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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $58.00
  • October 2014
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-93107-5
  • 432 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

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  1. Sociology


Ideas, Interactions, Institutions


Myra Marx Ferree (Author, University of Wisconsin, Madison), Lisa Wade (Author, Occidental College)


A lively exploration of current questions of gender and their application to students today.

Wade and Ferree’s first edition textbook is a lively introduction to the sociology of gender. Probing questions, the same ones that students often bring to the course, frame readable chapters that are packed with the most up-to-date scholarship available—in language students will understand. The authors use memorable examples mined from pop culture, history, psychology, biology, and everyday life to truly engage students in the study of gender and spark interest in sociological perspectives.


Organized around current questions of gender

Wade and Ferree begin each chapter by posing a thought-provoking question meant to challenge students’ preconceived notions about gender. For example, in the chapter on families, the authors ask, “If marriage is better for women than ever, why do married women report lower levels of happiness than married men and single women?” The authors—both active teachers and researchers—then draw on current scholarship to demonstrate how sociology can help us make sense of these puzzles and better understand contemporary gender relations. Each chapter builds on the previous chapter, walking students through first simple and then complex theoretical ideas at a pace conducive to learning. 

Memorable examples illuminate the fun, fascinating, and infuriating

Wade and Ferree capture students’ attention from the outset with a memorable mix of examples drawn from pop culture, history, psychology, biology, and our everyday lives. For example, the authors open the book with a brief history of the high-heel shoe—originally worn by Persian soldiers to keep their feet in their stirrups during battle—to introduce students to the concept of distinction. In the chapter on institutions, the authors draw on the history of sex-segregated bathrooms to show how institutions can be gendered in ways that affirm differences between men and women and contribute to gender inequality. The chapter on work traces the evolution of the flight attendant from an all-male occupation to a female-dominated one to explain key concepts such as the social construction of work, job segregation, and the gender pay gap. These in-text examples are further illuminated by a thoughtful art program of carefully curated photographs and figures. 

A highly readable introduction to the most up-to-date scholarship on gender

Wade and Ferree are respected scholars and teachers who are able to translate the scholarship into everyday language that students will not only understand but actually enjoy reading. The clear, engaging prose makes Gender an accessible option for undergraduates of all levels.  

    Chapter 1: Introduction
    Chapter 2: Ideas
    Chapter 3: Bodies
    Chapter 4: Performances
    Chapter 5: Intersections
    Chapter 6: Inequality: Men and Masculinities
    Chapter 7: Inequality: Women and Femininities
    Chapter 8: Institutions
    Chapter 9: Change
    Chapter 10: Sexualities
    Chapter 11: Families
    Chapter 12: Work
    Chapter 13: Politics
    Chapter 14: Conclusion