capitalism     167
Feminist Approaches     167
Approaches Focusing on Race, Class, and Gender     168
Symbolic Interactionist Perspectives on Deviance     168
Differential Association Theory and Differential Reinforcement Theory     169
Control Theory: Social Bonding     169
Labeling Theory     170
Postmodernist Perspectives on Deviance     171
Crime Classifications and Statistics     172
How the Law Classifies Crime     172
Other Crime Categories     172
Crime Statistics      177
Terrorism and Crime     178
Street Crimes and Criminals     178
Crime Victims     181
The Criminal Justice System     181
The Police     182
The Courts     183
Punishment and Corrections     184
Deviance and Crime in the United States in the Future     186
The Global Criminal Economy     187
3 Social Inequality
Class and Stratification in the United States     192
What Is Social Stratification?     194
Systems of Stratification     194
Slavery     195
The Caste System     198
The Class System     198
Classical Perspectives on Social Class     198
Karl Marx: Relationship to the Means of Production     199
Max Weber: Wealth, Prestige, and Power     200
Contemporary Sociological Models of the U.S. Class Structure     202
The Weberian Model of the U.S. Class Structure     202
The Marxian Model of the U.S. Class Structure     205
Inequality in the United States     208
Distribution of Income and Wealth     208
Consequences of Inequality     211
Poverty in the United States      216
Who Are the Poor?     217
Economic and Structural Sources of Poverty     219
Solving the Poverty Problem     219
Sociological Explanations of Social Inequality in the United States     220
Functionalist Perspectives     220
Conflict Perspectives     220
Symbolic Interactionist Perspectives     221
U.S. Stratification in the Future     223
Global Stratification     226
Wealth and Poverty in Global Perspective     228
Problems in Studying Global Inequality     231
The "Three Worlds" Approach     231
The Levels of Development Approach     231
Classification of Economies by Income     232
Low-Income Economies     232
Middle-Income Economies     233
High-Income Economies     235
Measuring Global Wealth and Poverty     235
Absolute, Relative, and Subjective Poverty     235
The Gini Coefficient and Global Quality-of-Life Issues     236
Global Poverty and Human Development Issues     236
Life Expectancy     237
Health     238
Education and Literacy     238
Persistent Gaps in Human Development     239
Theories of Global Inequality     239
Development and Modernization Theory     239
Dependency Theory     244
World Systems Theory     244
The New International Division of Labor Theory     246
Global Inequality in the Future     247
Race and Ethnicity     252
Race and Ethnicity     254
The Social Significance of Race and Ethnicity     256
Racial Classifications and the Meaning of Race     257
Dominant and Subordinate Groups     258
Prejudice     258
Stereotypes     258
Racism     259
Theories of Prejudice     260
Discrimination     260
Sociological Perspectives on Race and Ethnic Relations     262
Symbolic Interactionist Perspectives     262
Functionalist Perspectives     263
Conflict Perspectives     266
An Alternative Perspective: Critical Race Theory     268
Racial and Ethnic Groups in the United States     268
Native Americans     268
White Anglo-Saxon Protestants (British Americans)     272
African Americans     273
White Ethnic Americans     275
Asian Americans      276
Latinos/as (Hispanic Americans)     278
Middle Eastern Americans     280
Global Racial and Ethnic Inequality in the Future     281
Worldwide Racial and Ethnic Struggles     281
Growing Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the United States     281
Sex and Gender     286
Sex: The Biological Dimension     288
Hermaphrodites/Transsexuals     289
Sexual Orientation     290
Gender: The Cultural Dimension     292
The Social Significance of Gender     293
Sexism     294
Gender Stratification in Historical and Contemporary Perspective     294
Hunting and Gathering Societies     294
Horticultural and Pastoral Societies     295
Agrarian Societies     295
Industrial Societies     296
Postindustrial Societies     297
Gender and Socialization     298
Parents and Gender Socialization     298
Peers and Gender Socialization     299
Teachers, Schools, and Gender Socialization     300
Sports and Gender Socialization     301
Mass Media and Gender Socialization     302
Adult Gender Socialization     302
Contemporary Gender Inequality     303
Gendered Division of Paid Work     303
Pay Equity (Comparable Worth)     305
Paid Work and Family Work     308
Perspectives on Gender Stratification     309
Functionalist and Neoclassical Economic Perspectives     309
Conflict Perspectives     310
Feminist Perspectives     311
Gender Issues in the Future     313
Social Institutions
Families and Intimate Relationships     316
Families in Global Perspective     318
Family Structure and Characteristics     319
Marriage Patterns     321
Patterns of Descent and Inheritance     322
Power and Authority in Families     323
Residential Patterns     324
Theoretical Perspectives on Families     325
Functionalist Perspectives     326
Conflict and Feminist Perspectives     326
Symbolic Interactionist Perspectives     327
Postmodernist Perspectives     327
Developing Intimate Relationships and Establishing Families     328
Love and Intimacy     328
Cohabitation and Domestic Partnerships     329
Marriage     330
Housework and Child-Care Responsibilities     330
Child-Related Family Issues and Parenting     332
Deciding to Have Children     332
Adoption     333
Teenage Pregnancies     334
Single-Parent Households     334
Two-Parent Households     335
Remaining Single     336
Transitions and Problems in Families     336
Family Transitions Based on Age and the Life Course     336
Family Violence     338
Children in Foster Care     339
Elder Abuse     339
Divorce     340
Remarriage     342
Family Issues in the Future     343
Education and Religion     346
An Overview of Education and Religion     348
Sociological Perspectives on Education     348
Functionalist Perspectives on Education     349
Conflict Perspectives on Education     353
Symbolic Interactionist Perspectives on Education     357
Problems Within Elementary and Secondary Schools     359
Unequal Funding of Public Schools     359
School Violence     359
Dropping Out     360
Racial Segregation and Resegregation     360
Opportunities and Challenges in Colleges and Universities     361
Opportunities and Challenges in Community Colleges 361 Opportunities and Challenges in Four-Year Colleges and Universities     363
The Soaring Cost of a College Education     363
Racial and Ethnic Differences in Enrollment     364
Religion in Historical Perspective     365
Religion and the Meaning of Life     365
Religion and Scientific Explanations     366
Sociological Perspectives on Religion     368
Functionalist Perspectives on Religion     368
Conflict Perspectives on Religion     369
Symbolic Interactionist Perspectives on Religion     371
Types of Religious Organization     371
Ecclesia     371
The Church-Sect Typology     372
Cults     373
Trends in Religion in the United States     373
Education and Religion in the Future     375
Politics and the Economy in Global Perspective     378
Politics, Power, and Authority     380
Power and Authority     381
Ideal Types of Authority     383
Political Systems in Global Perspective     385
Monarchy     385
Authoritarianism      386
Totalitarianism     386
Democracy     386
Perspectives on Power and Political Systems     387
Functionalist Perspectives: The Pluralist Model     387
Conflict Perspectives: Elite Models     389
The U.S. Political System     391
Political Parties and Elections     391
Political Participation and Voter Apathy     392
Governmental Bureaucracy     392
Economic Systems in Global Perspective     394
Preindustrial, Industrial, and Postindustrial Economies     394
Capitalism     396
Socialism     400
Mixed Economies     402
Work in the Contemporary United States     402
Professions     402
Other Occupations     403
Contingent Work     405
Unemployment     406
Labor Unions and Worker Activism     407
Employment Opportunities for Persons with a Disability     408
Politics and the Economy in the Future     408
Health, Health Care, and Disability     414
Health in Global Perspective     416
Health in the United States     420
Social Epidemiology     420
Lifestyle Factors      421
Health Care in the United States     424
The Rise of Scientific Medicine and Professionalism     424
Medicine Today     425
Paying for Medical Care in the United States     426
Paying for Medical Care in Other Nations     427
Social Implications of Advanced Medical Technology     430
Holistic Medicine and Alternative Medicine     430
Sociological Perspectives on Health and Medicine     431
A Functionalist Perspective: The Sick Role     431
A Conflict Perspective: Inequalities in Health and Health Care     433
A Symbolic Interactionist Perspective: The Social Construction of Illness     434
A Postmodernist Perspective: The Clinical Gaze     436
Disability     436
Sociological Perspectives on Disability     439
Social Inequalities Based on Disability     439
Health Care in the Future     441
Social Dynamics and Social Change
Population and Urbanization     444
Demography: The Study of Population     446
Fertility     447
Mortality     449
Migration     450
Population Composition     451
Population Growth in Global Context     452
The Malthusian Perspective     452
The Marxist Perspective     452
The Neo-Malthusian Perspective     456
Demographic Transition Theory     456
Other Perspectives on Population Change     457
A Brief Glimpse at International Migration Theories     459
Urbanization in Global Perspective     460
Emergence and Evolution of the City     460
Preindustrial Cities     461
Industrial Cities     462
Postindustrial Cities     462
Perspectives on Urbanization and the Growth of Cities     463
Functionalist Perspectives: Ecological Models     463
Conflict Perspectives: Political Economy Models     465
Symbolic Interactionist Perspectives: The Experience of City Life     467
Problems in Global Cities     469
Urban Problems in the United States     470
Divided Interests: Cities, Suburbs, and Beyond     471
The Continuing Fiscal Crises of the Cities     473
Population and Urbanization in the Future     473
Collective Behavior, Social Movements, and Social Change     478
Collective Behavior     480
Conditions for Collective Behavior     480
Dynamics of Collective Behavior      483
Distinctions Regarding Collective Behavior     483
Types of Crowd Behavior     484
Explanations of Crowd Behavior     485
Mass Behavior     487
Social Movements     492
Types of Social Movements     493
Stages in Social Movements     495
Social Movement Theories     495
Relative Deprivation Theory     495
Value-Added Theory     495
Resource Mobilization Theory     496
Social Constructionist Theory: Frame Analysis     497
New Social Movement Theory     498
Social Change in the Future     500
The Physical Environment and Change     500
Population and Change     502
Technology and Change     502
Social Institutions and Change     503
A Few Final Thoughts     504
Glossary     509
References     519
Photo Credits     541
Name Index     543
Subject Index     551

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