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Book Details

  • Ebook
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $35.00
  • February 2015
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-27084-6
  • 840 pages
  • License Term (days): 360
  • Territory Rights: USA and Dependencies, Philippines and Canada.

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You May Ask Yourself

An Introduction to Thinking Like a Sociologist

Fourth Edition

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Dalton Conley (Author, Princeton University)


The “untextbook” that teaches students to think like a sociologist.

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

“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

“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

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. 

    Part I:  Using Your Sociological Imagination
    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 Organizations 
    Chapter 6:  Social Control and Deviance 

    Part II:   Fault Lines . . . Social Division and Inequality
    Chapter 7:  Stratification 
    Chapter 8:  Sex & Gender 
    Chapter 9:  Race 
    Chapter 10:  Poverty 
    Chapter 11:  Health and Society 

    Part III:  Building Blocks: Institutions of Society
    Chapter 12:  Family
    Chapter 13:  Education 
    Chapter 14:  Capitalism and the Economy 
    Chapter 15:  Authority 
    Chapter 16:  Religion 
    Chapter 17:  Science, the Environment, and Society 
    Chapter 18:  Collective Action, Social Movements, and Social Change