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Imagining Society

Imagining Society
An Introduction to Sociology

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January 2020 | 528 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Explore sociology's key concepts, theories, methods, and original voices--all in one innovative text.

 Imagining Society: An Introduction to Sociology is an versatile and economical resource for your introductory course. With this single text, you can:

  • Teach the discipline’s history, key concepts, subfields, and contributions to social science.
  • Expose students to the central building blocks of sociology—short excerpts from the original works of classical and contemporary sociologists.
  • Explain sociology’s key theoretical insights by connecting them to specific issues.
  • Describe and illustrate the methods used by sociologists—not just in the opening chapter, but throughout the entire text.
  • Engage students in thoughtful, self-directed projects and activities.
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Outlined in your text and mapped to chapter learning objectives, SAGE course outcomes are crafted with specific course outcomes in mind and vetted by advisors in the field. See how SAGE course outcomes tie in with this book’s chapter-level objectives at
Chapter 1: The Sociological Imagination
Society and Culture

The Sociological Imagination

Reading: From The Sociological Imagination by C. Wright Mills

Three Core Foci of Sociology

Three Core Aims of Sociology

Reading: Body Ritual among the Nacirema by Horace Miner

Émile Durkheim and Social Facts

Is Sociology Just Common Sense?

Research Methods: How Do Sociologists Study Society?


Key Terms

For Further Reading

Chapter 2: Socialization and Social Interaction
The Individual and Society

Reading: “Review of Albert Schaeffle, Bau und Leben des Sozialen Körpers: Erster Band” by Émile Durkheim


Methods in Depth: The Socialization of Women in the Hate Movement

Aging and Socialization

The Performance of Social Roles

Reading: “The Presentation of Self” by Erving Goffman


Key Terms

For Further Reading

Chapter 3: Deviance, Law, and Crime
What Is Deviance?

Social Construction

Why Are People Deviant?

Reading: “On Being Sane in Insane Places” by D.L. Rosenhan

The Power of the Situation


Reading: “The Body of the Condemned” by Michel Foucault

Methods in Depth: The Effects of Mass Incarceration After Release


Key Terms

For Further Reading

Chapter 4: Social Stratification and Social Class
Karl Marx: The Basics

Class Struggles

Reading: “Manifesto of the Communist Party” by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

Class Consciousness

Max Weber and the Multiple

Methods in Depth: Women Without Class by Julie Bettis

Bases of Power

Income and Wealth Inequality in the United States

Reading: From Nickel-and-Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich



Key Terms

For Further Reading

Chapter 5: Race and Ethnicity
Race and Ethnicity

Reading: “Optional Ethnicities: For Whites Only?” by Mary C. Waters

The Consequences of Social Constructions

Methods in Depth: Racial Stereotypes and Voting

Where Does Prejudice Come From?


Reading: “Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism” by Benedict Anderson


Key Terms

For Further Reading

Chapter 6: Gender at the Intersections
Sex and Gender

Gender as a Social Construction

Methods in Depth: Learning Gender From Our Parents

Gender and Institutions

Reading: “Commanding the Room in Short Skirts: Cheering as the Embodiment of Ideal Girlhood” by Natalie Adams and Pamela Bettis

Feminism and Feminist Theory



Reading: “The Invention of Heterosexuality” by Johnathan Ned Katz


Key Terms

For Further Reading

Chapter 7: Language, Media, and Culture

Reading: “Racism in the English Language” by Robert B. Moore

Methods in Depth: News Coverage of Refugees

Media and Culture

Corporate Concentration and the Media

Reading: From “The Power Elite” by C. Wright Mills

New Media and Social Media

Media Effects


Key Terms

For Further Reading

Chapter 8: The Family and Intimate Relationships
What Are Families?

Larger Social Changes That Impact the Family

Reading: “What About Love?” from Getting Married: The Public Nature of Our Private Relationships by Carrie Yodanis and Sean Lauer

Theorizing the Family

Intimate Relationships

Reading: “One’s a Crowd” by Erik Klinenberg

Methods in Depth: Surveying Hookup Culture Among Youths


Key Terms

For Further Reading

Chapter 9: Education
The Schooled Society

The Functions of Education

Reading: “A Matter of Degrees” by William Beaver

Education and Social Inequality

Reading: “The Not-So-Pink Ivory Tower” by Ann Mullen

Methods in Depth: Testing the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Education, Cultural Capital, and Social Capital

Education Around the World


Key Terms

For Further Reading

Chapter 10: Work and Rationalization
The Rationalized World

Reading: “The ‘McDonaldization’ of Society” by George Ritzer


The Division of Labor in Society

Methods in Depth: Worker Productivity and the Hawthorne Effect

Changes in Work in the United States

Reading: “Feeling Management: From Private to Commercial Uses” by Arlie Russell Hochschild


Key Terms

For Further Reading

Chapter 11: Health
The Sociology of Health

The Social Determinants of Health

Reading: “The Health Gap” by Michael Marmot

Health Inequality

Reading: “Big Business in the School Cafeteria” by Ivy Ken

Health-Care Systems

Methods in Depth: Testing Solutions to Overdose Deaths


Key Terms

For Further Reading

Chapter 12: Globalization and Global Inequality
What Is Globalization?

Reading: “The Uses of Global Poverty: How Economic Inequality Benefits the West” by Daina Stukuls Eglitis

Understanding Globalization

Methods in Depth: Motivating Action on Climate Change

Global Inequality

Reading: “The Problem with Fair Trade Coffee” by Nicki Lisa Cole and Keith Brown


Key Terms

For Further Reading

Chapter 13: Change Through Policy and the Law
How Does Society Reproduce Itself?

The Rise of the State

The Welfare State

Methods in Depth: Assessing the Effectiveness of Means-Tested Social Programs

Reparation Programs

Reading: “Forty Acres and a Mule: What if America Pays Reparations?” By Dalton Conley

How the State Involves the Public

Reading: “Bowling Alone: America’s Declining Social Capital” by Robert D. Putnam


Key Terms

For Further Reading

Chapter 14: Social Movements
Social Movements

Reading: Excerpt from Facebook Feminism by Alison Dahl Crossley

Trends in Social Movement Participation

Methods in Depth: How Can Activism Change You?

The Media and Social Movements

Success in Social Movements

Reading: “The Meaning of Success from the Strategy of Social Protest” by William Gamson

Public Sociology and Using Our Sociological Imagination


Key Terms

For Further Reading



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Catherine Corrigall-Brown

Catherine Corrigall-Brown is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.  Her research focuses on social movements and protest, particularly examining what keeps individuals involved in activism over time, framing, and identity.  She is the author of 4 books, including her first book Patterns of Protest, published with Stanford University Press.  She has also published more than 42 articles, book chapters, and review essays.  These works have appeared in journals such as Social Forces, Mobilization, the American Behavioral Scientist, the International Journal of Comparative... More About Author

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