This best-selling text emphasizes that social and cultural changes are the pervasive realities of our era. One of the main themes of Contemporary Society is that the transition from an industrial to a post-industrial order in the modern world is fraught with difficulties, as was the transition from an agricultural to an industrial order in an earlier era. Within this framework, we can observe the increasing fragmentation of the social order, which tends to lead people away from community and a common purpose and often invites conflict and disunity. At the same time, countervailing social forces are also at work, providing some stability, some shelter in the storm. Finally, societies are faced with the rapid and transformative power of information technology, a fact that propels separate groups of people into a global entity.
Table of Contents
IN THIS SECTION: 1.) BRIEF 2.) COMPREHENSIVE BRIEF TABLE OF CONTENTS: Chapter 1: Through the Lens of Science Chapter 2: The Beginnings of Life Chapter 3: Culture: Product and Guide to Life in Society Chapter 4: How Is the Social System Organized and Structured? Chapter 5: Becoming a Person: The Birth of Personality Chapter 6: Deviance Chapter 7: The Great Divide: Ranking and Stratification Chapter 8: Majority-Minorities Relations: Defining the Terms Chapter 9: Minority Status: Age, Gender, and Sexuality Chapter 10: From the Plow to the Computer: Change, Collective Behavior, and Social Movements Chapter 11: Population, Urbanization, and Environment Chapter 12: Pivotal Institutions: Marriage and the Family Chapter 13: Pivotal Institutions: Religion Chapter 14: Pivotal Institutions: Education Chapter 17: We The People: Democracy in Action Chapter 18: The Economy: Concepts and History Chapter 19: Principles of Economic Behavior: Microeconomics and Macroeconomics COMPREHENSIVE TABLE OF CONTENTS: Chapter 1: Through the Lens of Science The Social Sciences The Scientific Method The Social Science Disciplines Research Methods in the Social Sciences Chapter 2: In the Beginning The Beginnings of Life The Emergence of the Theory of Evolution Genetics The Long Trek: Human Evolution Modern Humans: The Road to Homo Sapiens Agriculture: Cultivation and Domestication The Evolution of Human Nature Chapter 3: Culture: Product and Guide to Life in Society Culture: Concept and Importance The Symbolic Nature of Culture Language: The Most Important System of Symbols The Content of Culture The Components of Nonmaterial Culture: Cognitive and Normative Pivotal Institutions Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativity Cultural Differences and Universals Chapter 4: Group Interaction: From Two to Millions How Is the Social System Organized and Structured? The Multiplicity of Statuses and Roles Groups Primary and Secondary Groups Society Interaction and Social Processes Formal Organizations Bureaucracy Chapter 5: Becoming a Person: The Birth of Personality Personality Becoming Human: Socialization Theories of Socialization The Self and the Unconscious: Freud The Transitional Self: Erikson Developmental Theories: Piaget Moral Development: Kohlberg Agents of Socialization Socialization through the Life Cycle Chapter 6: Deviance and Criminality: The Need for Social Control Deviance The Relative Nature of Deviance Explaining Deviance Personality Disorders That May Cause Deviant Behavior Psychological Explanations Explaining Deviance from a Sociological Perspective Crime: Deviance That Hurts Crime Statistics: How Much Crime, and Who Commits It? The Criminal Justice System Chapter 7: The Great Divide: Ranking and Stratification Social Differentiation, Ranking, and Stratification Stratification Theoretical Views on Stratification Dimensions of Stratification: Class, Status, and Power Systems of Stratification Determining Social Class: Occupational Prestige and Socioeconomic Status Social Classes in the United States Social Class and Its Consequences Social Mobility Chapter 8: Majority-Minorities Relations: Defining the Terms Common Characteristics of Minorities The Making of Pluralist Society Majority and Minorities: Processes of Coexistence In the Way: Obstacles to Pluralism Racial Minorities Ethnic and Religious Minorities The New Face of America Chapter 9: Minority Status: Age, Gender, and Sexuality The Aging Society Women: Differentiation According to Gender The Cultural Construction of Gender Sexuality Chapter 10: From the Plow to the Computer: Change, Collective Behavior, and Social Movements Society and Change Processes of Social and Cultural Change The Industrial Revolution Modernization Collective Behavior Social Movements Revolutionary Movements Chapter 11: Population, Urbanization, and Environment Demographic Processes: Dynamics of Population Change Characteristics and Composition of a Population Population around the World The Urban Society The Industrial Revolution and the Growth of Cities Metropolitanization and Megalopolis The Urban Crisis Attempts to Reclaim the City The Natural Environment Chapter 12: Pivotal Institutions: Marriage and the Family The Basic Institution: The Family Marriage Divorce The New American Family Some Unintended Effects of the Changing American Family Chapter 13: Pivotal Institutions: Religion The Great Religions of the World Religion in the Social Sciences Religion and Social Control Religion in America Contemporary Trends Chapter 14: Pivotal Institutions: Education Education Characteristics of American Education Chapter 15: Government: The Institution and the Theories and Ideologies That Underlie It The Institution of Government Government and Politics Political Power: Legitimacy and Authority The State The Nation-State The Ideologies Behind the Nation-State Autocratic Ideologies Democratic Ideologies: Democracy Socialism Chapter 16: The Economy: Concepts and History The Economic Institution Contemporary Economic Systems: How Choices Are Made Western Economies in Historical Perspective Aspects of Industrial Capitalism Diversification and Multinationalism The Nature of Work in the Industrial Society The Corporate Bureaucracy The American Labor Movement American Labor and the Global Economy Chapter 17: Principles of Economic Behavior: Microeconomics and Macroeconomics The Small Picture and the Large Picture Market Mechanisms Market Forces A Macroview Instruments of Public Policy Fiscal Policy Monetary Policy Incomes Policy Economic Problems and Government Response Business Cycles Fitting into the Global Economy References Photo Credits Index