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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $13.11
  • August 2013
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-92037-6
  • 272 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

The Social Side of Politics

The Society Pages


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Douglas Hartmann (Editor, University of Minnesota), Christopher Uggen (Editor, University of Minnesota)


Assembling the most provocative new thinking on politics and political processes.

This first volume of The Society Pages series focuses on politics. Drawn largely from feature content, posts, and exchanges provoked by the elections of 2012, the chapters are organized into three main sections. “Core Contributions” exemplifies how sociologists and other social scientists think about otherwise familiar political phenomena like power, polling, and social movements. Chapters in the “Cultural Contexts” section draw out the political content and implications of cultural realms—from religion and race, to sports, humor, and new media technologies—that are often ignored or taken for granted. And the “Critical Takes” rubric gathers pieces on inequalities embedded in and reproduced through the political system, how sociological tools and insights are employed in the public sphere, and the role of government in shaping society through public policy.


A brief and accessible introduction, placed in the context of recent research

Every volume in The Society Pages series follows the same structure. Core Contributions contains a set of chapters by sociologists writing about core concepts and ideas from the discipline. Cultural Contexts essays show students how the sociological imagination can reveal aspects of social life usually taken for granted. Critical Takes essays highlight sociology’s critical approach to social problems and reveal sociology’s impulse toward social action and change. And a Discussion Guide at the end of the volume includes questions and activities created by the editors.  

A selection of “greatest hits” from the largest, most visible collection of sociological material on the web

Intended to translate the most exciting research for readers not trained as sociologists, The Society Pages website features dynamic articles, podcasts, blogs, and roundtable discussions on topics that students care about most. Prominent sociologists contribute articles and participate in interviews that synthesize their cutting-edge research into brief pieces that anyone can understand. Each volume in the series collects the best of the web content into thematic collections, in an affordable paperback format.  

Social Facts

Every volume in The Society Pages series includes Social Facts—a set of short posts about trends in social data by Deborah Carr. One of the most prominent demographers of her generation, Carr tells the story behind data that frequently gets misreported in the media or misunderstood by nonsociologists.  

Changing Lenses

Changing Lenses is the product of an ongoing conversation between sociologist (and Society Pages co-editor) Doug Hartmann and photographer Wing Young Huie. In each essay, they exchange what's seen behind a camera lens and what's seen through a sociological lens to get at the diversity of perspectives and cultivate a unique look at the human experience.  

    Changing Lenses: Behind the Political Process, by Douglas Hartmann and Wing Young Huie

    Part 1: Core Contributions
        1. Power, Sociologically Speaking, by Vincent J. Roscigno
        2. Polling, Politics, and the Populace According to Goren, Schuman, and Smith, by Kyle Green
        3. Social Fact: Those Who Can, Vote? by Deborah Carr
        4. Movements + Elections = Democracy, by Steven Buechler
        5. The Obama Era, the 2012 Election, and Systemic Racism, by Joe R. Feagin

    Part 2: Cultural Contexts
        6. The Social Function of Religion in American Political Culture, by Joseph Gerteis
        7. Politics and Sport: Strange, Secret Bedfellows, by Kyle Green and Douglas Hartmann
        8. Facebook's Impact on American Politics, by Jose Marichal
        9. Laughter and the Political Landscape, by Sarah Lageson, Sinan Erensu, and Kyle Green

    Part 3: Critical Takes
        10. The Paradoxes of Black Republicans, by Corey Fields
        11. Let Herman Be Herman: Republican Presidential Candidate Herman Cain and the Utility of Blackness for the Political Righ, by Enid Logan
        12. The Perils of Transcendence, by Andra Gillespie
        13. The Sociology of Silver, by Andrew Lindner
        14. Joe Soss on American Poverty Governance, as It Is and as It Might Be, by Sarah Shannon

    Discussion Guide and Group Exercises
    About the Contributors

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