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The Practical Skeptic : Core Concepts in Sociology - Lisa J. McIntyre

The Practical Skeptic

Core Concepts in Sociology

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"The Practical Skeptic" is a concise introduction to sociology that focuses on core concepts as the central building blocks for understanding sociology. Lisa McIntyre's straightforward, lively, even humorous style and her emphasis on critical thinking make this an engaging and user-friendly text for students of all levels. Through this conversational style students are able to grasp key sociological concepts and learn the essential lesson that there is much that goes on in the social world that escapes the sociologically untrained eye.

Prefacep. xiii
Introductionp. 1
So, What Is Sociology?p. 3
The Value of Sociology to Studentsp. 3
Tips for Studying Sociology-and an Invitationp. 4
Responding to Chaos: A Brief History of Sociologyp. 5
Inquiries into the Physical Worldp. 6
Technology, Urbanization, and Social Upheavalp. 10
The Origins of Modern Sociology in France: Emile Durkheimp. 12
Excerpt: Emile Durkheim, From Suicide (1897) and The Rules of the Sociological Method (1904)p. 14
The Origins of Modern Sociology in Germany: Ferdinand Tonnies, Max Weber, and Karl Marxp. 16
Excerpt: Ferdinand Tonnies, From Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft (1887)p. 17
Karl Marxp. 20
The Origins of Modern Sociology in England: Herbert Spencerp. 21
Sociology in the United Statesp. 23
Box: One Small Step for Sociologyp. 25
The Place of Sociology in Modern Societyp. 26
Chapter Reviewp. 26
Stop & Review: Answers and Discussionp. 27
The Sociological Eyep. 29
The Focus on the Socialp. 29
Skepticismp. 34
Box: Nail Down That Distinction Between Manifest and Latent Functions!p. 37
Chapter Reviewp. 38
Stop & Review: Answers and Discussionp. 38
Science and Fuzzy Objects: Specialization in Sociologyp. 40
Dividing Up the Taskp. 42
Topic Area or Subject Matterp. 43
Theoretical Perspectives (Paradigms): Functionalist, Conflict, and Symbolic Interactionistp. 43
The Functionalist Paradigmp. 43
The Conflict Paradigmp. 44
The Symbolic Interactionist Paradigmp. 44
Which Paradigm Is Correct?p. 45
Levels of Analysis: Microsociology and Macrosociologyp. 46
Chapter Reviewp. 47
Stop & Review: Answers and Discussionp. 48
Who's Afraid of Sociology?p. 49
The Empirical World and Inconvenient Factsp. 50
Ethnocentrismp. 52
Avoiding Ethnocentrism Can Be Difficultp. 54
Cultural Relativismp. 56
Chapter Reviewp. 56
Stop & Review: Answers and Discussionp. 57
The Vocabulary of Sciencep. 58
Variablesp. 58
Hypothesesp. 60
Kinds of Variables: Independent Versus Dependentp. 62
Kinds of Relationships: Directionalityp. 64
Operational Definitionsp. 65
Tables and Figuresp. 67
Chapter Reviewp. 71
Stop & Review: Answers and Discussionp. 72
Doing Social Researchp. 77
Two Traditions: Quantitative and Qualitative Researchp. 77
First Things First: The Lit Reviewp. 78
The Surveyp. 80
Types of Survey Questionsp. 81
Box: Six Guidelines for Crafting Survey Questionsp. 83
The Art of Asking Questionsp. 84
The Experimentp. 84
Box: Five Rules for Doing True Experimentsp. 87
Observationp. 87
Unobtrusive (Nonreactive) Researchp. 88
Artifactsp. 89
Use of Existing Statisticsp. 90
Content Analysisp. 90
The Importance of Triangulationp. 91
Samplingp. 92
Box: Ethics and Social Researchp. 94
Chapter Reviewp. 94
Stop & Review: Answers and Discussionp. 95
Culturep. 97
Material and Nonmaterial Culturep. 98
Nonmaterial culturep. 98
Symbolsp. 98
Languagep. 99
Normsp. 100
Types of normsp. 101
Sanctionsp. 101
Box: The Power of Informal Sanctionsp. 102
Valuesp. 103
Box: What do Americans value?p. 103
Box: Ideologyp. 104
Box: Ponderp. 105
Box: Statements of Beliefp. 105
Ideas and Beliefsp. 105
How It Adds Upp. 105
Culture as a Product of Actionp. 106
Culture as a Conditioning Element of Further Actionp. 107
Box: Problems Identified and Resolved in All Known Culturesp. 108
Box: Varieties of Cultural Wisdomp. 109
Social Institutionsp. 109
Social Change: Cultural Diffusion and Levelingp. 110
Subcultures and Counterculturesp. 110
Excerpt: Margaret Visser, From Much Depends on Dinner (1986)p. 112
Idioculturesp. 114
Chapter Reviewp. 115
Stop & Review: Answers and Discussionp. 116
Social Structurep. 118
Statusesp. 118
Rolesp. 120
Role Strainp. 121
Status Inconsistencyp. 121
Role Conflictp. 122
Box: Tricky Tricky Situationsp. 123
Master Statusp. 124
Groupsp. 124
Primary and Secondary Groupsp. 125
Formal Organizations and Bureaucraciesp. 127
Ideal-Type Bureaucraciesp. 128
Chapter Reviewp. 131
Stop & Review: Answers and Discussionp. 131
Society and Social Institutionsp. 134
Societal Needsp. 137
The Nature of Social Institutionsp. 140
Institutions Are Generally Unplanned; They Develop Graduallyp. 140
Institutions Are Inherently Conservative; They Change, but Slowlyp. 142
A Particular Society's Institutions Are Interdependent; Because of This, Change in One Institution Tends to Bring About Change in Othersp. 145
The Statuses, Roles, Values, and Norms Associated with an Institution in One Society Frequently Bear Little Resemblance to Those in Another Societyp. 146
Box: Polygamy and Monogamyp. 147
Social Change: The Trend Toward Increasing Specializationp. 147
Chapter Reviewp. 148
Stop & Review: Answers and Discussionp. 148
Socializationp. 150
Nature and Nurture: Biological and Social Processesp. 150
How Socialization Worksp. 152
The Looking-Glass Self: Charles Horton Cooleyp. 152
The "I" and the "Me": George Herbert Meadp. 154
Familyp. 157
Excerpt: George Herbert Mead, From Play and Games in the Genesis of Self (1934)p. 158
Schoolp. 159
Mass Mediap. 161
Peer Groupsp. 161
Box: Rites of Passagep. 163
The Workplacep. 163
Resociaiization and Total Institutionsp. 164
Box: Ponderp. 165
Chapter Reviewp. 166
Stop & Review: Answers and Discussionp. 167
Deviance and Social Controlp. 168
The Relativity of Deviance (What We Already Know)p. 168
Nonsociological Theories of Deviancep. 170
Sociological Theories of Deviance: Emile Durkheim and Suicidep. 172
The Collective Conscience and Structural Strainp. 172
Egoism and Anomiep. 174
More Structural Strain: Robert Merton and Anomiep. 175
Anomie and Modern Social Structurep. 175
Responses to Anomiep. 177
Legitimate Versus Illegitimate Meansp. 178
Learning to Be Deviant: Howard Becker's Study of Marijuana Usep. 179
Learning to Smokep. 180
Learning to Perceive the Effectsp. 181
Learning to Enjoy the Effectsp. 182
The Societal Reaction Perspective: Labeling Theoryp. 183
The Functions of Deviance: Maintenance of the Status Quo and Social Changep. 186
Box: Ponderp. 187
Chapter Reviewp. 188
Stop & Review: Answers and Discussionp. 189
Stratification and Inequalityp. 190
Caste Systemsp. 191
Estate Systemsp. 194
Box: A Year in the Life of the Peasantp. 195
Class Systemsp. 197
Theoretical Conceptions of Classp. 198
Box: Ponderp. 199
Some Words About Slaveryp. 202
Social Mobility and Open Versus Closed Systemsp. 203
Chapter Reviewp. 205
Stop & Review: Answers and Discussionp. 206
Inequality and Achievement: Social Classp. 208
Box: The Matthew Effectp. 212
Explaining Social Stratificationp. 213
Cultural Explanationsp. 213
Structural Explanationsp. 214
Box: Beyond Academicsp. 218
The Pygmalion Effect: The Power of Expectationsp. 221
The Fallacy of Hard Workp. 223
Box: Ponderp. 224
Social Mobility, Social Structure, and Social Changep. 225
Chapter Reviewp. 226
Stop & Review: Answers and Discussionp. 227
Inequality and Ascription: Race, Ethnicity, and Genderp. 231
Why a Dollar Is Not Always a Dollarp. 232
Prejudicep. 237
Discriminationp. 238
Discrimination and "Isms"p. 241
The Social Construction of Minority Groupsp. 246
Genderp. 249
Box: Sex or Gender?p. 251
Chapter Reviewp. 252
Stop & Review: Answers and Discussionp. 253
Afterwordp. 255
Referencesp. 257
Glossary/Indexp. 267
Creditsp. 279
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780073404158
ISBN-10: 0073404152
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 1st October 2007
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.1 x 16.2  x 1.1
Weight (kg): 0.39
Edition Number: 4
Edition Type: Revised

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