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Book Details

  • Ebook
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $41.25
  • February 2010
  • ISBN: 501000000011731
  • License Term (days): 360
  • Territory Rights: USA and Dependencies, Philippines and Canada.

The Real World

An Introduction to Sociology

Ebook, Online Version

Kerry Ferris (Author, Northern Illinois University), Jill Stein (Author, Santa Barbara City College)


The most relevant textbook for today’s students, The Real World succeeds in classrooms because it focuses on the perspective that students care about most—their own.

The Real World shows students how personally relevant sociology can be with a clever mix of popular culture, everyday life, and extensive student activities. Professors describe the book as “hip and accessible,” and students love the authors’ contemporary examples and emphasis on students’ experiences.

The Real World is the only book to integrate Data Workshops into every chapter, giving students an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the practice of sociology. New to the Second Edition are “Theory in Everyday Life” tables, which apply key sociological theories to real life.


The most relevant textbook for today’s students.

Each chapter includes four relevance boxes that expose students to the sociological implications of everyday events:

  • On the Job boxes explore how people use sociological insights in a variety of work settings.
  • In Relationships boxes look at how sociology can help us understand our friendships, intimate partners, and family relations.
  • Changing the World boxes focus on the role that sociological insights can play in bringing about social change.
  • Global Perspectives boxes highlight the differences and similarities between the United States and other cultures.

Theory in Everyday Life tables.

The Second Edition includes these helpful tables, which compare the theories discussed in the chapter and then apply each to a real-world situation. For example, in Chapter 4 (Culture) the “Theory in Everyday Life” table uses religion as an example of culture to examine the different theoretical approaches to understanding religions’ values, rituals, and prohibitions. Chapter 8 (Social Stratification) features three different views of poverty by functionalists, conflict theorists, and symbolic interactionists.

The most coverage of everyday life, popular culture, and mass media.

The authors have updated the Second Edition to include examples and photos from mass media and popular culture, particularly on technologies that students use everyday such as social networking sites, cellphones, and the Internet.

The only book to include Data Workshops in each chapter.

The Data Workshops, which are integrated into every chapter, focus on “Analyzing Everyday Life” and “Analyzing Mass Media and Popular Culture” and give students an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the practice of sociology. Qualitative exercises mean that students get to deal with real data–whether it’s data they have collected themselves or data provided in raw form. Each workshop has an assignment sequence, so instructors can make them homework assignments or in-class activities. They are also on the student website, so students can complete the projects and submit them online.

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A complete media and instructor support package.

The Real World, Second Edition, features a suite of resources that take a participatory approach to sociology and include student review materials that reinforce the book’s focus on popular culture and everyday life. Instructors have everything they need to bring sociology alive in the classroom, including 2 DVDs with over 4 hours of video clips, an expanded instructor's manual, an online instructor's forum, coursepacks, a test bank, and more.

Unbeatable packages.

Instructors can package The Real World with their choice of readers for only $10 more (net price to bookstores) and with select Norton paperbacks for free.

    Part I: Thinking Sociologically and Doing Sociology

    1. 1. Sociology and the Real World
    2. 2. Sociology’s Family Tree: Theories and Theorists
    3. 3. Studying Social Life: Sociological Research Methods

    Part II: Framing Social Life

    1. 4. Cultural Crossroads
    2. 5. The Self and Interaction
    3. 6. Separate and Together: Life in Groups
    4. 7. Deviance and Conformity

    Part III: Understanding Inequality

    1. 8. Social Class: The Structure of Inequality
    2. 9. Race and Ethnicity as Lived Experience
    3. 10. Constructing Gender and Sexuality

    Part IV: Examining Social Institutions as Sites of Everyday Life

    1. 11. The Macro-Micro Link in Social Institutions: Politics, Education, and Religion
    2. 12. The Economy, Work, and Working
    3. 13. Life at Home
    4. 14. Recreation and Leisure in Everyday Life

    Part V: Creating Social Change and Envisioning the Future

    1. 15. Country and City: The Natural World and the Social World
    2. 16. Social Change: Looking Toward Tomorrow