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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $52.00
  • Forthcoming: February 2015
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-93774-9
  • 488 pages
  • Territory Rights: USA and Dependencies, Philippines and Canada.

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  1. Sociology

You May Ask Yourself

An Introduction to Thinking Like a Sociologist

Core Fourth Edition


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Dalton Conley (Author, Princeton University)


The “untextbook” that teaches students to think like a sociologist, now available in a Core Edition.

You May Ask Yourself gives instructors an alternative to the typical textbook by emphasizing the big ideas of the discipline and encouraging students to ask meaningful questions. This “non-textbook” strategy explains complex concepts through personal examples and storytelling, integrates coverage of social inequality throughout the textbook, and offers the largest collection of instructor resources for a book in its price range.


Endorsements & Reviews

“For once, I was actually excited about reading a textbook. It seemed as if the author was talking directly to me at times.” — LaToya, social work major, SUNY Brockport

“Honestly, I loved this book. It was so much more interesting than the other assigned readings, and reading You May Ask Yourself was the only assignment I always had done.” — Melissa, sociology major, University of Pennsylvania

Streamlined and Concise

With only 10 chapters, the Fourth Core Edition presents Conley’s unique, engaging approach to sociology in a concise format. This edition features the most popular chapters while retaining all of the strengths of the Full Edition.  

Paradox, Person, Policy, and Practice—a framework for each chapter

You May Ask Yourself, Fourth Edition, teaches sociological concepts through personal anecdotes and storytelling. Every chapter opens with a paradox designed to motivate the reader to determine the key concept that illuminates that paradox, as well as a profile of a relevant person that illustrates the core theme of that chapter. Seven of these opening profiles are new to this edition. Each chapter concludes first with a policy discussion—ten of which are new or updated—to demonstrate the utility of sociological knowledge in shaping the world around us, and finally with a practice section, which prompts students to complete their own analysis using the sociological concepts that they’ve learned. 

New “Sociology on the Street” activities

These activities—included in the “practice” section of each chapter’s end and featured in our media package—are based on demonstrations and student projects from Conley’s introduction to sociology course. They include accompanying videos that can be shown in class, streamed online, or used to model activities that students can do themselves. In each video, Conley demonstrates how students can study an aspect of social life using sociological methods or theory, and then he gives students an assignment to do a similar project themselves. Seeing the concepts in action helps students grasp and retain the ideas more completely.  

Seven new interviews between Conley and other sociologists

The Fourth Edition adds seven new interviews between Conley and other social scientists for a total of twenty-seven interviews. These “Sociological Conversations” give students an opportunity to see what it means to think like a sociologist. The sociologists interviewed in the new edition include Ashley Mears, who discusses the glass escalator and the wage structure in the modeling industry, and Matthew Desmond, who talks with Conley about the pernicious effects of foreclosures on low-income families. 

    Chapter 1: The Sociological Imagination: An Introduction
    Chapter 2: Methods
    Chapter 3: Culture and Media
    Chapter 4: Socialization and the Construction of Reality
    Chapter 5: Networks and Groups
    Chapter 6: Social Control and Deviance
    Chapter 7: Stratification
    Chapter 8: Sex & Gender
    Chapter 9: Race
    Chapter 10: Family

Sample Media