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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $72.00
  • December 2011
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-91217-3
  • 608 pages
  • Territory Rights: USA and Dependencies, Philippines and Canada.

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  1. Sociology

The Real World

An Introduction to Sociology

Third Edition


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. In every chapter, the authors use activities, examples from everyday life, and popular culture to draw students into thinking sociologically and to make abstract concepts more concrete.


The best coverage of everyday life, popular culture, and mass media

 The third edition has new examples drawing from everyday life, mass media, and popular culture, including more material from college and professional sports. Each chapter also includes four relevance boxes (On the Job, In Relationships,
Changing the World, and Global Perspectives) that expose students to the sociological implications of everyday events.

Data Workshops integrated into every chapter

 Every chapter includes two Data Workshops that can be completed in class, as homework, or online. The Data Workshops give students a chance to apply the theoretical ideas from the textbook to their own lives and actually do some sociology. The Data Workshops focus on “Analyzing Everyday Life” and “Analyzing Mass Media and Popular Culture.” Each Data Workshop is integrated with our StudySpace website and our Coursepack, so they’re easy to assign whether an instructor teaches online or in the classroom.

New Instructor Tools bring the “Real World Approach” a step further

 New tools—including an interactive instructor’s guide and enhanced coursepack—allow professors to create an experience for their students that seamlessly integrates multimedia examples, student activities, and content from The Real World into their sociology courses.

New chapter on Medical Sociology and a rewritten chapter on theory

 Recognizing that medical sociology represents one of the largest subfields in the discipline, the authors have written a new chapter on Health, Illness, and Medicine, which looks at the social forces that shape medicine as a social institution. Also, in response to user feedback, the authors have significantly revised and streamlined the introductory theory chapter.

    Part I: Thinking Sociologically and Doing Sociology

    1. Sociology and the Real World

    2. Studying Social Life: Sociological Research Methods


    Part II: Framing Social Life

    3. Cultural Crossroads

    4. The Self and Interaction

    5. Separate and Together: Life in Groups

    6. Deviance


    Part III: Understanding Inequality

    7. Social Class: The Structure of Inequality

    8. Race and Ethnicity as Lived Experience

    9. Constructing Gender and Sexuality


    Part IV: Examining Social Institutions as Sites of Everyday Life

    10. The Macro-Micro Link in Social Institutions: Politics, Education, and Religion

    11. The Economy, Work, and Working

    12. Life at Home

    13. Recreation and Leisure in Everyday Life

    14. Health and Illness


    Part V: Creating Social Change and Envisioning the Future

    15. Country and City: The Natural World and the Social World

    16. Social Change: Looking Toward Tomorrow