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Living Sociologically

Concepts and Connections

Concise Edition

Ronald Jacobs and Eleanor Townsley

Publication Date - 29 October 2021

ISBN: 9780197585658

496 pages

In Stock

Living Sociologically: Concepts and Connections, Concise Edition features a contemporary, engaging theoretical framework, and helps students link sociological concepts with real world applications and events.


Students are drawn to topics of urgent sociological concern by a need to understand the forces that shape their world and their desire to make the world better. It can be challenging, however, for students to link sociological concepts with real-world applications. Living Sociologically: Concepts and Connections, Concise Edition helps students make those connections.

This brief, engaging and accessible text offers an innovative, class-tested framework for teaching sociology. The "paired concepts" approach demonstrates the interdependent ways in which social forces work, encourages students to engage with complexity and contradiction, and provides them with critical, analytical thinking tools. The built-in student study guide is a unique adaptive learning program that will enable students to assess their learning and understanding as they move through the course, and provides feedback and an individualized learning path to help students master the material.


  • Five Paired Concepts (Inequality and Privilege; Power and Resistance; Global and Local, Structure and Contingency; Solidarity and Conflict) help students view their worlds through a sociological lens.
  • Engaging and timely examples capture student's attention. Examples include discussions of moral panics and pandemic hoarding (Chapter 5); Black Lives Matter (Chapter 7) and the destruction of the Amazon (Chapter 12).
  • Case studies at the end of each chapter apply the five paired concepts as analytical tools to understand a cultural, political, or social phenomenon relevant to the chapter's key themes.
  • Practical Activities at the end of each chapter encourage students to use their sociological imagination, develop their media and data literacy skills, and discuss compelling questions and issues.
  • All new print and digital copies of Living Sociologically, Concise Edition include access to the Oxford Insight Study Guide, a data-driven, personalized digital learning tool that reinforces key concepts from the text and encourages effective reading and study habits.
  • Additional digital course materials-including “In the News” weekly quizzes-- provide a wealth of assessments, assignments, and activities that further support your student's success for your online, hybrid, and in-person courses.

About the Author(s)

Ronald Jacobs (PhD, UCLA) is Professor of Sociology at the University at Albany, State University of New York.

Eleanor Townsley (PhD, UCLA) is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Sociology and the director of the curriculum to career program, Nexus, at Mount Holyoke College.


"Living Sociologically is one of the more actively engaging books on the market. It pulls the reader in with great examples, complex topics and multi-discipline methods." -- Pamela Monaghan-Geernaert, Northern State University

"Living Sociologically uses a distinct and helpful organization style that includes paired concepts, which are bound to be interesting to students. It also offers data literacy and news-based exercises to keep students engaged while they cultivate important skills." -- Molly Monahan Lang,Penn State Erie, The Behrend College

Table of Contents

    PART I: The Basics
    CHAPTER 1 What Is Sociology?
    1.1 What Is Sociology?
    The Sociological Imagination
    The Discipline of Sociology
    Sociology and Everyday Knowledge
    1.2 Levels of Analysis
    Institutional Perspectives
    1.3 Thinking Relationally: The Paired Concepts
    Solidarity and Conflict
    Power and Resistance
    Inequality and Privilege
    Global and Local
    Structure and Contingency
    1.4 Why Sociology?
    CAREERS: Opportunities for Sociology Majors
    CHAPTER 2 American Sociology: Theory and Methods
    2.1 Thinking Like a Sociologist
    Critical Questions and the Sociological Imagination
    2.2 Sociology: Theory and Contexts
    Classical Sociology
    Sociology in America
    Moving Away from Grand Theories
    Theories about Difference
    The Cultural Turn
    Global Context
    Sociology Today
    2.3 Social Research: Purpose and Process
    Social Research and Ethics
    Science and Complex Societies
    Research Methods and Critical Literacy
    Data and Measurement
    Variables, Data Collection, and Causal Relationships
    Common Strategies for Sociological Research
    Basic, Applied, and Public Sociology
    CAREERS: The Importance of Theory
    CASE STUDY: Understanding Covid-19
    POWER AND RESISTANCE: Protecting Human Subjects in Social Research
    INEQUALITY AND PRIVILEGE: Forgotten Founders in Sociology
    GLOBAL AND LOCAL: Citizen Science: Using Local Data to Understand Global Patterns
    STRUCTURE AND CONTINGENCY: The Baby Einstein Phenomenon
    SOLIDARITY AND CONFLICT: Race, Difference, and the Politics of Medical Research
    PART II: Structure and Control
    CHAPTER 3 Culture
    3.1 How Do Sociologists Study Culture?
    What Is Culture?
    Ideal Culture and Material Culture
    3.2 Culture and Power
    Recognizing and Resisting Cultural Power
    3.3 Types of Culture in Today's World
    Global Culture
    Dominant Cultures and Subcultures
    Popular Culture, Commercial Culture, and High Culture
    CAREERS: Working in the Creative Industries
    CASE STUDY: Protesting the National Anthem
    STRUCTURE AND CONTINGENCY: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion
    GLOBAL AND LOCAL: The History of Manga
    SOLIDARITY AND CONFLICT: Music and Social Protest
    INEQUALITY AND PRIVILEGE: Who Goes to the Museum and Opera?
    CHAPTER 4 Socialization, Social Interaction, and Group Life
    4.1 Socialization and Selfhood
    Nature and Nurture
    The Social Self
    Agents of Socialization
    Adult Socialization
    4.2 Interaction and the Social Construction of Reality
    Status and Role
    Performance and the Social Self
    Social Interaction in a Digital Age
    4.3 Group Life
    Group Size
    Primary Groups and Secondary Groups
    Reference Groups
    Bureaucracy in Group Life
    Social Networks in Group Life
    CAREERS: Getting a Job: The Strength of Weak Ties
    CASE STUDY: Caitlyn Jenner and Gender Socialization
    INEQUALITY AND PRIVILEGE: Different Styles of Parenting
    STRUCTURE AND CONTINGENCY: What Is the Meaning of Fair Play? The 2012 Olympic Badminton Controversy
    POWER AND RESISTANCE: Challenging Gender Stereotypes with the SlutWalk Campaign
    SOLIDARITY AND CONFLICT: The Stanford Prison Experiment
    GLOBAL AND LOCAL: Bureaucracy in Singapore
    CHAPTER 5 Deviance, Crime, and Punishment
    5.1 Deviance
    Why Does Deviance Exist?
    The Social Construction of Deviance
    5.2 Crime
    Categories of Crime
    Policing Crime
    5.3 Punishment
    Punishment as a Public Display of Morality
    Punishment and Treatment
    CAREERS: The Criminal Justice Field
    CASE STUDY: Why Are Crime Stories So Popular?
    STRUCTURE AND CONTINGENCY: Is Chewing Gum Deviant?
    SOLIDARITY AND CONFLICT: The Moral Panic over Pandemic Hoarding
    POWER AND RESISTANCE: What's Wrong with Graffiti?
    GLOBAL AND LOCAL: The Global Drug Trade
    INEQUALITY AND PRIVILEGE: Punishment and Plea Bargaining
    PART III: Difference and Inequality
    CHAPTER 6 Inequality, Mobility, and Social Change
    6.1 What Is Inequality?
    Is Inequality Natural or Social?
    Is Inequality Good or Bad?
    Inequality and Stratification
    6.2 Types of Stratification
    Caste Systems
    Class Systems
    Status Systems
    Party Systems: Inequality through Meritocracy
    6.3 A Portrait of Stratification Today
    Stratification in the United States
    Global Stratification
    6.4 Social Mobility
    Social Factors Associated with Mobility
    Structural Mobility
    6.5 Social Change and the Attempt to Create More Equality
    Social Policy
    Social Conflict
    CAREERS: Social Mobility and Career Planning
    CASE STUDY: The Bachelor: Crystallizing Stratification on TV
    POWER AND RESISTANCE: Ending Apartheid in South Africa
    INEQUALITY AND PRIVILEGE: Marketing to the Super-Rich
    GLOBAL AND LOCAL: Wealthy Chinese Students at Elite US Schools
    STRUCTURE AND CONTINGENCY: Creating Social Security
    SOLIDARITY AND CONFLICT: A Short History of the Workers' Strike in the United States
    CHAPTER 7 Race, Ethnicity, and Multiculturalism
    7.1 The Social Construction of Race
    Race and Biology
    The Changing Understanding of Race over Time
    Race and Ethnicity
    7.2 Racial and Ethnic Groups in the United States
    Defining and Measuring Race in Official Government Data
    Native Americans
    White Ethnic Groups
    African Americans
    Latinas and Latinos
    Asian Americans
    7.3 Race, Privilege, and Inequality
    The Privileges of Being in the Majority Group
    Racial Discrimination and Segregation
    Consequences of Discrimination
    Racial Conflict
    7.4 Multiculturalism and Diversity
    Multiculturalism (Movement and Policy)
    Multiracial and Multiethnic Identities
    7.5 Immigration
    Trends in Immigration
    What Causes Immigration?
    Immigrant Communities
    7.6 The Politics of Immigration
    Laws About Citizenship and Immigration
    Anti-Immigrant Movements
    CAREERS: Multiculturalism in the Workplace
    CASE STUDY: Intersecting Identities
    STRUCTURE AND CONTINGENCY: The Growth and Success of Native American Casinos
    SOLIDARITY AND CONFLICT: W. E. B. Du Bois, Booker T. Washington, and the Struggle to Define African American Politics
    GLOBAL AND LOCAL: Latino Computer Engineers from Colombia and Puerto Rico
    INEQUALITY AND PRIVILEGE: How Irish Americans Became White
    POWER AND RESISTANCE: Black Lives Matter
    CHAPTER 8 Gender, Sexuality, and the Body
    8.1 Sex, Gender, and the Body
    Gender and Performance
    Gender Stereotypes
    8.2 Gender and Power
    Masculinity and Femininity
    The Gender Order
    Divisions of Labor
    Workplace Harassment and Sexual Exclusions in Work and Public Spaces
    Challenging Patriarchy and the History of the Women's Movement
    8.3 Sexuality and the Body
    The Marketing of Romance
    Queer Identities beyond the Closet
    CAREERS: Women, Men, and Social Networks
    CASE STUDY: Gender Intersections at McDonald's
    STRUCTURE AND CONTINGENCY: Classifying Intersex Babies
    INEQUALITY AND PRIVILEGE: Men in Pink-Collar Work
    SOLIDARITY AND CONFLICT: Feminist Politics
    PART IV: Institutions and Issues
    CHAPTER 9 Health, Illness, and Medicine

    9.1 Health
    Geography, Class, Race, Gender, Age, and Other Differences
    An Intersectional Understanding of Health Disparities
    9.2 Illness
    Experiencing Illness Differently
    Being a Patient
    9.3 Medicine
    Public Health
    Medical Institutions
    Social Responses to Sickness and Illness
    Access to Health Care
    CAREERS: Sociology and Medicine
    CASE STUDY: Genetic Testing
    INEQUALITY AND PRIVILEGE: How Inequality Shapes Our Final Years
    POWER AND RESISTANCE: Stigma and Size
    SOLIDARITY AND CONFLICT: Disruptive Behavior in Medical Settings
    GLOBAL AND LOCAL: Does Modern Society Make You Sick?
    STRUCTURE AND CONTINGENCY: Waiting for an Organ Transplant
    CHAPTER 10 Marriage, Family, and the Law
    10.1 Family and Society
    Family, Kinship, and Society
    Marriage and Family as Social Institutions
    10.2 Changes in Marriage and Family
    Traditional Families and Nuclear Families
    Single-Parent Families
    Delay and Decline of Marriage
    Boomerang Kids and Sandwich Parents
    Transnational Families
    10.3 Challenging Family Forms
    Feminist Challenges to the Family
    Blended Families
    Multiracial Families
    Lesbian and Gay Families
    CAREERS: Marriage and Family Therapists
    CASE STUDY: Family Names
    INEQUALITY AND PRIVILEGE: Legal Biases in Favor of Marriage
    SOLIDARITY AND CONFLICT: Disagreements over Parenting Styles
    STRUCTURE AND CONTINGENCY: "Bird-Nesting" as a Co-Parenting Strategy after Divorce
    GLOBAL AND LOCAL: Korean "Wild Geese" Families
    POWER AND RESISTANCE: Loving v. Virginia
    CHAPTER 11 Politics, Media, and Social Movements
    11.1 Politics as the Struggle for Influence
    Power, Authority, and Hegemony
    11.2 Politics and Democracy
    Systems of Representation
    Representing the People
    11.3 Mediated Politics
    Media and Agenda Setting
    Economic Distortions of the Media Agenda
    11.4 Social Change
    Challenging the Powerful
    Organizing for Change
    Getting Noticed
    Movement Success
    CAREERS: Sociology and Politics
    CASE STUDY: The Strange History of the US Electoral College
    POWER AND RESISTANCE: Public Protests in Tahrir Square
    INEQUALITY AND PRIVILEGE: Who Gets Elected to the US Senate?
    SOLIDARITY AND CONFLICT: Push Polls and the Politics of Division
    STRUCTURE AND CONTINGENCY: Barack Obama and “Joe the Plumber”
    GLOBAL AND LOCAL: The Creation of Greenpeace
    PART V: Change, Issues, and the Future
    CHAPTER 12 Climate Change and Sustainability

    12.1 Climate Change and the "Risk Society"
    The Unequal Distribution of Environmental Risk
    12.2 Controlling the Narrative: Denial and Expertise
    Culture, the Media, and Socialization
    Science and Religion
    12.3 Profit, Politics, and the Environment
    Renewable Energy
    Corporate Social Responsibility
    12.4 Sustainability: Promise and Responsibility
    Making Wastefulness Deviant
    CAREERS: Job Prospects in the Green Economy
    CASE STUDY: The Destruction of the Amazon
    POWER AND RESISTANCE: The Dakota Access Pipeline Protests
    INEQUALITY AND PRIVILEGE: Contaminated Water in Flint, Michigan
    SOLIDARITY AND CONFLICT: The Battle for Yellowstone
    GLOBAL AND LOCAL: The Causes and Consequences of Transboundary Water Pollution

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