Introduction to Sociology 2e
Multiple Authors, OpenStax
Pub Date: 2015
ISBN 13: 978-1-9381684-1-3
Conditions of Use
The text is very comprehensive, offering chapters on most all major concepts in an introductory sociology text. read more
The text is very comprehensive, offering chapters on most all major concepts in an introductory sociology text.
This varies greatly by chapter, but it does seem to be a bit left-leaning at times.
Content appears to be up to date, but some examples could possible be outdated pretty quickly (ex: tv shows in Chapter 3, section 3.3). Discussion of inventions/discoveries seems irrelevant. The layout, different sections in each chapter, make it easy to follow, but vary greatly between sections and chapter, particularly with regards to relevance.
Language is okay, but clarity could be improved for some discussions. For example, section 5.1 is lacking discussion of Goffman's presentation of self and dramaturgical theory, which I believe is located in chapter 1.
Consistency seems to vary greatly in between chapters. Some topics that seem tertiary are talked about in great detail, whereas, other seemingly more important topics are not discussed very much at all. Example, xenophobia in chapter 3 is only mentioned in passing.
Sections are divided well, but organization seems off. For example, history and theory in Chapter 1 should be better integrated instead of separate sections.
Again, the structure and flow could be improved. For example, the Global Inequality section has a better discussion of poverty and inequality than the stratification section, which seems strange to me. Globalization could be a better chapter, and the inequality part could be included in the stratification section.
Students have told me that the page numbers and graphic numbers do not match when viewing online compared to the downloaded pdf.
Seems okay as far as I can tell.
I think there are good examples across cultures. I haven't noticed anything blatantly offensive or insensitive.
I LOVE the idea of a free textbook for my students, which are largely racial/ethnic minorities and/or first generation students, but there are some inconsistencies across the book, and the lack of resources makes it cumbersome at times. Thanks for your efforts in pushing this open source movement forward!
This text covers all of the standard areas for an introductory textbook. An index is provided at the end, and each chapter has a list of key terms and definitions. read more
This text covers all of the standard areas for an introductory textbook. An index is provided at the end, and each chapter has a list of key terms and definitions.
In some chapters, I found some strangely off-base assertions and misleading sentence constructions. I will cite a few here, but there are many others. In the theory segment, Georg Simmel is described as a literary critic. That's like calling Karl Marx a newspaperman. You could say those things with some (scant) justification, but both men trained as philosophers and were regarded as philosophers. In the research chapter, institutional ethnography is given a wildly misleading description, and the only citation provided as authority is from a brief account of a career award. There are so many fine sources that could have been used--this is very sloppy scholarship. One could do much better just going to Wikipedia. The definition of culture provided refers to beliefs and values, omitting material culture. Material culture is mentioned later, referring--somewhat narrowly--to "objects," but the glossary definition again mentions only beliefs and values. A more inclusive definition of culture is needed. I found descriptions of "theory," "hypothesis," and "interpretive framework" to be awkward and oddly off-base. The relation of participant observation and ethnography is not properly presented: one might think they were entirely different enterprises, whereas a great deal of ethnographic work in sociology is PO based, and not all of it it concerns "entire communities." The account of "ideal type" is disgraceful. In the first two chapters in particular, there are so many small but consequential errors that I could not imagine having my students read this. I should note that some of the later chapters are much better: chapters on deviance, stratification, and race seemed okay. This suggests multiple, piecemeal authorship. The urban/environment chapter is really an environment chapter; the urban part is very thin indeed.
The content seems pretty up to date, and is comparable with other introductory textbooks on the market. Regarding longevity, it seems average. The book is thoroughly committed to the "three paradigm" approach, which is being questioned seriously these days. Virtually no upper level textbooks are built around the "three paradigms," and professional sociologists don't rely on this set of distinctions. It seems very old-fashioned, a legacy of the 60s and 70s.
The book is clear in parts, but some chapters are better than others. The first two chapters include many formulations that are somewhat misleading or off-base. Someone who knows the field well needed to go through these chapters and do some heavy editing. I felt that the author(s) was/were unsure of the distinctions they were attempting to make. Some of the later chapters are better.
The book is not consistent. Some sentences are illogical. Some terms are defined in one way and then used in another way in the chapter. The quality and accuracy of the different chapters varies. Some are fine but others are not. I find it unsettling that some of the least well-written chapters are the first ones.
I think it could be used this way. In this respect, reading the book is a bit like reading Wikipedia: everything is there, but the arrangement seems purely conventional, and without much of an overall design beyond tradition and convention. This is not a text with a point of view or an overall argument. So while I could pull out pieces for use on a free-standing basis, is that a good thing or a bad thing?
The topics are presented in the standard way for introductory textbooks. I found few surprises. All of the topics were pretty much as expected. Some topics were handled in a very weak way for my purposes (e.g., social interaction and urban life, to mention two), but they were located where I expected them to be.
I had no problems with the interface. Everything seemed to work smoothly. Like many textbooks, I found this one to be somewhat cluttered. That is typical these days.
I noticed one typo, where Trayvon Martin is referred to as "her," but there are not many problems of a strictly grammatical nature.
I thought that the book was okay with regard to cultural sensitivity. I looked closely for that issue in the chapter on race and found nothing that stood out as problematic. In fact, I liked that chapter.
It's of such uneven quality that I could not imagine using it as a main course text. Another problem for me is that there is insufficient attention to topics, such as social interaction, that are important in my course.
This textbook is an excellent introductory text for Sociology. It cover many of the major components that need to be discussed in an Introductory read more
This textbook is an excellent introductory text for Sociology. It cover many of the major components that need to be discussed in an Introductory Sociology class. It includes an easy to read preface and glossary. I was able to effectively find and use different topics of discussion using the glossary. I like how they have a search bar and it is easy to search a specific topic. For example, I searched "Freud". It found 6 matches and told me the exact pages and what was discussed about Freud on these pages. I was able to easily click on the match and go to those pages. This is excellent when a student asks a question and you are able to quickly find a match and page number to direct them to for help. I was able to navigate through chapters by clicking on the contents and choosing what I wanted to look at. I think overall this is a great start for an introductory course and it covers a wide array of topics in an easy to read and navigate fashion.
I found this book to be accurate and to my knowledge did not contain errors. I think it is unbiased and has a complete view of a wide array of topics. I teach an introductory sociology class online and I would consider using a textbook such as this in the future. I was impressed to see the discussion about feminism and feminist theory. I think this is important for all students to know and understand. For example, Chapter 8: Theoretical Perspectives on Media and Technology discusses cyber feminism, the application to, and promotion of feminism online. This is very interesting to me, I teach a class about feminism and I did not know of this topic until reviewing this text! I will incorporate this concept in future discussions for that class.
I think this book does a wonderful job at getting the reader interested in the topic by starting out each chapter with relevant examples in today's day and age. I think this is very important in order to keep students interested and for them to understand the topics better. This textbook is up to date and I think most students can relate to the examples. An example of this is Chapter 7: Introduction to Deviance, Crime, and Social Control. They begin by discussing how 23 states have passed measures legalizing marijuana in some form. They continue by discussing that a majority of people (52%) now favor legalizing marijuana. I think these are important topics that can affect our future and students need to learn about them and understand the consequences of this and many of the other topics discussed in this text. Another example that I found intriguing was Chapter 8: Introduction to Media and Technology. This chapter discusses friends and how many "friends" do they have on Facebook versus having a face-to-face conversation. This is a major issue especially with the newest generation of children growing up as Gen Z or iGeneration children. How will this affect their socialization overall? How will it affect businesses and technologies. There are many many questions about this and how it affects socialization. I think these are current and important topics for now and the future! As I stated in a prior comment I also did not know or hear of the term cyberfeminism until reviewing this text and in the future I will bring this term to the students attention because I feel it is an important topic to cover in that particular class.
I believe this text to be an easy to read. This is very important since most students that will be reading this text will be most likely be at more of a beginning college level versus later on in their college careers. I have gone through many textbooks to decide on the best choice for the class that I am teaching. All to often, I will completely disregard a text if I feel it is above the students heads so to speak. I want students to be able to sit down with a text and enjoy reading it. I do not want students to feel flustered or overwhelmed because they have to reread chapters several times to understand a topic. I have a pretty good feel for what students like as far as textbooks and I feel students would enjoy this text. It is an easy read but covers all the topics in detail. I believe the writing in this text to have adequate context and relatable jargon for the students. I feel students of any college level could easy read and navigate this text without problems and that is very important for an introductory text.
This text is very consistent throughout the chapters and makes it easy for each student to relate the different sociological concepts to the relevant discussion at hand. For example, almost every chapter discusses theoretical perspectives on each chapters topic. They include, Functionalism, Conflict, and Symbolic Interactionism in each chapter, and Feminist theory when relevant. This makes it easy for students to understand how to apply these different theoretical perspective on each topic. I have seen other textbooks other than this one where this has been placed in a non-organize fashion and it makes it much harder for students to understand and relate the theoretical perspectives on each topic. However, text is very well organized and clearly shows how each theoretical perspective applies to each topic. This text is highly consistent in terms of terminology and the framework.
This text modularity seemed to be well laid out. I think each section makes it easy to break stud nets into groups or assignments. As far as the chapters themselves, I feel this text is well organized and easy to navigate. It is self-explanatory and any student could easy break down the chapters to read or discuss at their liking.
The topics in this text are organized in a clear-cut easy to navigate way. I feel that it is very easy to navigate from chapter to chapter and topic to topic. I especially like the search box where you are able to search any topic and it tells you exactly how many matches for that word or topic and then you are able to click on the one you want and it takes you directly to that page. For example, I searched "feminism" and it told me of 11 matches total. Then it broke it down to each chapter and section where I could find feminism. My only complaint about this is that in one search it came back with 8 matches and another time it came back with 11. I spelled feminism the same way each time so I am not sure why one time came back with more matches than another. I was specifically looking for cyberfemism and it came up in one search but not the other. I think this area should be expanded to search different forms of the word so that if a student is searching they can easily get results for the topic searched. For example, if they search "feminism" they should show matches for feminist, cyberfeminism, and other terms that relate to feminism. However, I feel it should still be close to the match and not too far off the realm so that they are not overwhelmed with matches so I am not sure how plausible this would be.
The interface of this text is easily navigated, searched, and free of clutter. I think this text is clear cut and well organized. It does not feel cluttered or overwhelming. The only navigation issue I mentioned earlier was that I saw was when I searched feminism versus feminist it didn't bring up the same results and being such a similar term I felt it should of had the same search results. Other than this, the interface is extremely easy to use and navigate.
There are no grammatical errors in this text to my knowledge. I think this text was well reviewed and edited and is an outstanding text.
The cultural relevancy of this text is up to date and is not insensitive or offensive in any way. The text gave great excellent example on each topic and incorporated up to date information. For example, in chapter 10: Introduction to Global Inequality, the text discusses where close came from and how the business is outsourced for a cheap price. When that country had a major disaster, not many from the U.S. stepped in to help that country. These are important relevant topics that students need to understand and discuss.
Overall, I think this is an excellent text. I have not found any major problems or concerns. The text covers a wide array of topics for an introductory sociology course and anyone teaching the course can easily break it down into smaller sections and/or choose which topics to focus on. It encompasses relevant and important information, theories, and topics. The text us easy to read, understand, and navigate. I would recommend this text for others teaching an intolerable sociology course and I may incorporate it into my class in the future. I think ebooks are becoming more and more popular and students like to have the option of purchasing cheaper textbooks since most are on a budget. Very well done!
The book is very detail oriented, but in a way that is not difficult to understand. The learning objectives are clear and concise and placed a the read more
The book is very detail oriented, but in a way that is not difficult to understand. The learning objectives are clear and concise and placed a the beginning of each chapter. The terms are placed in bold throughout the text, allowing the reader's eyes to go straight to them. The book also includes a section in each chapter entitled, "Society in the Real World - Individual-Society Connections." The book also has a section entitled, "Making Connections" This section encourages instructors and students to discuss real life topics that can be related to sociology. I like how these readings relate sociology to the reader's life, a practical application if you will. The index is very detailed and it breaks the main topics down into easy to read and understand sup topics. At the end of each chapter there is a chapter review that summarizes the chapter's content and allows the students to test their knowledge through multiple choice and essay questions. The authors clearly made an effort to include students from various ethnic groups and areas of interest, IE sports.
This edition of Introduction to Sociology takes a neutral standing on the referenced topics. The authors make an effort to cover multiple sides of a topic. Bias does not appear to play a role in this text.
The book takes current topics into consider, IE - Media and Technology - and shows how technology impacts everyone's lives. This is an ever-evolving topic and would have to be updated over time, but the topics that are covered under that umbrella topic lay the foundation in a clear and concise manner. The student can relate to this topic easily. The photos that are used in each chapter are current for the times. These can easily be changed as time goes on to reflect more up to date happenings. The topics that are addressed in the chapters are current. The book uses examples and situations that are found in today's world, not examples or situations from the past.
The wording in this text book is easy to read, It is written at the appropriate reading level and the concepts can be related to the students' life. The book presents the topics and examples in an easy to read formal. The key terms are highlighted throughout the text which allows for easy identification of a new concept.
The book follows the same formal throughout its entirety. Book layout: At the beginning of each chapter learning objectives are presented, in the body of the chapter the student will find sections entitled, "Making Connections..." that are offset in different colored boxes (so the eye is easily drawn to that section), the main topics found within the chapter are presented with the chapter's number and section number followed by a main area within the topic that is consistently found in a different color and bigger font than the main content of the chapter, and finally there is a chapter review that provides the following information: Key Terms, Section Summary, Section Quiz (broken down by subsections), Short Answer questions, Further Research and finally References.
This book is divided clearly into main sections and subsections. If an instructor did not have enough time to cover the main topic in full, it would be easy to stop part way through the topic on any one of the clearly delineated subtopics.
The book's format is easy to follow. It is consistent throughout the text and the topics flow into one another - they build a base and then expand into greater detail in the later chapters.
This book is easy to navigate. When viewing it in a pdf format, the images and charts are clear without any visible distortion. The photographs pertain to the topic at hand and they are clear, no distortion or clarity issues.
Reading through this edition, I did not see any blatant grammatical or textural errors.
I did not see bias in this text book. The author's made an effort to present multiple sides of a topic. The way the information is presented is neutral, no bias. People will always be offended by something, so it is impossible not to offend a few people. This is the risk that authors run when presenting information that pertains to peoples' lives directly. Many of the topics are touchy, especially when today's society mandates that everyone be hyper politically correct. What was not offensive in the past is considered offensive today and I am sure the same thing will be able to be said in years to come about today's version of being "correct."
I like how the book is current with today's topics.
It's comprehensive, but there’s a kitchen-sink approach. There are 21 full-length chapters, enough for two semesters of full-time coursework. The read more
It's comprehensive, but there’s a kitchen-sink approach. There are 21 full-length chapters, enough for two semesters of full-time coursework. The kitchen-sink approach is especially noticeable in the chapter reviews, which include a glossary of every key term (with definitions), a summary of each section, a multiple-choice quiz for each chapter section, a short-answer test for each chapter section, suggestions for further research, and complete references. It would be more useful to include this material as a standalone product or at least move it to the end of the book. In general, a more streamlined approach would be helpful for students being introduced to sociology. Part of the job of teaching intro courses is to engage students and get them excited about the discipline. The kitchen-sink approach creates additional work for the instructors and students, who will have to labor to find material of interest. I appreciate the comprehensiveness of the book, but it would benefit from some editing.
The book is accurate, although some of the information seems slightly outdated.
The role of technology is not incorporated into the text very much. There is a standalone chapter on media and technology that addresses technology directly, but today’s college students are so drenched in technology it seems necessary to include it in chapters on subjects such as interaction, culture, or even race. That’s not done here. I understand that things are changing so rapidly it’s impossible to keep up. But even the chapter on technology relies on social media sites such as Facebook, which are not used by many of today’s college students.
The prose is straightforward and easy to understand. There is a lot of jargon, but that's part of the role of a textbook -- introducing fundamental terms and concepts.
It seems as if an anthropologist was involved in writing the book. There are numerous citations of anthropologists and examples of research by anthropologists, as well as entire sections of the book (an exhaustive history of various types of societies – hunter-gatherer, horticultural, etc.) that strike me as more anthropological than sociological. This is not really a problem (and many will view it as beneficial), but given the differences between these disciplines, it could be confusing to students.
The book is extremely text heavy, broken up with a few photographs. I realize that’s part of the deal when the textbook is free, but I have a hard time imagining students engaging with page after page of solid text. It’s a barrier to engagement. The “making connections” boxes are standalone sections that are designed to elaborate on a particular concept. This is helpful, but not always effective. For example, there is a discussion of Jimmy Buffett fans, the Parrotheads. Few college freshman have any idea what Parrotheads are, nor do most of them care. This is fairly common in textbooks – writing that appeals to the author’s demographics, rather than that of 18 year olds.
The authors just seem to throw anything and everything ever written on the subject into the text. At times, this is confusing. For example, the chapter on culture includes discussions of ethnocentrism and social control, subjects that would make more sense elsewhere. If everything is culture then nothing is culture.
The book is straightforward and easy to navigate.
I did not noitice any errors.
Most intro to sociology textbooks have issues that make them less than perfect. In that regard, this one is no different, but at least it’s free. I could imagine it being useful as a supplement to instructors who prefer to use monographs, but would like to have a foundational text available to students. With some careful (and labor-intensive) curating, it would be effective and save students the cost of an expensive textbook. It’s harder to imagine using it as the primary text for an intro class.
The text includes the requisite breadth for an introductory text. I, and I think my students, really appreciate the short quizzes at the end of each read more
The text includes the requisite breadth for an introductory text. I, and I think my students, really appreciate the short quizzes at the end of each chapter. These help them gauge their understanding of the material and prepare for course exams. The index, glossary, and summary of key terms are also very helpful features.
The book accurately, though superficially, addresses the key content for an introductory text.
The content is reasonably current and I wouldn't imagine that it would need to be updated any more frequently than any other introductory text I have used.
The language used in the book is very accessible to students. It is not heavily laden with unnecessary jargon that might confuse or distract from student learning.
I find no problems with the text in terms of consistency and framework.
The text is highly modular. I can assign various small modules as a foundation for class lectures and discussions. The modules in the text provide students with a common starting point without being unnecessarily long or boring.
There are no inherent problems with the flow of the text. As is usually the case with introductory texts, faculty generally present and cover material in a way that is consistent with their own, rather than the author's organization.
I really appreciate the linked content from the table of contents which makes finding the material for reading assignments very easy. Moreover, I can open the text in class and jump directly to sections of text such as images or the quizzes with east and efficiency.
I have not encountered any grammatical errors in the text.
The text is very culturally relevant.
I notice that some chapters are not as deep in their coverage of material as other chapters. Also, in some places (i.e. crime and deviance) there is a lot of depth in some material (i.e. theory), but only superficial or no discussion of the really important, sociological treatment of the content such as racial disparities in arrests and imprisonment. Generally speaking, I selected this text to help my students avoid other costly options. I think I will continue to use the text, but I do have to do quite a bit of supplementing the text in lecture and with other readings to be sure that my students have access to important information not included in the book. This can be particularly problematic when students do not or cannot attend class and miss important information covered in class. While this is always a problem, I do not have the luxury of telling them to refer to a specific section of the text for information they missed in class.
While this text does provide an adequate foundation for students with no prior experience or exposure to the sociological discipline, it lacks read more
While this text does provide an adequate foundation for students with no prior experience or exposure to the sociological discipline, it lacks alternative perspectives, and is White, and male privilege heavy. While viewing different subjects and topics through the lenses of the 3 main sociological perspectives introduced in the first chapter was fantastic, I felt the text lacking as it did not allow for the exploration of feminist theory and critical race theory as their own sociological lenses. I also felt that the text was repetitive at times, and not in an advantageous way. Certain terms or ideas would be repeated, and hit home without expanding on the term or concept.
I think the authors believe the text is unbiased, but the exclusion of critical race theory and feminist theory make me feel that it could be more objective. I am also not convinced of the book's accuracy; this is somewhat difficult as some of the terms I took issue with (transgender, master status, intersectionality theory, etc.) are sociological and can be up to interpretation and/or evolution over time. However, based on my background, definitions from colleagues, and basic term reviews, some of the defined terms are not accurate.
I implemented this text in 2017; it is fairly relevant, has a lot of up to date issues and topics of debate, and I think adding new issues, or updating issues and topics should be fairly straightforward.
The text is not written in lucid prose, and there are numerous sections with poor context. The prose is accessible, however, a little too accessible. The jargon makes the text seem like more of a Middle School or High school text and not the text of a post-secondary institution. I have mixed feelings on this. One other complaint as to clarity was the inability to check sources for certain pictures/statistics. For example, Black mothers not re-marrying at the same rate of White mothers. A student had a question about this, and when I attempted to find the source and research the statistic further, I was unable to access the source.
Terminology is consistent (albeit controversial, as addressed above) and the use of the different frameworks is consistent, and well done.
I cannot comment fairly on this as I did not use the text in this manner, but I do think that the text has the potential to be readily divisible into smaller reading sections throughout the course. I can say that I was able to reorganize different chapters to fit my course, and that this was easily done, with little to no disruption.
The layout is problematic. Globalization, society, stratification, and class (which did not have its own module) were inconsistent. There are some other topics and areas that could have been laid out and connected more consistently. The topics were not presented in a logical, clear fashion; they were all over the place.
My students and I only had one issue with the interface, and that was with printing multiple chapters at a time; the answers to quiz questions did not print, and the layout of the quizzes combined into one long quiz out of context with the chapter sections. Otherwise, there were no navigation problems, images were clear with no disruptions or distractions.
The text contains consistent grammatical errors, as well as spelling errors.
The text is barely culturally relevant. It attempts to address different races,ethnicities and backgrounds, but a lot of the text is stereotypical and overused (Black culture has to address MLK Jr., Malcolm X, Civil Rights; Hispanic Latino culture has to mention Cesar Chavez; lack of new or varied/diverse cultural representation and/or history).
This is a comprehensive introductory sociology textbook. Its 21 chapters cover a vast array of topics of interest to sociologists, and include some read more
This is a comprehensive introductory sociology textbook. Its 21 chapters cover a vast array of topics of interest to sociologists, and include some that are often left out of other texts I have used, such as Global Inequality. The variety of topics should make it possible for instructors to tailor an introductory class toward their areas of expertise. An index is included, and a list of key terms is included at the end of each chapter. The index is missing some terms that students might look for, such as feminism/feminist theory and rational choice theory.
The text’s content is highly accurate overall. I did note some errors and instances of imprecise language, that a conscientious instructor will want to watch out for and correct. For example, Table 1.1, which appears on page 8, is titled “SNAP Use by State,” but the table included here shows something else: SNAP eligibility. As another example, Figure 4.6, representing Marx’s ideas of “base” and “superstructure,” which appears on p. 81, is overly simplified and could use more discussion. On page 236, the theory of intersectionality (presented as “intersection theory”) is attributed to Patricia Hill Collins, when it was actually coined by Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw (and later gained prominence through Collins’ works published in the 1990s). At times, statements are made that that either praise or criticize aspects of society, which might be more properly classified as opinions. For example, on page 193, the author(s) state, “...we are fortunate that the poverty experienced here [in the U.S.] is most often relative poverty and not absolute poverty.” This could give students the impression that the author(s)’ conclusion that poverty in the U.S. is less serious than that experienced in other countries is a consensus broadly shared by sociologists, when in fact the levels and severity of poverty in the U.S. is a hotly contested topic. Of course, no textbook is error-free--instructors should always thoroughly preview any text to identify errors and take steps in class discussions to correct any misstatements or mistakes found in textbooks.
The text includes commentary on recent national and world events, such as gender politics in the 2008 U.S. presidential election, and the Rana Plaza garment factory collapse in 2013 in Bangladesh. This content will help make concepts relevant for students, and examples are arranged in such a way that updates will be feasible as new editions are written. The text stops short of offering content that is too close to the cutting edge--such as incorporating contemporary slang or relying on links to online materials that may quickly expire.
This textbook is easy to read, with a fluid, friendly tone that avoids being overly wordy. The book’s many examples and “Making Connections” features keep the text from becoming too dry or inaccessible. Because the entire textbook is just short of 500 pages, each chapter is rather brief, and some sections could use more description or examples. Key terms are presented in bold, and a list of key terms, with definitions, is provided at the end of each chapter. A suggestion for the future would be to also provide a brief definition in the margin of the page next to the paragraph where each key term first appears, as an aid to students who study by skimming through the chapter a second time.
Sociology 2e is internally consistent. I appreciate that some terms and theories, such as conflict theory, appear multiple times throughout the book. This gives the student a chance to understand how a sociology theory can be used in multiple ways, and is applicable in multiple contexts. For example, feminist theory appears not only in the chapter Gender, Sex and Sexuality, but also Media and Technology, among others.
Given the consistency of the text, this book is highly modular. Chapters could be assigned independently of one another, and chapters could be skipped without disrupting the reader’s experience. Most introductory sociology instructors will not be able to cover all 21 chapters in a 15-week semester, so the ready modularity of this text is a positive feature.
Some sociologists may disagree with the choice to organize many of the main strands of theory in the discipline under three umbrella-like paradigms: Structural Functionalism, Conflict Theory, and Symbolic Interactionism. This organizational structure works for the most part, though some more recent theories, such as postmodern theory and contemporary theories of structure, would struggle to fit. Overall, however, the text is logical and topics are presented clearly and simply.
I did not detect any serious navigation problems in the text. However, some figures are fuzzy or pixelated (cf. Figures 7.9 and 8/1), suggesting that the images used are of low quality and did not transfer well to the texbook. The included photos are mostly of good quality, and I commend the authors for finding so many copyright-free images to include that do a good job of providing examples and context for the text.
I found no grammatical errors in the text.
The textbook does a good job of using inclusive examples and including pictures depicting people embodying a variety of racial/ethnic backgrounds, ages, and walks of life. The book shines a critical lens on many topics--for example, pointing out how felony disenfranchisement disproportionately affects black citizens, and including “Making Connections” sections that highlight LGTBQ individuals and their families.
This is a solid introductory sociology textbook, and provides a great option for instructors who wish to relieve their students of the financial burden of buying an expensive text. There are other introductory sociology texts that have more entertaining content and more online features, but this text will provide a solid foundation at a more than reasonable price.
This is a very comprehensive textbook, yet, with pretty succinct chapters. The book is on par with other textbooks that we have used that are very read more
This is a very comprehensive textbook, yet, with pretty succinct chapters. The book is on par with other textbooks that we have used that are very costly and there did not appear to be any missing concepts. There were no errors aside from the issue I will detail below. The glossary and index are effective. I noted that there is also a wide range of research from the older classical research that MUST be included in any sociology text, to more recent studies that provide more updated perspectives. This is important because so many question the relevance of open source ware, but this substantiates the contention that OER is sustainable at least in the short term.
There is an error regarding the Clarkes on page 19 of the text. This is a landmark research endeavor that we USE in sociology, but the Clarkes are Psychologists. Aside from this error, the books seems to be accurate and also has some very robust examples, particularly with regard to application of the classical theoretical perspectives to various social issues.
I noted that there is also a wide range of research from the older classical research that MUST be included in any sociology text, to more recent studies that provide more updated perspectives. This is important because so many question the relevance of open source ware, but this substantiates the contention that OER is sustainable at least in the short term.
This book is EXTREMELY easy to read! It is written in a manner that allows any student to quickly understand concepts, but is not that are presented. I am not sure, but I also think that it may be way to use a screen reader for students that require accessibility.
Yes... the Making Connections sections and the quizzes at the end of each chapter helps with readability by setting the reader's expectation up for reading and absorbing the content, and then reviewing the concepts in context and then applying and assessing understanding.
The modularity of the book is acceptable. There was never too much unbroken text without subheadings, and in some instances, there were too many subheadings, but this only occurred 2-3 times that I recall.
This is actually a very well organized text. There is not much to say here, as it is very similar to most other introductory sociology textbooks
The book can be viewed online as well as downloaded as a PDF. Given that it is completely open, the interface is fine. It would be helpful, as an aside, for students to be able to access the book more readily within the LMS in its online interface instead of a PDF.
There were no grammatical errors.
The books is very culturally relative and this SHOULD be the case with a sociology text. The examples are also very relevant to current social phenomena. There is still room for the instructor to include even more recent information as well.
I am thankful that my students have free access to a QUALITY resource.
This textbook does a very good job covering all of the critical subjects in Sociology. The way in which the chapters are broken down into smaller read more
This textbook does a very good job covering all of the critical subjects in Sociology. The way in which the chapters are broken down into smaller subjects allows the the instructor more time to focus on certain issues. The index is very helpful in choosing exactly which subjects we want to cover in case we do not want to cover the entire chapter due to time constraints.
The content seems to be accurate with the exception of PowerPoint for Chapter 1, which states that Clarke and Clarke are sociologists and it is my understanding they are Psychologists. Also, the text does not incorporate the lift of the ban on same-sex marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges, 135 S. Ct. 2071 - 2015. The content is presented in an unbiased way.
The content is up-to-date with a wide range of research from classic research/concepts to contemporary issues such as legalization of marijuana the issues surrounding same sex marriage. Due to the fast changing pace in society today, I am concerned of the longevity of the textbook as it relates to the updating the textbook as changes take place.
The textbook is written very well and the concepts are clear.
The textbook is very consistent.
As stated earlier, the textbook chapters are divided into manageable sections.
The topics are addressed in a logical manner and builds on itself. For example, Culture is taught before Deviance.
So far, I have not had any issues myself while reading online. I plan on integrating the chapters into my BB shell by weeks, so I am hoping I will not have any issues.
I have not found too any issues. One issue I did find is in the Gender chapter. "Individuals who identify with the role that is the different from their biological sex are called transgender."
The text is inclusive and the information in the "Making Connections" boxes are useful in providing real world, contemporary examples and connections. For example. "Social Media as a Terrorist tool."
Overall, this book is organized well, easy to read, broken down in manageable chapters and the examples and images are interesting and on point. Instructors can always add any supplemental readings or topics as they choose.
This text generally covers the same areas and ideas as the physical, paid-for text adopted by my institution. So, all the better that this version is read more
This text generally covers the same areas and ideas as the physical, paid-for text adopted by my institution. So, all the better that this version is available at no-cost. At the end of each section, there are practice quizzes, reflection questions and a glossary of concepts. The concepts are appropriate, and cover terms and ideas that I think are important to an understanding of the discipline. This is an "introductory" text, so - because most students are exposed to the discipline for the first time - I think that this textbook provides a good foundation to the major concepts, theories and methods of the discipline. Should students choose to move forward and take more sociology courses, I think this book provides a good springboard from which to launch into the next sociology course.
In Chapter 1, the textbook features a photo of Kenneth and Mamie Clarke and credits them as "sociologists." In all the research I've read on the Clarke and their doll study, I've only ever seen them described as "psychologists." A quick Google search reveals that they both held doctorates in psychology. Kenneth Clarke was the first African American president of the American Psychological Association. While this may seem slight, there is a section later on in the book comparing psychology and sociology, so it is worth attributing the correct professional and disciplinary association to researchers, when their work is used to illustrate a concept.
I agree that the content appears up to date and relevant. The concepts will remain unchanged, so the examples could be easily updated, because most are set apart in grey, text boxes. This should be a simple fix to change out the content as needed.
The writing is clear and accessible. Students unfamiliar with sociological or social scientific writing should not be overwhelmed by this textbook. The examples are relevant and clear, and help to illustrate the theories and concepts.
The text is consistent in its terminology and framework. I also like that the theoretical perspectives show up each chapter, demonstrating how to analyze the topic's through the major theoretical lenses.
The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections, which should keep students engaged with assigned readings. It only takes a few "clicks" to complete a chapter.
The topics are presented in a logical, clear fashion. It starts with the "sociological toolkit" which consists of theories and research methods. From there, it builds like most introductory texts: culture, society and social interaction, socialization, groups, deviance, social inequality (economic, global, U.S., race, gender and age) and social institutions.
I was able to engage with the online text without issue or error. I neither experienced navigation problems nor distortion of the images. The interface feels intuitive, and wasn't confusing or troublesome to navigate.
I didn't see major grammatical errors.
I was impressed that the section on the history of sociology begins before Auguste Comte and 18th century Europe (where most textbooks begin). I've only read one other source that credits a Chinese historian (13th C) and Tunisian sociologist (14th C) with making early connections between social dynamics and human behavior. I think that the inclusion of their contributions is crucial to dismantling the Eurocentric model of knowledge and knowledge production (i.e. that science and knowledge is only credible if produced by Western European men).
I like this book. It is clear and concise and meets the learning goals for my institution. For the discipline of sociology, it covers relevant and appropriate topics. The faculty member can then build in more detail as it suits their instructional need.
The textbook is comprehensive. I have selected numerous chapters from the textbook, but do not require all of the material in the text for a read more
The textbook is comprehensive. I have selected numerous chapters from the textbook, but do not require all of the material in the text for a principles of Sociology class. Thus it is more exhaustive than I need, but have the ability to choose which areas of the book I want my students to focus on.
This textbook has been reviewed in its entirety more than once and I have found now errors. It is relatively up to date (more so than hard bound copies are) and accurate.
This is a good solid introduction to Sociology textbook. Statistics are a big part of Sociology so it, like other intro Soc textbooks, will need to be updated regularly.
The textbook is written in a down to earth manner that students can understand and comprehend. Greater use of visual aids would assist students however.
The textbook is consistent with use of terms and does not mistakenly use terms interchangeably which can create confusion for students. It comes across as a professional book.
It is very easy to assign separate chapters in the order one would prefer. Because of its great depth of analysis this textbook could also be used for a Soc 201/202 course that requires more chapters.
It matches up with other Sociology textbooks (which is pretty standard).
There are no issues with its interface, but I would like more interfacing in general with digital resources, clickable maps, videos, etc.
No grammatical mistakes.
As a Sociology textbook it does a good job of looking at concepts from a cross-cultural perspective, thus it is culturally relevant and not offensive or insensitive to various races, ethnicities, sex, gender, and other groups of people.
I will be using this textbook in an OER course for Principles of Sociology.
The book lacks a chapter on power which is critical for student's understanding of how society works. Overall, the text covers the main subjects read more
The book lacks a chapter on power which is critical for student's understanding of how society works. Overall, the text covers the main subjects covered in an introductory text. The globalization focus is welcomed. It's not possible to click on a chapter to access that chapter - this makes movement in the text cumbersome. Moving to the next chapter when reading the text is slow.
No information on accuracy at this point.
The text is relevant and updates should be easy to implement. I suggest a need to add the theory and concepts about social power including the work on authority by Weber, the power elite by Mills, and concepts of class and class dominance by Domhoff. Concepts on authority, types of authority, types of power - cultural, economic and political and how society is stratified not only economically but along a clear power dimension are critical concepts in sociology. Even though there is a section on authority under Government and politics, the book does not address power comprehensively
The text is clear and easy to understand. I like the questions at the end of each chapter that enable students to test their understanding of key terms. Additional questions would be helpful. I like the way the chapters are organized in subsections.
There is a clear organization of presentation on the key areas typically covered in a sociology text - with the exception of the power dimension. However, there is much that is not covered.
Easy to extract separate chapters to compile for student use.
Appears logical and easy to follow.
Weak interface - difficult to navigate easily. Cumbersome. It's not possible to click on a chapter to access that chapter - this makes movement in the text cumbersome. Moving to the next chapter when reading the text is slow.
Grammar is fine
On the chapter on race and ethnicity - race in the United States - the description of Native Americans and Hispanics includes a chapter labeled: And why they came This indicates that these people were outsiders, when in fact they were native to the United States. Some bias reflected there. I do like the way the text incorporates current instances of police violence and criminalization of African American youth. The chapter on gender is extremely limited. It would need to be supplemented for students with other resources.
I think the OER text would work if it were supplemented with additional chapters from other books or academic articles.
This is a very in-depth look at the fundamentals of Sociology. The 21 chapters give the instructor a variety of materials to choose from but covers read more
This is a very in-depth look at the fundamentals of Sociology. The 21 chapters give the instructor a variety of materials to choose from but covers quite well the major aspects of each. The index of the book and the glossaries at the end of each chapter help the student in reviewing the major concepts of the chapter. The sample questions are helpful. It is important to me that the student not be given multiple attempts to get the answer right as found in so many online formats of textbooks. I would erase the answers (I assumed this was what the lightly printed "2, A" was for) that are given at the end of the chapter. I think this text could be used either in an online class or face-to-face setting with little adjustment. The essay-style questions at the end are good stimulants to critical thinking.
I found the text to be accurate and UNBIASED. Far too many Sociology textbooks have a leftist/liberal bias that is openly observable. This critical approach to Sociology from the left is no different from a bias coming from the right. I guess you can see that I am positivist in my thinking.
I think the book is very relevant and that the examples used are up to date. As with all textbooks, revision will be needed, but bringing current examples to the classroom is also the responsibility of the teacher, varying from venue to venue and in step with current events.
The text is clear with good flow in the presentation of ideas. New concepts are explained as they arise and reinforced at the end of each chapter. Many times, if there are multiple authors within a work, the style varies from chapter to chapter. I did not get that feel while reading the text.
The text seemed to be consistent from chapter to chapter. Approximately 20 pages were devoted to each and the terminology within and at the end were consistent.
Much of the division of the text was already done by the authors, but the division was logical and there was a flow to the presentation. Terms and examples were consistent with the topic and were fitted at the appropriate place in the text.
This text was most definitely presented in a clear, logical manner.
I found that I could copy and paste text but not pictures from the downloaded format. As I make my own Power Point presentations, it would be helpful if I could also borrow the same pictures as found in the text to include in my PP presentations other than printing the screen. There did seem to be a flaw in photo B on page 491. I don't know if this is something that could be fixed or not.
I did not note any grammatical errors in the book. This might be that I am not the best in English, but also the flow of the text keeps the reader engaged to the point that if errors are there, they are not prominent.
I found the book to be very relevant and applicable to today's (American) society. The examples used were relevant and sensitive to the viewpoints of others.
This was a very thorough book and I hope our school adopts this over what we are presently using for an introductory text.
The textbook is comprehensive covering all the ‘traditional topics’ typically covered in a general Introduction to Sociology course. I would prefer read more
The textbook is comprehensive covering all the ‘traditional topics’ typically covered in a general Introduction to Sociology course. I would prefer to see addition of two topics: 1) Role of the United Nations in societal change and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and 2) Terrorism, war and people’s security. Also, the following points could be worthy for adjustments: - The textbook has done justice emphasizing the three main theoretical perspectives (functionalism, conflict theory and symbolic interaction). However, to address the contemporary developments, it may familiarize more contemporary theories e.g. complex adaptive systems theory and feminist theory. - Regarding sociological research, elaboration of practical vs scientific knowledge may be more helpful. In addition, it is important to include indigenous research methodology. - Under social control and deviance, a section on positive deviance could be more fruitful.
Included information is accurate that directs readers to references and further research to find further information. The textbook is unbiased in written material and presents topics, including religion and politics, from a neutral position.
The textbook includes relevant examples related to emerging social agenda e.g. same-sex marriage and new immigrants.
The textbook is easy to read. It avoids unnecessary jargon and explains technical language maintaining the college-level reading.
The text is consistent throughout the chapters. Emphasis on key words including a glossary after each chapter is helpful.
The textbook can be made more practical by diving the chapters under 12 to 14 parts while accommodating reviewers’ suggestions that would help instructors and students to match with a semester long course e.g. one of the parts could be ‘diversity, inequality and inclusion.’
The textbook is well organized in general. As suggested above, it can be made more practical considering a semester long course.
The textbook’s interface is well maintained. The iBook version provides easy navigation and the pdf version is searchable using a find option. And, a new initiation to make the book mobile friendly could be beneficial!
I did not find significant grammatical errors during my review. It is important to remember that language and styles are always evolving.
The textbook includes diversity of examples regarding cultural relevance. It needs to highlight the existence of hidden cultures and an importance to address the issue of cultural subjectivity.
I am so happy to find this open textbook and was able to adopt as the required text in my last semester class. However, a few students went to ask the Dean of the college that the printed copies were not available locally. Hence, to make the textbook acceptable and accessible, OpenStax may network with the libraries at colleges.
The text covers a wider range of topics in sociology, probably more than one can cover in one semester. I found it's comprehensiveness to be read more
The text covers a wider range of topics in sociology, probably more than one can cover in one semester. I found it's comprehensiveness to be satisfactory with more than enough information. The only critique in this area would be regarding the chapter on religion, which I had to supplement with additional information about religiosity, it's measurement, and demography of denominational differences in the U.S. These was no way I could fit every single chapter in the semester, so be prepared to pick and choose.
The book's information is error-free and and accurate. Some definitions are slightly different from other texts, but overall reliable and easy for students to grasp.
I was impressed with how relevant and up to date the book's examples were. In each chapter, relevant social issues were used as guiding examples of the chapter's content (i.e., Black lives matter movement, same-sex marriage laws, etc.). I can see how these might become dated at some point, but definitely not in a short period of time. It also seems that the way the text is written makes it easy to update examples as needed.
The text avoids unnecessary jargon and complexity, while still maintaining college-level reading level. When technical language is used, it is explained within the context of clear examples. The reading is accessible and engaging.
The book's organization (introduction with vivid example, major concepts, then analyzing topics with each of the main sociological frameworks, e.g., conflict, symbolic interaction, and functionalist) is consistent throughout the book and for each chapter. I found this format made it easy to prep for class and assists in a deeper understanding of each of the important frameworks.
Each chapter is divided into several smaller subsections related to the format described above. Each subsection is logical and places key terms in their relative context and can be easily connected with the glossary in the back of each chapter.
The book's organization begins with general sociological topics (i.e., prominent theories, socialization, stratification, etc.). These tend to be the most difficult for students to grasp, however, tangible examples help ease the ambiguity for students. The subsequent chapters use the concepts given in these first chapters as tools to study the rest of the social world divided by respective important areas in the discipline (i.e., a chapter on education, health, race/ethnicity, etc.). The organization of the text ensures that students get the essential building blocks before dividing into studying everyday social institutions.
I used both the digital PDF copy and the iBook version. The iBook version makes for fast and easy navigation. Chapters are just two clicks away from an interactive menu and students can click on the terms featured in chapters and be taken to the glossary instantly. I did find some differences in examples used between the PDF version and iBook version (particularly in chapter 1) for the "Making Connection - Sociology in the Real World." This can be problematic if the instructor expects students to know these. Some of my students ordered the hard copy, but I did not get an opportunity to review it.
There were no problems with the book's grammar.
I was very pleased with the diversity of examples used in this textbook. It was able to accomplish this without being biased or dogmatic.
Each chapter section has an extensive glossary. Occasionally, key terms are not included nor bolded in the text. It would be helpful to have a read more
Each chapter section has an extensive glossary. Occasionally, key terms are not included nor bolded in the text. It would be helpful to have a separate, clickable comprehensive glossary for each chapter, and ideally for the book, which one can click on to search for a term, rather than needing to search chapter section by chapter section. If I've missed this, then I'll say it could be made more readily viewable.
This book has a strong level of accuracy, at least for the chapters I am most familiar with from my use in Soc 204, Chs 1-11.
This book has a lot of currency and discusses recent events. There are examples that could be heavier on the basic concepts they connect, within the discussion of a particular case. But it has a good balance of relevance and longevity.
This is a strength as well as a weakness in the text. The language is technically very clear and accurate, but sometimes to a fault. For example, there are definitions that are so laden with academic-speak that they can be meaningless, at least to my community college students (some were difficult for me to make sense at first exposure, in spite of my familiarity). Others are so brief and colloquial that they are also unhelpful in distinguishing the term. These are the exceptions that could be improved, and in those cases, I supplement in class with better definitions. Most definitions in the book are well constructed. The prose itself is very accessible on the whole.
The text is consistent.
The book's modularity is a strength.
At first I was a bit jarred by this book's organizational structure for the chapters I use in Soc 204, which varies from previous textbooks (notably on placement of the discussion of sociocultural evolution, as well as other concepts in chapter 4). On further thought, I see the rational for it.
I've had no problems at all with the Interface.
For the chapters I use, 1-11, I've noticed no grammatical errors (an improvement over other textbooks).
The book is inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities and backgrounds. I think there are some that could be replaced with more examples more relevant to community college students (looking at you, Parrotheads discussion). I also think that at times it uses examples that are of limited impact when more obviously relevant issues, ongoing in the last few years, would have been more meaningful and historically enduring (re longevity).
It's a solid and relevant textbook. My main criticisms would only be around fine tuning. I'm happy this resource is available practically cost-free for my students and I appreciate the instructor resources and hope they will be expanded over time.
This book covers the expected chapters and key terms for an Intro textbook. read more
This book covers the expected chapters and key terms for an Intro textbook.
This book adequately represents the information found in most Intro textbooks. However, the clarity of the content is uneven. I find the description of Ritualism (Strain theory) problematic and thus, hard to differentiate from innovation. The definition of deviance is more elaborate than needed.
The text includes recent statistics and contemporary examples
The clarity of ideas is uneven. For example, the explanation of the difference between belief and value is confusing. The discussion of social control makes it difficult for students to differentiate between social control and social norms even though the definitions are clear.
The book's application of the theoretical perspectives is consistent.
This book is organized well
I think the organization of this book works well.
I have never experienced a problem or had students complain.
I have found no grammatical errors.
The distinction between transgender and transsexual is unnecessary and disrespectful of the trans community's wishes.
Overall this is a good book to use if you are an experienced educator. I would have struggled with creating comprehensive lectures in my first few semesters using this book. I would recommend newer lecturers to use a traditional Intro book in the beginning. However, now that I have a good foundation, this book is adequate. Students really appreciate the free textbook. The test bank is poor. Many questions are confusing and there is not enough varying levels (knowledge vs. comprehension vs. application).
I would rate this text as comprehensive. While i might re-arrange the order of the material, in some cases/chapters, overall i find the book as read more
I would rate this text as comprehensive. While i might re-arrange the order of the material, in some cases/chapters, overall i find the book as including the main tenants of sociology as needed in an introductory course. (As a minor note, i personally appreciate the inclusion of media and technology as a chapter’s focus, as this is lacking in the book i currently use.) With 21 chapters, and my tendency to cover one chapter a week in class, i would, however, perhaps only use 15-16 of the chapters in class.
Based on my review, i would say that the textbook is accurate. I did not run across any examples of errors or information that i felt was biased.
I would say that the text uses many socially relevant/current examples. The “Making Connections” boxes were particularly helpful in providing these examples to help students think about/apply sociological concepts to such examples. In my experience, in an intro class, brining in example related to pop culture can additionally help to engage many of the students in the classroom (in helping them think through the sociological relevance of things they are already paying attention to) - so i could perhaps see some slight room for improvement here, but, overall, the text provides relevant content that i believe could be easily updated.
I would give the text high markings for clarity. I could see the chapter reviews at the end being extremely helpful for students in terms of gaining a clear understanding of the material and terms.
I would give the text high marks for consistency. I did not notice any examples of inconsistency. As just one example, the text seemed to make a point of utilizing theory throughout, and applying the different theoretical perspectives discussed through the different chapter’s topics.
I appreciated the use of the “Making Connections” boxes in this regard. They helped breaking up long pieces of text (in addition to providing interesting examples). As mentioned previously, given the structure of my Intro class and the weeks in the semester, i would likely not utilize every chapter in this book for my class - however, i believe it would be easy to select 15-16 chapters from the 21 to use, and that using such a selection would not yield any problems in terms of flow.
Overall, i believe the topics are presented in a logical, clear fashion. There are a few pieces which, as a matter of opinion, i would perhaps have changed - for example, i like to include a discussion of society alongside culture, as a means to talk about and differentiate between these two terms. I did not care for this book’s inclusion of society within social interaction. I personally believe that the topic of social interaction is enough for an entire chapter on its own. I also structure my class with a review of socialization first, and then social interaction. This could probably be re-worked with this text, in terms of just assigning readings out of the order provided (although, with society lumped in with social interaction, this might cause some challenge). Yet, these are mostly a matter of personal preference - the text still did a nice job in presenting flow in the order it utilized (i just would approach it slightly differently in this particular case with some of the earlier chapters).
There seemed to be some large blank spots on some of the pages. Not a huge deal, but a slight annoyance. Other than that, the interface seemed fine. I am a bit biased as i am still a fan of hard copy texts over online texts, but, for the format it uses, i think the interface was alright.
I did not notice any grammatical errors.
I think, overall, the text did a reasonable job with this - - including coverage with pictures, examples, etc. - - although perhaps slight room for improvement. For example, i found myself paying attention to how many pictures included just white people as opposed to other groups, and felt there was some room for improvement re: diversity in visual representations. Overall though, i think decent effort made.
One of my favorite things about the textbook was the chapter review information. I think this could be very helpful for students in terms of reviewing the material.
The text overall does a great job covering the relevant content for an introductory course and provides a detailed glossary for key terms at the end read more
The text overall does a great job covering the relevant content for an introductory course and provides a detailed glossary for key terms at the end of each chapter, while also including a comprehensive index in the back of the book.
The content is accurate, yet not always in an unbiased way (e.g. framing Structural-Functionalism as an outdated, and potentially unuseful, paradigm in Chapter 1).
The text offers both classic and modern examples for illustrating the concepts, which can be helpful for students of all ages to connect with the content.
The textbook is written in a very accessible way, overall the authors do a great job explaining the concepts and illustrating them with relevant examples. Some of the figures could use further explanation (e.g. Table 1.1).
The text is very consistent, especially with regards to formatting and chapter layout—very user friendly!
The sections, formatting and sub-headings are organized in a consistent and logical fashion overall.
The topics are presented in a consistent and logical fashion, while the writing style is clear and easy to follow. See my comment regarding the structure of Chapter 1 at the end.
As discussed above, some of the figures could use more explanation and examples but all images within the text are free of any distortions and showed up on my Nook reader well (even though I downloaded the 10MB version of the text).
I found no grammatical errors in my reading of the text.
As with most Sociology textbooks, all topics are presented in an inclusive fashion with no culturally insensitive language or framing.
I feel the text could do a better job discussing the 3 foundational theorists along with the 3 main paradigms in Chapter 1. I would save the discussion, concepts and pictures of Marx, Durkheim and Weber for the section that discusses the 3 main paradigms (where you can connect each foundational figure and their concepts with the appropriate paradigm). I thought the other chapters, and especially the research methods chapter, did a great job with organizing and discussing the content—I just feel the first chapter could use some additional restructuring to engage the students from the very onset of the course.
The comprehensiveness of this text is where I find there is room for most improvement. While I can appreciate length-constraints, there are a read more
The comprehensiveness of this text is where I find there is room for most improvement. While I can appreciate length-constraints, there are a considerable number of topics i feel could use more explanation in order to make the concepts accessible to introductory students. I use this textbook as a 'skeleton' resource for my students (for this it serves very well), and supplement with additional general material.
I have found no inaccuracies within this text.
As 'pull-out' illustrations of ideas are included in this text to supplement learning, these appear to be easy to replace as updates are needed.
I find the language and readability generally accessible for my students at community college. There are some concepts that (as I referred to regarding comprehensiveness) I feel could be embellished in order to convey more abstract ideas.
This textbook offers a consistent read and framework for learners.
Thus far, I use specific chapters of this text as a packet and find no struggle in modulating for my lessons.
The organization, structure and flow follow an intuitive and understandable format.
I find no difficulties with this book's interface.
I find no grammatical errors in this text.
Considering the diversity of culture, ethnicity, and gender found on campuses today, and that resides in our global society, there is ample room for this textbook to include a broader array of races, ethnicities and backgrounds as it illustrates concepts with current and historical events and phenomenon.
Introduction to Sociology covers topics that are sometimes only mentioned in other texts. The authors did an excellent job of including the most read more
Introduction to Sociology covers topics that are sometimes only mentioned in other texts. The authors did an excellent job of including the most important topics of Sociology, including socialization, groups, gender, race, and forms of governance.
After carefully reading multiple sections of the textbook, I am confident that the authors made the effort to provide accurate information. I'm impressed that each section includes a references list. This lends a huge amount of credibility to the text and enables instructors and students to go back these sources for more information.
The main text of each section is broad enough that it has strong longevity. Insets of what I like to call "case studies" provide more timely examples that could easily be switched out in the digital versions of the book. As a print version, these examples could run into the problem of becoming out of date, but that would be the case with any hard copy of a textbook.
The style of writing used in this text is mostly clear, and special vocabulary is properly defined. However, I don't find the prose as accessible to community college students as it could be. I will say, though, that quality lectures could easily make up the difference.
In terms of consistency, those who designed this textbook did an excellent job. Each chapter has a strong introduction that creates a framework for discussing specific topics that appear after. Every section has high quality pictures that effectively illustrate ideas, sections are clearly labeled, there is a summary, self-quiz questions, an invitation to do further research, and references. There is a clear pattern that both instructors and students can follow in a natural way.
My favorite thing about this textbook is its modularity. I felt overwhelmed at first when I saw that there were 21 chapters, but it would be extremely easy to break them up to fit a variety of term time frames and even how many days the class meets each week. Because each chapter has its own introductory section, it is easy to jump around without worrying that one chapter must come before another. Really impressed by this because it is not easy to do.
Creating a flow to a Sociology text can be difficult because there are some essential theoretical concepts that must be understood before you can start looking at the multitude of specific topics/concerns addressed by the discipline. At the same time, some of these ideas are abstract enough that the best way to get them across is to give examples. This text follows the most common approach, which involves laying out the theory first and then using those ideas to explore other topics. I personally prefer this approach, as opposed to textbooks that start with a problem and then bring in theory to provide the solution. Also on the topic of organization and structure, having a table of contents in the online version of the text is really helpful. For someone reading a print version, I don't think the text would seem as organized.
I did not encounter any interface issues. Every time I used the table of contents, I was taken to the correct location in the text. I browsed at least half of the text, and I did not encounter images or charts that were distorted. Also, all of the text appeared where it is supposed to. There was no floating text, bulleted lists that didn't line up, awkwardly large or small text, or any other HTML-related errors.
I did not encounter any grammatical errors, although the text does tend to have fairly long sentences. Breaking up sentences may improve clarity and make the book more accessible to community college students.
Some Sociology texts struggle with cultural sensitivity, but I did not encounter that problem with this text. My background is in Anthropology, and I have to say I was impressed by the way people of other cultures and ethnicities were discussed. The authors also took the time to include examples from a variety of time periods, regions, and cultures. The textbook acknowledges that American culture is influenced by people from many different places, and presents this information in an unbiased way.
I consider this textbook high quality and am seriously considering using it for my introductory Sociology class. The online interface is well-executed and adds value to the text. Being able to pick and choose modules very easily also makes this text very appealing, especially for newer instructors who aren't sure where to start. Finally, having access to tools to help build a course syllabus and powerpoint slides makes adoption of this textbook almost a no-brainer.
This textbook seems to provide an excellent introduction to the basic theories and ideas in Sociology however, for those of us who teach a series of read more
This textbook seems to provide an excellent introduction to the basic theories and ideas in Sociology however, for those of us who teach a series of General Sociology courses over three terms, essentially dividing the text into thirds, additional content would most likely be needed.
The content appears to be very unbiased and straightforward. I did not spot any accuracy problems or errors in skimming through multiple chapters.
The data used in the tables are based on very relevant basic social concepts that are unlikely to change any time soon. The making connections sections relate important concepts regarding current social policy.
The text is very accessible to the undergraduate student. The concepts and key terms are clearly identified and the section summaries reinforce the learning objectives of each chapter.
I appreciate the format of the text, with the learning objectives for each chapter followed by the introduction and chapter sections clearly defined and numbered. The consistency of the framework would make it easy to locate information during lecture and classroom activities for the instructor and provides a logical format for students as they explore the content within the chapters.
I believe the textbook provides excellent modularity. For instance, for a struggling learner it would be easy to chunk the information into manageable components. I find many of my students are not interested in reading long blocks of text and would much rather see information arranged in smaller bytes.
The presentation of the materials in the text follows a very clear and logical order. Although it would be easy to re-arrange chapter presentation, I appreciate that the research chapter follows the introductory chapter. While I am concerned with the fact that a full year course would be difficult to build with this content alone, it is refreshing to see a text that limits the chapter content to approximately three to five major concepts.
I did not find any issues with the book's interface, as a former disability services coordinator I was pleased with the Design For All elements included in the text and it's barrier free design.
I did not find any problems or concerns with grammar in the chapters I read.
I did not find any offensive content and I felt that the examples provided in the Making Connections sections were culturally diverse and relevant to today's social issues, but not necessarily presented as "hot-button topics". In fact, I found some of the detail regarding social problems to be less edgy and controversial than other sociology textbooks.
Overall, I like the text. I would consider adopting it for my courses but I would need to spend a fair amount of time redesigning my course series to make sure I could utilize the text for the full three terms. I am pleased to know there is a way to lower the textbook expenses for my students without compromising quality.
This text is used for foundation content in a health sciences diversity course. The coverage of culture, health, medicine, aging, disability, read more
This text is used for foundation content in a health sciences diversity course. The coverage of culture, health, medicine, aging, disability, specific ethnic groups is appropriate and presented in a thoughtful and engaging manner that encourages further interaction with the topic.
Information is presented in a manner that encourages the learner to critically evaluate current issues from a sociological lense and to analyze multiple perspectives.
The content and additional resources present timely issues, conflicts and opportunities to critically evaluate major issues in society. The topics chosen to represent current issues are fairly long-standing and persistent concerns. This edition is designed to be relevant and useful for some time.
Topics are clearly presented at an appropriate level for the entry level student.
Each chapter/module is presented in a consistent manner. Learners are able to develop a pattern in reviewing the important concepts in each section, making the most of self-testing and additional resources.
Since this text is to be used as a foundation for a cultural diversity course, the ability to choose and use selected modules is important. Each module can be used independently, however, reference to theory and consistent organization help the student to maintain focus through the entire book
Flow and organization support learning, allow the student to reinforce theory and themes, foster critical thinking and analysis.
Everything works as intended. The ability to easily move through chapters and topics is a useful feature of the digital edition.
I did not identify grammatical errors
Sensitive topics are presented in a manner that encourages the student to consider opposing perspectives and develop skill in holding and analyzing opposing positions. The student is encouraged to understand the superficial presentation of many sociological problems and to dig deeper for greater understanding
I would not have adopted a basic sociology textbook for this particular course if an open text was not available. This text will be a useful and thoughtful resource for my health sciences course
The book's comprehensiveness is average, or just above average. However, Chapter 21 needs: 'political process' or 'political opportunity theory' (and read more
The book's comprehensiveness is average, or just above average. However, Chapter 21 needs: 'political process' or 'political opportunity theory' (and less detail on framing theory) of S.M.'s; and it should also have *theories* of social change, as well as 'war/geopolitics/terrorism' as quasi-institutional sources of social change. Chapter 20 should address biodiversity, forests, & oceans, AND the scientific consensus on climate change! Ch. 16 should include 'teacher expectancy effect' & self-fulfilling prophecy within S-I theory. Ch. 15 needs to define/explain fundamentalism. In Ch. 12, the Functionalism theory should include Parsons' concepts of sex-based division of labor (into 'instrumental' & 'expressive' roles). Ch. 9 - 10: Theory section needs reference to World-systems theory; and the Global Wealth & Poverty section needs data tables. Ch. 9 needs to use more than just 3 class levels (beyond upper/middle/ lower) -- and more detailed income & wealth data. Ch. 8 needs Ogburn's tech processes & cultural lag, as well as Habermas' public sphere, & Castells' networks. Chapter 7 needs Durkheim's 'anomie' concept.
The accuracy is average, although it is slightly below average in some parts. For example, the Ch. 1 definitions of: 'sociology' & 'culture' are a bit broad or over-general -- and 'sociological imagination' is too centered on 'the past & history'. In Ch. 3, 'culture's' definition needs 'artifacts' along with 'beliefs/behaviors'; and the statement "folkways are norms without any moral underpinnings" is not fully accurate. Folkways are norms that *may* lack moral underpinning -- or where it is less significantly tied to morality than other norms. In Ch. 4, "3000 BCE" is far too recent a date for the Agricultural Revolution (it's much older) -- as the Neolithic or Agricultural Revolution began emerging in various locations between 8,000 and 5,000 BCE (and Ch. 18 gets this date correct). Likewise, dates shown for pastoral & horticultural societies are too recent. Also, civilized/agric. society needs more detail, including its establishment of private property, governments & other institutions. 'Feudal societies' were *not* just in 9th-C. Europe, & they should be seen as an extension of agricultural society. A 'status' should be clarified as being a social position in society, with a role and *sometimes* a rank (but not always, e.g. 'parent', 'sibling'). Ch. 6 Formal Organizations: bureaucracy features should include 'written records'. AND it needs bureaucracy 'dysfunctions', e.g. groupthink, ritualism, alienation. In Ch. 7, a 'class system' and a 'meritocracy' should not be depicted as separate systems; rather, a meritocracy is one major feature of a class system. While Ch. 11 provides excellent definitions of Racial, Ethnic, and Minority Groups, the functionalist theory is presented too simplistically (should note functions of 'group closure & of segregation). Cinco de Mayo/May 5th is NOT Mexican independence day. [p.240]; the Indian Removal Act of 1830, NOT 1930 [p.242]; and "by 1769 [NOT 1869], the slave trade was internal in the [future] U.S." [p.243]. 'Hispanics' should also be described as 'Latino'. and the Irish Potato Famine of 1845, NOT 1945 [p.249]. In Ch. 13, exchange theory should be NOT be included under the Conflict theory heading. The Ch. 14 opening vignette repeats the misconception that "1/2 of marriages" fail. Ch. 16 'Educ Around the World' section relies too heavily on one non-academic source (NPR) -- so it obscures the top factor for low U.S. scores: higher poverty rates in combination with a less selective/more universal pool of student test-takers. The Policy section, especially on the failed NCLB, needs references (e.g. Diane Ravitch). In Ch. 17, the crucial topics of: 'interest groups', lobbying, & 'pluralism' (functionalism) are nearly absent. And the power-elite (conflict) theory of power should discuss MILLS at least as much as Domhoff. In Ch. 18, 'Capitalism in Practice' should explain 'mixed economies' &/or 'welfare-state capitalism'; and as always, 'socialism in practice' should be distinguished from 'communism' as theory. Failing to do this leads to mischaracterizing thinkers like Proudhon, who was less a socialist like Marx, & more an 'anarchist-communist'. In Ch. 20, Demogr/Pop section should note the year, 2011, when pop. passed 7 billion, and 'human ecology' should be called 'urban ecology'. In Ch. 21, it should be called the 'anti-corporate' or 'global justice' movement, NOT the 'anti-globalization movement' -- which was the label foisted on it by some mainstream media reports. And it is rarely seen as a movement to 'resist change' (such as the Tea Party) -- but rather as a movement versus the status quo of corporate agendas & influence. In Figure 21.4, Agents of social control do not necessarily "bring collective behavior to an end."-> Social control agents can just as well re-direct, as disrupt. Finally, the individual self-improvement movements are labeled ALTERATIVE (no N), not alternative, movements.
It's relatively up-to-date and relevant. Ch. 9 needs more current (& detailed) income & wealth data. In Ch. 7, 'Social Disorganization Theory', & 'Cultural Deviance Theory' are no longer widely studied and have largely been supplanted by Control Theories & Differential Association Theory. Chpt. 7 also needs more data references & updates especially for corporate crime. Ch. 3 is very strong on ethnomethodology & on 'hipsters' -- and on cultural change. The Ch. 2 Jimmy Buffett example seems very dated. And the Ch. 1 data, such as on home foreclosures, has become a bit outdated.
It's quite clear. However, the Ch. 1 table on SNAP/food stamps is a bit unclear. And the 'figuration' concept is an unconventional & perhaps challenging idea with which to begin the Introduction. In Ch. 2, 'objectivity' needs to be qualified (its limits & the role of values) early in the chapter. The Ch. 4 'society' forms should be rooted in the concept of 'social structure', & 'institutions' need to be more explicitly defined. In Ch. 5, Cooley (L-G Self) & Mead's ideas (esp. of the 'game stage' following 'play stage' & the typical age of children in these stages) need more explanation. In Ch. 8, the world-systems terms (core, periphery...) need explanation.
Mostly excellent. However, some chapters (e.g. Ch. 2 & 7) need more research literature references. And some key concepts are lacking a bold typeface (such as 'institutional discrimination' in Ch. 11).
Generally very good. However, its narrative flow is a bit clunky or awkward in places, including parts of the Ch. 1/Intro -- and in Ch. 2 the Disney vignette & Scientific Method descriptions are too lengthy/wordy. In Ch. 9, the brief global strat information should much more clearly & explicitly direct readers to the next chapter/Ch.10. In Ch. 12, the 3 paradigms should be presented just once, as applied to both gender AND sex. Finally, concluding Chapter 21 with 'modernization' is appropriate -- BUT it should be emphasized as both a master trend of change as well as a contested concept (especially for traditionalist & fundamentalist movements).
It's relatively free of interface issues. However, some of the charts/graphics image resolution is below-average quality.
It's quite good. However, in Ch. 11, p.232: 'caucasus' is misspelled as 'caucus'.
It's generally good, e.g. the Ch. 14 focus on corporal punishment. However, the Ch. 1 Intro feels a bit generic & could have more specificity to make it more vivid & engaging. And about the Individ-Society Connections inset (on LGBT): The way it is framed might overly gear it to a narrow/minority reader? In Ch. 7, more detailed crime demographics are needed! The Ch. 11 opening vignette should be much more compelling, vis-a-vis the recently explicit & extreme examples of law enforcement discrim/prej.
This is very good quality for a multi-author, open source textbook.
The Introduction to Sociology text is comprehensive covering all the topics typically covered in a general Introduction to Sociology course. The read more
The Introduction to Sociology text is comprehensive covering all the topics typically covered in a general Introduction to Sociology course. The text is brief and only covers the three main theoretical perspectives so Feminist theory, Rational Choice, or Exchange theory would have to be supplemented. The index ans glossary are well comprised.
The information is accurate and well researched. References and Further research provides students with additional sources to find information. The text is unbiased in written material and presents topics from a neutral position.
The content is up to date and edits to include updated statistics would be easy to incorporate in the future. The fundamental concepts are presented.
The book is straightforward and easy to read. Having a glossary at the end of each chapter will help students understand the key terms. The references and suggestions for further research will also assist students in gathering more information on each chapter.
The text formation is consistent throughout the chapters. Key words are in bold to find faster and a glossary after each chapter. Each term is defined in context within the text and then listed at the end of the chapter.
I think the text has good modularity that can cater to the topics instructors want to focus on. Instructors would not have difficulty changing the chapter to focus on sub-unit areas such as theory without disorganization or disruptions for the students.
The text is comparable to more other Introduction to Sociology texts out on the market today. It is written in a clear, neutral, and logical order. The topics are listed in a logical progression for student learning with basic chapter and introduction fist and special focus on topics in the later chapters.
I did not see any interface issues or distractions/ distortions of images. The graphics are well integrated into the content and context of the course.
I did not recognize any grammatical errors during my review.
I did not find the text to be culturally insensitive or offensive. It covers racial, ethnic, and religious groups. The book is inclusive of various groups in examples.
I have enjoined reading and review the text. We are planning on adopting the text in the fall of 2016.
This textbook is very comprehensive, especially for use in a semester-based (15 week) course. read more
This textbook is very comprehensive, especially for use in a semester-based (15 week) course.
I found the text to be accurate.
The examples provided are mostly relevant. I do not find the example of the Parrotheads to be relevant to today's students, and some of the technology pictures are already outdated. I think the examples involving social media and online, virtual communities and relationships could be updated as that is rapidly changing and some of these examples make the text feel dated in places. This is understandably challenging for any textbook.
I find the writing style, examples, and discussion points are very clearly written and mostly jargon free for an introductory audience. I feel this textbook limits the jargon and explains sociological concepts significantly more clearly than the textbook I have adopted.
I appreciate the application of the sociological perspectives in most chapters and find this consistency good. Even more "real-life" examples illustrating the sociological perspectives with current social issues would be welcome.
The modularity is good, and may help with my concerns with covering all the content in a semester long course. I would use 12 chapters entirely, with smaller sections of 4-5 other chapters. The learning objectives for each chapter are very good.
I would prefer to see more examples of the application of research methods, globalization, global and social change, and demography throughout the textbook because it is difficult to cover all the chapters fully in a semester long course.
The textbook is very easy to read, easy to navigate, and displays nicely on my laptop. I would like to see more hyperlinked content, especially in the references (especially web references) and further research sections as well as on charts and other graphics.
I did not see any obvious grammatical issues.
I would like to see more demographics and examples incorporating American Indians. If American Indians are left out of a particular social equality ranking due to low numbers, this should be clearly stated. I feel the contemporary needs of both rural and urban American Indian populations are underrepresented in this text.
I found the writing style, very easy to understand explanations, and real-life examples make for a very interesting and engaging textbook, especially for first year college students and dual credit students. The "Making Connections" examples given really make the connection between sociology and one's individual actions very clearly, and do a very nice job of explaining what sociology is for an introductory audience. The key terms, section summary, and section quiz at the end of each chapter are very well-written for a first year (100 level) course. I find the section (end of chapter) quiz questions and short answer questions in this resource much more useful than those in my current textbook for preparing students for exams. Good references and further research sections are provided. These end of chapter resources, in addition to the "Making Connections" examples, reflect the key terms and concepts I want my students to learn from each chapter very well. The PDF format of the textbook is much easier to read and use online than I anticipated. I intend to seriously explore adopting this textbook for my online and dual credit Introduction to Sociology courses in 2016-2017. I already supplement my current textbook with a number of hyperlinked articles, websites, discussion forums, and other materials in the LMS. For this reason, I feel the benefits of the open resource materials for students outweigh the need to have the most recent edition of a textbook, especially for an intro-level sociology course.
The text is fairly comprehensive for an introductory level course, but it often lacks detail--even for an Intro text. For example, the text excludes read more
The text is fairly comprehensive for an introductory level course, but it often lacks detail--even for an Intro text. For example, the text excludes discussion on feminist perspectives and it fails to attribute theoretical paradigms to the corresponding theorists.
Overall, the content is accurate and provides numerous illustrations and citations to support claims.
The text addresses issues that are relevant to a modern context but can also transcend the present day to continually engage students for years to come.
The text is clear, concise, and avoids disciplinary jargon.
Writing and content are consistent throughout the text and has the appearance of a single author.
The text is divided in a manner that makes sense. Instructors can adopt chapters as a whole or choose to focus on relevant sections with ease.
The text flows in a manner that is logical, clear, and easy to follow.
The interface leaves much to be desired. For a digital text, the text does not take advantage of colors, hyperlinks, or interactive features that are not available for print texts.
The text is grammatically correct.
Though book is not culturally offensive, it could be more culturally inclusive, particularly in the examples and illustrations.
Overall, this is book is a solid, economical option for an introductory text. Its strengths outweigh its weaknesses. In addition, the quizzes at the end of each section are particularly helpful for reviewing the material.
This textbook provided a comprehensive study of introductory sociology. The engaging graphs, figures and applications extended the mental grasp read more
This textbook provided a comprehensive study of introductory sociology. The engaging graphs, figures and applications extended the mental grasp of the subject matter. The reviews and summaries at the end of the each chapter provided a helpful measure for student understanding.
The text provided accuracy in learning and research through precise citations, further areas for research and well documented chapter references.
The text definitely provided pertinent and relevant social issues to its research and theory. The longevity of the applications and extensions are exceptional and very engaging.
Yes, this text is clearly and concise written which promotes a high level of understanding while avoiding ambiguity.
Yes, there was an adherence to a consistent format and writing style. The overall consistency in format, tone and writing enhances understanding and trust for the reader.
Yes, the text does an excellent job of skillfully presenting each chapter as a concise learning opportunity, yet within the thematic flow of the entire text.
Overall the text flows with ease, logical and validity.
The text's interface provides a smooth flow and connection for the reader within the different modes of content delivery.
There were no grammatical errors detected within this textbook.
Yes, the textbook is inclusive and comprehensive in its respectful tone and content.
I enjoyed and respected the content and format of this textbook.
Yes. The text does a really good job by capturing a wide range of sociological theories, concepts, and issues in both the content and glossary.read more
Yes. The text does a really good job by capturing a wide range of sociological theories, concepts, and issues in both the content and glossary.
I agree. The text is well-written and scrupulously edited. It adopts an appropriate scholarly and objective tone.
I agree wholeheartedly.
Yes. I am impressed by the text's accessible, flowing and logical language. It should be easy read for first year students, non-sociology students, and laypersons.
Yes, it is. I did not find any inconsistencies.
I agree absolutely.
Yes, The textbook uses appropriate language that is respectful of people of different racial, ethnic and other backgrounds.
The is well researched and written book. The language is accessible and the research and data are up to date. However, it has a huge downside, it is written for American students/audience. Its paucity in Canadian content is a worry. Canadian students will be hugely disadvantaged using this text, as it fails to provide Canadian examples/illustrations. I recommend a revamping of the text to include Canadian content and context, in order to make it relevant to the Canadian reader.
This review originated in the BC Open Textbook Collection and is licensed under CC BY-ND.
Yes, see attached commentsread more
Yes, see attached comments
Some errors exist. See attached document
Test is far too US-centric, see attached document
Well written and basically jargon free.
Yes, good modular structure
The flow is coherent and sufficiently flexible to allow people to adopt alternative orders.
Display features are fine, save for the US-centric focus
The text makes no reference to Canada. This is its core weakness
Report on “Introduction to Sociology” N Guppy (UBC) August, 2013 In reviewing the OpenStax College textbook, Introduction to Sociology, I preface my comments, briefly, with two pieces of background. First, I say a bit about my own teaching experience as it bears on this review. Second, I describe a little about how sociology in BC/Canada differs from the United States. The remainder of the review addresses the substance of the book. I end by suggesting what some challenges would be in adapting this book for a BC audience. In all of this I have paid attention to, and responded to, the various issues raised in the BC Open Textbook review criteria. Experience Two issues are germane here. First I have taught versions of Introduction to Sociology at UBC since 1979 so I am quite familiar with the material typically covered in the course for which this book was designed. In my introductory course teaching I have used a range of different textbooks. I have also reviewed introductory level textbooks for various publishers, both in Canada and the United States so I am well acquainted with the range of material available and used in these courses. Second, I have recently spent ten months adapting one of the best-selling US Introductory Sociology textbooks for use in Canada. From this I know, firsthand, how much the standard US sociology book needs to be changed to work as an effective learning aid in Canada (compare George Ritzer’s Introduction to Sociology, Sage Publications with George Ritzer and Neil Guppy’s Introduction to Sociology, Canadian Version, Sage Publications). At its core the OpenStax text is a US centric-book. I also am aware that this latter experience, adapting a US text, might imply that I am in a conflict of interest in reviewing this book. I obviously do not hold that view because, in my judgement, insights from this experience outweigh any possible personal benefit I might accrue. Nevertheless, it is important that readers of my review are apprised of what some might interpret as a conflict of interest. Sociology in Context Mathematics and physics are disciplines whose basic content does not differ across societies. The fundamental core of these disciplines are largely invariant even if for various reasons scholars in different countries may begin in different places or stress different topics. Such would not be the case in literature, as a third disciplinary example, where every country would be expected to have, to a large degree, its own literary themes and traditions. Sociology is much like the latter. Societies differ and sociology, at its centre, is focused upon those differences. India’s caste system is much different from the class structure of Europe. Labour migration in China is fundamentally different from such migration in Mexico. Social movements in the Arab world follow different rhythms than do related movements in the industrial west. As these examples illustrate there are parallels across societies – caste versus class is about differentiation, for example – but sociology in India would approach things quite differently than would sociology in Europe. This is true too of Canada versus the United States. Here are a few examples. Both societies are riven with differences that fracture social cohesion – in Canada the French-English divide is often paralleled with the differences between Blacks and Whites, and increasingly Hispanics, in the US. To understand these divisions requires quite separate analytic tools even though at one level it is a difference of ethnicity versus race. A second example comes in examining social mobility. The United States experiences greater levels of individual or circulation mobility than is true of Canada, although in both countries the cultural myths we live by exaggerate just how much such mobility actually occurs (inheritance of poverty or privilege is rampant, as Blacks and Aboriginal peoples will testify). [In both countries a large amount of the mobility that does occur is structural not individual, which suggests of course some sociological similarities across societies as would be expected.] Not to belabour the point too much, but from a different angle the Canada-US difference is seen in how the discipline of sociology in North America articulates with European influences. These are much greater in Canada than in the US. Canadian scholars have found much more merit in using political economy perspectives shaped in part by Europeans, than have US sociologists. To a large extent that is a function of a much, much greater manufacturing presence, at least historically, in the US (and the idea of US exceptionalism) and a much less developed resource economy which is, of course, the lifeblood of many, many Canadian communities (whether in harvesting or transporting raw materials). OpenStax College Introduction to Sociology In my judgement this is an adequate, one-semester, introductory book for sociology. It highlights the core concepts, foundational scholars, and emerging theories that any competent sociologist in BC would employ to introduce students to the discipline. Most people who adopted such a book would add some of their own emphases and tastes, but the fundamental conceptual core is sound (with a few exceptions as noted below). Where the book is much weaker is with evidence, research, and illustration. Anyone using this book for BC students would have to do an enormous amount of work, relative to the amount involved if other books were used, in supplementing the evidence and examples. In my judgement many sociologists in the province would deem this book totally unsatisfactory for introducing sociology to BC students. I will illustrate this latter issue in much of what follows. I should also note that in my judgement the book would not be used in most research intensive universities in the United States. The reasons for this are complicated, and have at least something to do with the snobbishness of such institutions. However the book just does not integrate solid research into its exposition of sociology. This is seen, for example, in the repeated use of Wikipedia commons as a source for evidence. But more profoundly it occurs because the book is more descriptive than explanatory. For example, the book describes social mobility (and structural mobility) but if fails to explain what social forces act to enable or constrain rates of mobility – either circulation mobility or structural mobility. This latter lacunae is the core reason that schools stressing research as opposed to social description would avoid this book. The book is organized as a set of modules whose order can be changed. This is a very good feature since sociologists have idiosyncratic habits in teaching the discipline (this is unlike math or physics where a linear approach needs to occur as topics build on one another). There is no correct place to begin to dissect society – the analysis doesn’t necessarily start at ‘one’ or with ‘A’. Alternative starting points are feasible and there is no consensus in the discipline as to exactly where one ought to begin (and in my judgement the best starting place differs by time and place). Sociology is less about covering topics and building one upon the other, and more about understanding a way of thinking, a particular process of observing and analyzing. That process can be effectively highlighted in multiple ways. There are clear learning objectives at the beginning of each module which is very helpful both for students and instructors. All of the basic features of contemporary textbooks are available – powerpoints, text banks, and the like. The materials at the end of each module (chapter) are generally well done and supply a variety of good learning aids for students. The opening example chosen to begin the book is clever, unique, and compelling. Sociology is about linkages between individuals and societies. The book starts, quite reasonably, with an emphasis on how individuals act in crowds, and how crowds differ (e.g., rock concert crowds, political protest agitators, throngs of shoppers). The comparative framing of this is good and would clearly work in a BC classroom. Problems begin on page 11 where issues of foreclosure are introduced. The Canadian/BC experience is substantially different from what has occurred in the US. Contrary to patterns south of the border, Canadian unemployment is not at record highs, foreclosures have not significantly increased in Canada, and subprime mortgages remain relatively rare in Canada. All of this material is therefore misleading, if not outright erroneous, for the Canadian case. This first example, discussed throughout most of the third page of Chapter one, is meant to illustrate how social context (foreclosures, unemployment) can help people to understand their personal predicaments (their private troubles). But, of course, that example simply doesn’t work in Canada. The Canadian context is different and so the example just doesn’t ring true to students. The core point of page three, understanding private troubles in the context of public issues, is good sociology – but that will be lost on students who will correctly point out that these public issues are not as germane in Canada. Using ill-conceived examples is bad teaching and leads to students misunderstanding the core message. The US experience is simply not directly transferable to the Canadian context. The second example in the Chapter, meant to reinforce the same basic point about social context, focuses upon food stamps. But food stamps are a core part of the US welfare system and are not used in Canada (where food banks would be more appropriate). Again the example not only lacks resonance, but effectively misleads students about the very workings of society. Table 1.1 reinforces the food stamps point and so the
Very comprehensive: All the major substantive topics, concepts and theories necessary to prepare students for other lower-level and also read more
Very comprehensive: All the major substantive topics, concepts and theories necessary to prepare students for other lower-level and also upper-level sociology courses are well covered. A glossary of key concepts is provided in the Chapter Review section of each chapter. The subject index section is comprehensive. What is lacking is author index showing the names of sociologists associated with key concepts, paradigms, theories, and research.
Apart from the text’s bias for qualitative sociology and representation of the feminist perspective as theory rather than a paradigm, the content is accurate.
Unlike many Introductory Sociology textbooks that are heavy on statistical illustrations of various topics/issues, this particular textbook is very light on statistical information. Although this may be a bias against quantitative sociology, it lengthens the shell life of the book and also makes necessary updates faster and easier.
Clarity of this text is among its major strengths.
The text has major consistency issues with regards to the application of sociological theories: a) In the Table of Contents, learning objectives and content discussions, this feature is missing from the following chapters— 2 (sociological research) and
This feature is present. The downside is that there are no transition connections for students to see the integration of the topics covered. That is, the topics are presented in silos, preventing students to see the big picture connections among the topics.
Yes, apart from the inconsistencies in the application of theoretical perspectives
No interface problems
Did not see any.
Very inclusive: no obvious culturally insensitive or offensive material/content
a) The context is American: Substitute the American context with a Canadian context. b) There is no single “feminist theory”. Therefore this textbook defining and applying the feminist paradigm as “feminist conflict theory” or simply “feminist theory” limits the contributions of the feminist paradigm to the development of sociology. c) The “Making Connections” boxes need introductions or comments and/or critical thinking questions to show the sociology in the issues presented in the boxes. d) Given the significance of globalization in the post-industrial world, a whole chapter is need on this topic instead of tucking it on “Global Inequality” and “Work and the Economy” chapters. e) The Chapter 12 needs to add a section on the “New Gender Gap” in gender relations, Chapter 16 needs to add a section on the “New Gender Gap” in Education, and Chapter 18 needs to add a section on the “New Gender Gap” on Work and the Economy.
This review originated in the BC Open Textbook Collection and is licensed under CC BY-ND.
The coverage of topics in this text is comprehensive. In a 1-semester [4 month] course, out of the 21 chapters, I would use 14 full chapters, read more
The coverage of topics in this text is comprehensive. In a 1-semester [4 month] course, out of the 21 chapters, I would use 14 full chapters, and incorporate parts of other chapters. The glossaries and references listed by section at the end of each chapter are useful, and the multiple choice and short answer questions are a helpful study aid for students. One issue is that the index at the end of the text could be lengthier and more detailed.
In my courses, I make reference to sociological theories and methods throughout the course, and I found that the explanations of theories in chapter 1 and subsequent chapters are very clear and concise, and lend themselves to illustrations and examples. I particularly liked the fairly extensive explanations of theories in chapter 4, Society and Social Interaction. This is a chapter that I have not seen in other texts. Chapter 2 provides very clear explanations and illustrations of the different stages of the research process, in particular the explanations of hypotheses, x and y variables , and how to develop operational definitions. In regards to biases, the explanations of research methods in chapter 2 are very clear and lend themselves to illustrations, though they seem biased toward a scientific model, which is in my experience pretty standard for introductory sociology texts. In this text even qualitative methods like participant observation and ethnography are presented almost solely in terms of the scientific model; as procedures for hypothesis testing. I understand that there are good reasons for emphasizing that sociology is a “social science,” employing the same level of rigor developing knowledge as other scientific disciplines. Notwithstanding this, it results in a lack of coverage of qualitative perspectives and approaches that are more concerned with exploring interactional processes, than testing hypotheses. In reading through the text, I did notice a few other small issues: -Page 41: Although the example of the comic writer who employed deception to make undercover observations at a dot.com firm is sociologically interesting, it is not itself sociological research, and by the standards of sociology could be seen as methodologically and maybe ethically flawed. Maybe it could be presented differently, and not as exemplifying “the lengths to which a sociologist will go to uncover material”(41), because he is not a sociologist and it is not sociological research. -Page 61: “American teenagers are encouraged to value celibacy.” Certainly today, not all American [or Canadian] teenagers receive such encouragement from all agents of socialization. A more specific statement would fix this overgeneralization. -Page 85: “Eventually, concerns over the exploitation of workers led to the formation of labor unions and laws that set mandatory conditions for employees.” Here, again a slightly longer and more nuanced statement could make it clear that these changes came about not just because of public and official ‘concerns’ about the welfare of workers, but also as a result of activism on the part of emerging labour movements, and serious conflicts over a number of decades. -Page 85: “Since the economy of information societies is driven by knowledge and not material goods, power lies with those in charge of storing and distributing information.” This statement makes it sound as though control over the production and distribution of material goods is no longer an important source of power. This statement could be qualified: “Since the economy of information societies is driven by knowledge and not [just] material goods, [much of the] power [in modern societies] lies with those in charge of storing and distributing information.”
One of the strong points of the text is that sociological concepts and theories are explained very clearly. The examples and illustrations could easily be updated in future editions as required, and where necessary could be replaced with illustrations from other cultures, for example, Canada.
One of the strongest points of the text is that the explanations of theories and concepts are very clear and understandable.
I did not find any problems with consistency, or any areas where concepts were applied that had not been previously explained.
For my purposes, the text’s modularity is good. In a one-semester course, I generally use 12-13 chapters of a text, along with readings from other sources. With this text, in any particular section of the course, in addition to the relevant chapter, I could also use parts of other chapters that I would not cover in whole. For example, the section on Bureaucracy (130-33) could be a useful when explaining Weber’s theories of the rationalization of modern society, and the section on “baby boomers”(282-84) could be useful for explaining population dynamics and social inequality and conflict. I can see that for all the sections of my course, in addition to the main chapter that I would use, there are sections from other part of the text that could easily be incorporated.
The topics follow the standard format for introductory sociology texts, with the most general theories and concepts in sociology presented first, leading into application of these to substantive areas of social life and social issues. I find that the ordering of topics within chapters is very good; one explanation leads into the next. For example, by the time the differences between sociology and psychology are briefly explained , these differences are both easy to grasp and their importance apparent. Also, I find that the explanations of concepts are relatively brief, which means that if I pursue a topic in class, I can fill in the detail with my own material. If not, the students are not bogged down with lengthy content that will not be discussed in class. One thing that I really like about this text is that Sociological theories are introduced very briefly in chapter 1, and then explained in more depth in chapter 4, Society and Social Interaction, a chapter that is not included in other texts I have used and seen. I think this is a good idea, because it presents theory after students have had several classes’ exposure to sociological concepts. In all other texts I have used and seen, the “theory section” is all in chapter 1, which I have found to be a bit too much for students brand new to the discipline. If I used this text, I would add chapter 4 to my courses.
I did not see any problems in this regard.
I did not come across any grammatical errors.
The text is culturally inclusive, although [as discussed in the final section] the use of the US as the reference point for the text is problematic if the text is to be used in Canadian colleges.
This is a text that I would use, if it was adapted to the Canadian context. It is very clear and understandable, and all of the sections lend themselves well to illustrations, discussions, and other activities. So, while I do like the text, the issue of using a text with American content in a Canadian college course is very problematic. It seems to me that one aspect of this problem could be fixed fairly easily, as the US illustrations and examples could be replaced by Canadian ones, although I would keep some of the US illustrations, as they lead into examination of similarities and differences between these two very closely linked cultures. The other aspect of this problem is the use of the US context as the reference point for the explanations of concepts, structures and processes throughout the text. Canadian examples and illustrations can be fairly easily substituted for American ones, but sections in which explanations centre around conditions in the US may be more difficult to change, and would require considerable rewriting. So, for the most part, it is a great text and one that I would definitely use, if it were not for the cultural issue. Because the text uses the US as its reference point I could not use it in its present form.
This review originated in the BC Open Textbook Collection and is licensed under CC BY-ND.
I have rated this textbook's overall comprehensiveness a 2/5 (poor). It does not include Feminist Theory as theoretical perspective. At the read more
I have rated this textbook's overall comprehensiveness a 2/5 (poor). It does not include Feminist Theory as theoretical perspective. At the end of each chapter the authors discuss the topic from the point of view of the major theoretical perspectives in sociology. They include Structural Functionalism (Functionalism), Symbolic Interactionist Theory and Conflict Theory but Feminist Theory has been left out for the most part. There is the occasional mention of the feminist perspective but it is subsumed under Conflict Theory. I would urge the authors to unlink Feminist Theory from Conflict Theory and treat it independently.
I have rated this textbook 3/5 (good). It is accurate, and error-free. My previous comment points out the short thrift that this text gives to Feminist theories in Sociology. This reflects a 'male-streaming' bias which is reflected by my lower score fr this section on Content Accuracy.
I have rated this text 4/5 (very good) in terms of relevance and longevity. The content is up to date and the examples and diagrams will for the most part withstand the test of time. My only query on relevancy is in Chapter 2 (Sociological Research) and the discussion about Jimmy Buffet and his fans known as Parrot Heads. This may be completely irrelevant to most of our first and second year students who may have never heard of Jimmy Buffet and certainly won't have heard of Parrot Heads!
I have rated this text 5/5 (excellent) for its attention to lucid, accessible prose. All of the chapters I have read and reviewed are well written and the authors have a done an excellent job explaining and describing sociological ideas. This is especially evident in Chapter 2- Sociological Research - which in some textbooks is a dry, tedious chapter. In this textbook it is well paced, interesting and makes you want to go out and do research.
I have rated this textbook 5/5 (excellent) for consistency in terms of terminology and framework. The authors have done an excellent job in maintaining the overall consistency between chapters.
I have rated the textbook 5/5 (excellent) for its integrity both as a whole work and one that can be easily divided into stand alone chapters. It avoids being self referential by adhering to an internal framework in which each chapter begins with a general description of the topic, introduction to main concepts and ideas, connections to social issues and public policy and finally ending with a link back to the theoretical perspectives.
I have rated this textbook 5/5 (excellent) for its presentation of ideas in a logical, clear fashion.
I have rated this textbook 5/5 (excellent) in terms of the text's interface. My review of the images, charts and graphs confirm that there is an ease of flow and navigation that the reader will appreciate.
I have rated this textbook 5/5 (excellent) as I did not come upon any grammatical errors in the chapters I reviewed.
I agree that this text is culturally relevant and is not culturally insensitive or offensive. The examples used in the text to illustrate sociological ideas are taken from a wide range of cultural experiences - from the Inuit in the Canadian Arctic to illustrate cultural relativism to same sex marriages in the discussion of the changing definition of the family.
This textbook has many strengths: it is well organized, has a fresh lay-out that is easy to read and offers an excellent summary, section quizzes, references and resources at the end of each chapter. I would be excited to adopt it in my sociology 100 class (Current Issues) except that this textbook is written with an American sociology student in mind. It would not be appropriate for adoption in a Canadian classroom without a lot of changes. The second critique which is a more substantive one that would affect my decision to use this text or not, is the way in which Feminist Theory is incorporated into the text. Below is an outline of the major changes needed for Chapters 1-5,8,10,15,18 and 21 in order to de-Americanize it. I will follow with my comments on the Feminist Theory. . Chapter 1. Page 11,p 2 :The US housing market…replace with a Canadian example p.3-5 : SNAP – Food Stamps..replace Table 1.1 Food Stamps Used by State…replace Page 16 Making Connections: How Do Working Moms Impact Society…change to reflect Canadian stats. Page 22 Why Study Sociology p.1 Elizabeth Eckford…change this example to one that resonates with Canadian events Page 26 Section Quiz: Question #14 (Kenneth and M Clark) change this question.. Chapter 2 Page 51 Section Quiz: Question # 13 b) In 2003 States like Arizona…change Chapter 3 Page 62 Formal Norms p3. “For example money is highly valued in the United States…” change Informal Norms “In the U.S”..change Page 74 Section Quiz: Question #2 “The American Flag”…change question Chapter 4 Culturally neutral no changes needed Chapter 5 Page 107 p 4 “U.S Fathers…” change to discuss Canadian fathers Page 107 Heading: School – “Most American Children spend about 7 hours a day..” Page 108 “For example in the U.S”… Page 109 “Americans”, ”American Males”…changes needed throughout this section on Agents of socialization Page 110 p2 “In the U.S socialization”… Page 112 p2. “71 Million Americans who lived in prisons… Page 113 references to the United States military… Page 116 Section Quiz: Question #16 Replace Chapter 8 Page 167 Categorizing Technology: US patent office…replace this discussion to reflect Canadian issues Page 168 p1. Radio: “older Americans”..replace (North Americans could work) P2 American TV …replace this discussion Page 172 Include a paragraph or two on the concentration and ownership of media in Canada Page 181 Section Quiz: Question #6 Replace this question Page 183 Short Answer: Replace this question regarding the US government Chapter 10 Page 212 Global Stratification and Classification: replace “American with North American” Chapter 15 Page 339 Learning Objectives 15.3 Religion in the US….change 340 Making Connections: “On the otherhand, the McDonaldization of the United States…” change Pages 348-350 Change to reflect Religion in Canada Appropriate changes need to be made in the section quiz, short answers, references and resources at the end of this chapter. Chapter 18 Page 402 Learning Objectives 18.3 Work in the United States…change Page 402 Capitalism in Practice p2 “In the U.S” change p3 “ In the U.S” change Page 411-413 Work in the US needs to be replaced with Work in Canada Appropriate changes need to be made in the section quiz, short answers, references and resources and further research at the end of this chapter. Chapter 21 Page 482-483 Levels of Social Movements: local “Chicago..” change, National “gay rights” change and replace with Canadian examples Page 490 Go to Population “In the US” change Page 493 Section Quiz: Question #1 Change Final Comments Finally, I would like to suggest that before “Canadianizing” or “de-Americanizing” the text a more important project remains- and that is to include the feminist perspective in a serious and thoughtful way. Throughout the text it is either ignored or subsumed under conflict theory. For example in Chapter 18 Work and the Economy, there is no mention of feminist perspectives on this topic and a first year sociology student would leave this chapter with the mistaken idea that no feminist perspective on work and the economy exists. This is an important omission especially in light of the fact that the literature and research on both local and global economies, work and the division of labour is thickly populated with the voices and research of women from many different feminist perspectives. In Chapter 15 on Religion the problem is not omission but oversimplification: On page 341, the authors note that: “The Feminist perspective is a conflict theory view that focuses specifically on gender inequality”. This view seriously oversimplifies the many different strands of feminist theory that exist in sociology; Cultural Feminism for example, a Feminist perspective, wholeheartedly rejects many of the assumptions held by the conflict view and focuses on gender differences not gender inequality. Thank you for the opportunity to review this text and I hope that my comments are helpful.
This review originated in the BC Open Textbook Collection and is licensed under CC BY-ND.
Table of Contents
- An Introduction to Sociology
- Sociological Research
- Society and Social Interaction
- Groups and Organization
- Deviance, Crime, and Social Control
- Media and Technology
- Social Stratification in the United States
- Global Inequality
- Race and Ethnicity
- Gender, Sex, and Sexuality
- Aging and the Elderly
- Marriage and Family
- Government and Politics
- Work and the Economy
- Health and Medicine
- Population, Urbanization, and the Environment
- Social Movements and Social Change
About the Book
Introduction to Sociology 2e adheres to the scope and sequence of a typical, one-semester introductory sociology course. It offers comprehensive coverage of core concepts, foundational scholars, and emerging theories. The textbook presents section reviews with rich questions, discussions that help students apply their knowledge, and features that draw learners into the discipline in meaningful ways. The second edition has been updated significantly to reflect the latest research and current, relevant examples.
Changes made in Introduction to Sociology 2e are described in the preface to help instructors transition to the second edition.
About the Contributors
Heather Griffiths, Fayetteville State University
Nathan Keirns, Zane State College
Eric Strayer, Hartnell College
Sally Vyain, Ivy Tech Community College
Gail Scaramuzzo, Lackawanna College
Jeff Bry, Minnesota State Community and Technical College at Moorhead
Faye Jones, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College
Susan Cody-Rydzewski, Georgia Perimeter College