• ISBN: 978-1-59451-804-1
  • Publish date: July 2011
  • List Price: $84.95
  • Your Price: $72.21


This best-selling textbook returns with material on the most fundamental and fascinating issues in sociology today. The authors focus on the big picture, capturing students’ imaginations, while still providing the basic intricacies of theory and research needed in a good textbook.

• Long praised for offering a more integrated understanding of sociology and encouraging more critical thinking than other texts.

• Thoroughly introduces the basic approaches of sociology: functionalist, conflict, and symbolic interactionist. Subsequent chapters use these theories to explain and integrate diverse topics, issues, and debates.

• Includes strong emphases on race, class, and gender in every chapter.

• Engages students with fascinating and thematically linked special features boxes: Personal Journeys into Sociology; Student Life; Sociological Insights; Global Sociology; Sociological Surprises; and Understanding Race, Class, and Gender.

• Makes teaching easier with such pedagogical aids as real-life vignettes, chapter summaries and key terms, critical thinking and debate exercises, and a full glossary.

• Offers helpful ancillary materials, including a test bank, instructor’s manual, and PowerPoint slides.

New to the Sixth Edition:

  • A new chapter, "Politics, Power, and Society," includes coverage of the election of the nation's first African American President.
  • Expanded focus on economic sociology and financial systems in the wake of the ongoing global financial crisis, including a text box by Fred Block on risk taking.
  • Additional discussion of sexual orientation and the nature-nurture debate on sexual preferences.
  • Updated information on immigration and the corresponding policy debates.
  • New takes on deviance and crime, using such fresh examples as the recent financial scandals, the shifting status of marijuana socially and legally, the BP oil spill, and and more.
  • By popular request, more case studies of the labor, women's and environmental movements.
  • New photos and updated tables and figures appear throughout the text.
  • For the first time, three fully searchable chapters, adapted and updated from the original text, will appear on the book's webpage at no cost, offering a full range of content while keeping the text affordable and compact.

Author Info

John E. Farley is Professor Emeritus at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.

Michael W. Flota is Associate Professor at Daytona State College.


List of Boxes, Figures, Photographs, and Tables
About the Authors

Part I Introduction
Chapter 1 Sociology: The Discipline
Chapter 2 How Sociology Is Done

Part II Society and Human Interaction
Chapter 3 Perspectives on Society and Interaction
Chapter 4 Culture and Social Structure
Chapter 5 Socialization

Part III Social Structure and Inequality
Chapter 6 Stratification: Structured Social Inequality
Chapter 7 Race and Ethnic Relations
Chapter 8 Sex, Gender, and Society
Chapter 9 Groups, Organizations, and the Workplace
Chapter 10 Deviance, Crime, and Social Control

Part IV Social Institutions
Chapter 11 Economy and Society
Chapter 12 Politics, Power, and Society
Chapter 13 Marriages and Families
Web-Based Chapter A: Education
Web-Based Chapter B: Religion
Web-Based Chapter C: Health, Population, and Aging

Part V Social Change
Chapter 14 Urban Society: City Life and Collective Behavior
Chapter 15 Social Movements and Change


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