Product Cover Image

Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach, 11th Edition

By James M. Henslin

Published by Pearson

Published Date: Oct 4, 2011

More Product Info


A Down-to-Earth Approach


James Henslin shares the excitement of sociology, with his acclaimed "down-to-earth" approach and personal writing style that highlight the sociology of everyday life and its relevance to students' lives. With wit, personal reflection, and illuminating examples, he shares with readers his passion for sociology.


In addition to this trademark down-to-earth approach, other distinctive features include: comparative perspectives, the globalization of capitalism, and visual presentations of sociology.


Teaching & Learning Experience

  • Personalize Learning — The new MySocLab delivers proven results in helping students succeed, provides engaging experiences that personalize learning, and comes from a trusted partner with educational expertise and a deep commitment to helping students and instructors achieve their goals.
  • Improve Critical Thinking - Learning Objectives & Questions on each page reinforce key concepts and build critical thinking skills.
  • Engage Students - Personal narrative from the perspective of an international field researcher invites students on a sociological journey.
  • Explore Theory - Offers a balanced approach; relevant theories are discussed in each chapter.
  • Understand Diversity - Global, national, and personal material combine to present a complete view of the world.
  • Support Instructors - Written activities and assessment in MySocLab engage students and help them succeed.

Note: MySocLab does not come automatically packaged with this text. To purchase MySocLab, please visit: or you can purchase a ValuePack of the text + MySocLab (at no additional cost):  ValuePack ISBN-10: 0205252281 / ValuePack ISBN-13: 9780205252282

Table of Contents








Part 1   The Sociological Perspective


Chapter 1         The Sociological Perspective    

Chapter 2         Culture

Chapter 3         Socialization    

Chapter 4         Social Structure and Social Interaction           

Chapter 5         How Sociologists Do Research


Part II Social Groups and Social Control


Chapter 6         Societies to Social Networks   

Chapter 7         Bureaucracy and Formal Organizations

Chapter 8         Deviance and Social Control


Part III Social Inequality  


Chapter 9         Global Stratification     

Chapter 10       Social Class in the United States          

Chapter 11       Sex and Gender           

Chapter 12       Race and Ethnicity       

Chapter 13       The Elderly      


Part IV Social Institutions


Chapter 14       The Economy  

Chapter 15       Politics

Chapter 16       Marriage and Family    

Chapter 17       Education        

Chapter 18       Religion           

Chapter 19       Medicine and Health


Part V Social Change 


Chapter 20       Population and Urbanization                 

Chapter 21       Collective Behavior and Social Movements                  

Chapter 22       Social Change and the Environment






Part 1   The Sociological Perspective


Chapter 1: The Sociological Perspective    


            The Sociological Perspective    

            Sociology and the Other Sciences        

            Origins of Sociology    

            Values in Sociological Research           

            Verstehen and Social Facts     

            Sociology in North America     

            Theoretical Perspectives in Sociology   

            Trends Shaping the Future of Sociology

            Summary and Review  



Chapter 2: Culture


            What Is Culture?    

            Components of Symbolic Culture     

            Many Cultural Worlds 

            Values in U.S. Society    

            Cultural Universals       

            Technology in the Global Village    

            Summary and Review    

            Through the Author’s Lens: Looking at Subcultures


Chapter 3: Socialization                


            Society Makes Us Human   

            Socialization into the Self and Mind      

            Learning Personality, Morality, and Emotions   

            Socialization into Gender    

            Agents of Socialization          


            Socialization Through the Life Course

            Are We Prisoners of Socialization?    

            Summary and Review    


Chapter 4: Social Structure and Social Interaction 


            Levels of Sociological Analysis      

            The Macrosociological Perspective: Social Structure    

            Social Institutions    

            The Microsociological Perspective: Social Interaction in Everyday Life  

            The Need for Both Macrosociology and Microsociology    

            Summary and Review    

            Through the Author's Lens: Vienna  

            Through the Author's Lens: When a Tornado Strikes  


Chapter 5: How Sociologists Do Research


            What Is a Valid Sociological Topic?     

            Common Sense and the Need for Sociological Research          

            A Research Model      

            Research Methods       

            Gender in Sociological Research          

            Ethics in Sociological Research

            How Research and Theory Work Together      

            Summary and Review


Part II Social Groups and Social Control     


Chapter 6: Societies to Social Networks   


            Societies and Their Transformation       

            Groups Within Society 

            Group Dynamics          

            Summary and Review  


Chapter 7: Bureaucracy and Formal Organizations


            The Rationalization of Society  

            Formal Organizations and Bureaucracies          

            Voluntary Associations

            Working for the Corporation    

            Humanizing the Corporate Culture        

            Global Competition in an Age of Uncertainty    

            Summary and Review  


Chapter 8: Deviance and Social Control    


            What Is Deviance?      

            The Symbolic Interactionist Perspective

            The Functionalist Perspective               

            The Conflict Perspective          

            Reactions to Deviance             

            Summary and Review


Part III Social Inequality     


Chapter 9: Global Stratification     


            Systems of Social Stratification 

            What Determines Social Class?

            Why Is Social Stratification Universal? 

            How Do Elites Maintain Stratification? 

            Comparative Social Stratification          

            Global Stratification: Three Worlds       

            How Did the World's Nations Become Stratified?        

            Maintaining Global Stratification           

            Strains in the Global System     

            Summary and Review

            Through the Authors Lens: The Dump People: 


Chapter 10: Social Class in the United States          


            What Is Social Class?  

            Sociological Models of Social Class     

            Consequences of Social Class  

            Social Mobility


            Summary and Review  


Chapter 11: Sex and Gender           


            Issues of Sex and Gender                    

            Gender Inequality in Global Perspective           

            Gender Inequality in the United States  

            Gender Inequality in the Workplace     

            Gender and Violence   

            The Changing Face of Politics  

            Glimpsing the Future—With Hope       

            Summary and Review  

            Through the Author's Lens: Work and Gender: Women at Work in India


Chapter12: Race and Ethnicity       


            Laying the Sociological Foundation                  

            Prejudice and Discrimination    

            Theories of Prejudice   

            Global Patterns of Intergroup Relations

            Racial-Ethnic Relations in the United States      

            Looking Toward the Future     

            Summary and Review  


Chapter 13: The Elderly      


            Aging in Global Perspective     

            The Symbolic Interactionist Perspective

            The Functionalist Perspective   

            The Conflict Perspective          

            Recurring Problems     

            The Sociology of Death and Dying       

            Looking Toward the Future     

            Summary and Review  


Part IV Social Institutions


Chapter 14: The Economy  


            The Transformation of Economic Systems        

            The Transformation of the Medium of Exchange           

            World Economic Systems        

            The Functionalist Perspective on the Globalization of Capitalism   

            The Conflict Perspective on the Globalization of Capitalism       

            Work in U.S. Society  

            Global Capitalism and Our Future        

            Summary and Review  

            Through the Author's Lens: Small Town USA


Chapter 15: Politics


            Micropolitics and Macropolitics           

            Power, Authority, and Violence           

            Types of Government  

            The U.S. Political System         

            Who Rules the United States?  

            War and Terrorism: Implementing Political Objectives  

            A New World Order? 

            Summary and Review  


Chapter 16: Marriage and Family    


            Marriage and Family in Global Perspective       

            Marriage and Family in Theoretical Perspective

            The Family Life Cycle  

            Diversity in U.S. Families         

            Trends in U.S. Families

            Divorce and Remarriage          

            Two Sides of Family Life         

            The Future of Marriage and Family      

            Summary and Review  


Chapter 17: Education        


            The Development of Modern Education           

            Education in Global Perspective           

            The Functionalist Perspective: Providing Social Benefits

            The Conflict Perspective: Perpetuating Social Inequality

            The Symbolic Interactionist Perspective: Teacher Expectations

            Problems in U.S. Education—and Their Solutions                    

            Technology and Education       

            Summary and Review  


Chapter 18: Religion           


            What Is Religion?        

            The Functionalist Perspective   

            The Symbolic Interactionist Perspective

            The Conflict Perspective          

            Religion and the Spirit of Capitalism     

            The World's Major Religions   

            Types of Religious Groups       

            Religion in the United States     

            The Future of Religion  

            Summary and Review  

            Through the Author's Lens: Holy Week in Spain          


Chapter 19: Medicine and Health    


            Sociology and the Study of Medicine and Health          

            The Symbolic Interactionist Perspective

            The Functionalist Perspective   

            The Conflict Perspective          

            Historical Patterns of Health                 

            Issues in Health Care   

            Threats to Health         

            Treatment or Prevention?                     

            The Future of Medicine

            Summary and Review


Part V Social Change


Chapter 20: Population and Urbanization     


            Population in Global Perspective      

            A Planet with No Space for Enjoying Life?                   

            Population Growth                   


            The Development of Cities       

            Models of Urban Growth         

            City Life          

            Urban Problems and Social Policy                   

            Summary and Review  

            Through the Author's Lens: A Walk Through El Tiro in  Medellin, Columbia


Chapter 21: Collective Behavior and Social Movements      


            Collective Behavior

            Early Explanations: The Transformation of the Individual           

            The Contemporary View: The Rationality of the Crowd

            Forms of Collective Behavior   

            Social Movements   

            Types and Tactics of Social Movements           

            Why People Join Social Movements    

            On the Success and Failure of Social Movements         

            Summary and Review  


Chapter 22: Social Change and the Environment      


            How Social Change Transforms Social Life      

            Theories and Processes of Social Change         

            How Technology Changes Society       

            The Growth Machine Versus the Earth 

            Summary and Review  


Epilogue: Why Major in Sociology?     




Name Index

Subject Index