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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $45.00
  • February 2015
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-93884-5
  • 544 pages
  • Territory Rights: USA and Dependencies, Philippines and Canada.

Readings for Sociology

Eighth Edition


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Garth Massey (Editor, University of Wyoming)


The perfect mix of classic and contemporary readings.

Readings for Sociology provides students with engaging selections that reveal the complexities of our social world and offer insights into sociological analysis. Garth Massey includes selections from popular and academic journals as well as lively book excerpts that will help students reach a new level of sociological understanding. While comprehensive in scope, offering a wide range of selections on the standard topics taught in introductory courses, this book particularly focuses on social inequality and race, class, and gender.


Successful blend of classic and contemporary readings

In addition to classics by Marx, C. Wright Mills, Simmel, Weber, and Foucault, and modern classics by Ritzer and Ehrenreich, the Eighth Edition includes new articles such as:

• “Scott’s Law of Anarchist Calisthenics” (from Two Cheers for Anarchism: Six Easy Pieces on Autonomy, Dignity, and Meaningful Work and Play) by James C. Scott
• “Occupy’s Predicament: The Moment and the Prospects for the Movement” (from British Journal of Sociology) by Todd Gitlin
• “The Social Organization of Toy Stores” (from Inside Toyland: Working, Shopping, and Social Inequality) by Christine L. Williams
• “The Arab Counterrevolution” (from The New York Review of Books) by Hussein Agha and Robert Malley
• “Why Do Drug Dealers Still Live with Their Moms?” (from Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything) by Steven Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

Strong coverage of inequality

Readings for Sociology, while comprehensive in scope, includes focused coverage of stratification. Garth Massey, whose research focuses on inequality, used his knowledge of the field and experience teaching the course when curating the reader, selecting pieces that provide students with a strong introduction to different forms of inequality. The Eighth Edition includes new articles by Christine L. Williams (“The Social Organization of Toy Stores”), Lisa Dodson (“Employing Parents Who Can’t Make a Living”), and George Packer (“Change the World”) from The New Yorker, and others. 

Unbeatable value

An affordable standalone text, Readings for Sociology, Eighth Edition, can also be packaged with any Norton introductory textbook at an unbeatable value. 

    *new to the Eighth Edition

    Part 1: The Study of Sociology
    1. Peter L. Berger, Sociology as an Individual Pastime (from Invitation to Sociology)
    2. C. Wright Mills, Personal Experiences and Public Issues (from The Sociological Imagination)
    3. *Garrett Hardin, The Tragedy of the Commons
    4. Georg Simmel, The Stranger
    5. Herbert C. Kelman and V. Lee Hamilton, The My Lai Massacre: A Crime of Obedience? (from Crimes of Obedience: Toward a Social Psychology of Authority and Responsibility)
    6. Joel Best, Telling the Truth about Damned Lies and Statistics
    7. Michael Burawoy, Public Sociologies: Contradictions, Dilemmas, and Possibilities
    8. Allan M. Brandt, Racism and Research: The Case of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study
    9. *Andrew Cherlin, One Thousand and Forty-Nine Reasons Why It’s Hard to Know When a Fact Is a Fact

    Part 2: Culture and Society
    10. *Stuart Ewen and Elizabeth Ewen, Shadows on the Wall (from Channels of Desire: Mass Images and the Shaping of American Consciousness)
    11. James L. Watson, McDonald's in Hong Kong: Consumerism, Dietary Change and the Rise of a Children's Culture (from Golden Arches East)
    12. Elijah Anderson, The Code of the Street
    13. Michael Pollan, America's National Eating Disorder (from The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals)

    Part 3: Growing Up Social
    14. Michael A. Messner, Boyhood, Organized Sports and the Construction of Masculinities
    15. Annette Lareau, Concerted Cultivation and the Accomplishment of Natural Growth (from Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race and Family Life)
    16. Beth Montemurro, Deviance and Liminality (from Something Old, Something Bold: Bridal Showers and Bachelorette Parties)
    17. *Kathleen Gerson, Falling Back on Plan B (from Families As They Really Are)

    Part 4: Social Interaction and Identity
    18. Erving Goffman, On Face-Work
    19. Jen’nan Ghazal Read and John P. Bartkowski, To Veil or Not to Veil? A Case Study of Identity Negotiation Among Muslim Women in Austin, Texas
    20. Julia Twigg, The Body and Bathing: Help with Personal Care at Home
    21. Julie Bettie, Women without Class: Chicas, Cholas, Trash, and the Presence/Absence of Class Identity
    22. Mary C. Waters, Optional Ethnicities: For Whites Only?

    Part 5: Social Inequality and Organizations
    23. William J. Chambliss, The Saints and the Roughnecks
    24. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Manifesto of the Communist Party
    25. William Julius Wilson, The Economic Plight of Inner-City Black Males (from More than Just Race: Being Black and Poor in the Inner City)
    26. *Lisa Dodson, Employing Parents Who Can’t Make a Living (from The Moral Underground: How Ordinary Americans Subvert an Unfair Economy)
    27. William E. Thompson, Hanging Tongues: A Sociological Encounter with the Assembly Line
    28. Greta Foff Paules, "Getting" and "Making" a Tip (from Dishing It Out: Power and Resistance among Waitresses in a New Jersey Restaurant)
    29. D. Stanley Eitzen, Upward Mobility Through Sport?
    30. Herbert J. Gans, Uses of the Underclass in America

    Part 6: Social Control and Organizational Power
    31. *Michel Foucault, Panopticism (from Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison)
    32. Clifford D. SHearing and Phillip C. Stenning, From the Panopticon to Disney World
    33. George Ritzer, The McDonald's System (from The McDonaldization of Society)
    34. *Christine L. Williams, The Social Organization of Toy Stores (from Inside Toyland: Working, Shopping, and Social Inequality)
    35. Joe R. Feagin and Robert Parker, The Rise and Fall of Mass Rail Transit (from Building American Cities: The Urban Real Estate Game)
    36. Robert Glennon, Size Does Count, at Least for French Fries: Minnesota's Straight River (from Water Follies: Groundwater Pumping and the Fate of America's Fresh Waters)
    37. *James C. Scott, Scott’s Law of Anarchist Calisthenics (from Two Cheers for Anarchism: Six Easy Pieces on Autonomy, Dignity, and Meaningful Work and Play)

    Part 7: Social Institutions
    38. Giri Raj Gupta, Love, Arranged Marriage, and the Indian Social Structure
    39. Stephanie Coontz, The Radical Idea of Marrying for Love (from Marriage, a History)
    40. Carol B. Stack, Domestic Networks (from All Our Kin: Strategies of Survival in a Black Community)
    41. *Donna Franklin, African Americans and the Birth of Modern Marriage (from Families As They Really Are)
    42. Aarlie Russell Hochschild, The Emotional Geography of Work and Family Life (from The Time Bind: When Work Becomes Home and Home Becomes Work)
    43. Max Weber, From The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism
    44. John A. Hostetler, From Amish Society
    45. *Rhys H. Williams, Politicized Evangelicalism and Secular Elites: Creating a Moral Other (from Evangelicals and Democracy in America, Volume II: Religion and Politics)

    Part 8: Social Change
    46. William M. Adler, Job on the Line
    47. Mary Pardo, Grassroots Activism: Mothers of East Los Angeles
    48. *Todd Gitlin, Occupy’s Predicament: The Moment and the Prospects for the Movement
    49. Bill McKibbin, The Cuban Diet
    50. *Hussein Agha and Robert Malley, The Arab Counterrevolution
    51. *George Packer, Change the World