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Society in Focus: An Introduction to Sociology, 6th Edition

By William E. Thompson, Joseph V. Hickey

Published by Pearson

Published Date: Jul 2, 2007


This comprehensive introductory text emphasizes the increasing diversity and globalization of societies everywhere, and the special role of mass media and information technology in contemporary society.

Table of Contents



1 Discovering Sociology

What Is Sociology?

Sociology and Critical Thinking

The Development of Sociology

Contemporary Sociology

Looking to the Future: Sociology in the Twenty-First Century


2 Doing Sociology

Globalization, Diversity, and Types of Knowledge

Sociology and Scientific Knowledge

Types of Research and Research Designs

The Relationship between Theory and Methods

Social Research and the Media

Looking to the Future: Social Research in the Twenty-First Century



3 Culture and Society

What Is Culture?

Components of Culture

Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativism

Globalization and Cultural Diversity

Sociological Approaches to Culture

Looking to the Future: Culture in the Twenty-First Century


4 Socialization

The Socialization Process

Major Agents of Socialization: A Global View

Socialization and the Life Course

Desocialization and Resocialization

Understanding Socialization: A Comparative Analysis

Looking to the Future: Socialization in the Twenty-First Century


5 Social Interaction in Everyday Life

Social Structure

Social Interaction

Sociological Approaches to Interaction in Everyday Life

Looking to the Future: Social Interaction in the Twenty-First Century


6 Social Groups and Organizations

Social Groups

Formal Organizations


Media Organizations and Change

Looking to the Future: Groups and Organizations in the Twenty-First Century



7 Deviance and Conformity

Defining Deviance and Conformity: A Global View

Popular Explanations for Deviance

Sociological Analysis of Deviance and Conformity

Deviance, Conformity, and Social Control

Looking to the Future: Deviance and Conformity in the Twenty-First Century


8 Social Stratification and the US Class System

Understanding Social Stratification

Systems of Stratification

Determining Social Class Ranking

Social Classes in the United States

Poverty: Media Images and Reality

Social Class in the United States: Myth and Reality

Perspectives on Social Stratification

Looking to the Future: The US Class System in the Twenty-First Century


9 Global Stratification

Globalization and Economic Development

Global Stratification and Quality of Life

Explaining Global Stratification

Transnational Corporations: The Making of New “Haves” and “Have-Nots”

Looking to the Future: Global Stratification in the Twenty-First Century


10 Race and Ethnicity

Understanding Race and Ethnicity in a Global Society



Dominant-Minority Group Relations

Race and Ethnic Diversity in the United States

Looking to the Future: Race and Ethnic Relations in the Twenty-First Century


11Sex and Gender

Sex and Gender in a Global Society

Explaining Gender Differences

Sexism: Inequality Based on Sex and Gender

Feminism: The Struggle for Gender Equality

Looking to the Future: Sex and Gender in the Twenty-First Century


12 Age and the Elderly

Gerontology: The Study of Aging

Aging and Diversity: A Global Perspective

Growing Old in American Society

Sociological Explanations of the Aging Process

Looking to the Future: The Graying of America in the Twenty-First Century



13 Families

What Is a Family?

Family Diversity: A Global Portrait

Sociological Approaches to the Family

US Families: In the Life Course

US Families: A Portrait of Social Diversity

Looking to the Future: Families in the Twenty-First Century


14 Education

Education in a Global Society

The Role of Education: A Functionalist Perspective

Education and Social Stratification: A Conflict Perspective

Education and Everyday Life: An Interactionist View

Contemporary Trends in American Education

Looking to the Future: Education in the Twenty-First Century


15 Religion

Defining Religion

Global Religious Diversity

The Social Organization of Religion

Religion and Society: Three Perspectives

Religious Movements in Focus

Religion and the Media

Religious Diversity in the United States

Looking to the Future: Religion in the Twenty-First Century


16 Politics and War

Power and Politics

Types of Authority

Politics and Influence

Globalization and Political Systems

Democracy: American Style

War, Nuclear War, and Society

Peace Organizations and Peace Movements

Looking to the Future: Global Politics in the Twenty-First Century


17 The Economy and Work

Sociology and the Study of the Economy

The Global Economy

The American Economy and Work

Work as a Social Phenomenon

Taking a Closer Look at the Economy and Work

Looking to the Future: The Economy and Work in the Twenty-First Century


18 Health and Medicine

Health and Sickness: A Global View

Health and Sickness in the United States

Medicine and Health Care: A Cross-Cultural View

Medicine and Health Care in the United States

Looking to the Future: Health and Medicine in the Twenty-First Century



19 Population, Urbanization, and Ecology

Demography and Global Population

Population Growth

The Growth of Cities and Urbanization

Urban Sociology and Human Ecology

Human Ecology and the Environment

Looking to the Future: Population, Urbanization, and Ecology in the Twenty-First Century


20 Social Change, Collective Behavior, and the Future

What Is Social Change?

Sociological Approaches to Social Change

Collective Behavior

Social Movements

Looking to the Future: The Media, Social Change, and Life in the Twenty-First Century




Name Index

Subject Index

Photo Credits

Text Credits