6 Best Sociology Books for Beginners

I am a Graduate and Post-Graduate in Sociology from the University of Dhaka. One of the things I was most concerned about when I got admission into sociology that what are the best Sociology books for beginners? Because as a freshman in Sociology I had a strong desire to acquire a real understanding of sociology in order to explore the empirical knowledge of my subject indeed. Here I do a review for some classic Sociology books that I really benefited from sharing with you the experience that you also might need for your academic study.

Best Sociology Books for Beginners

Sociology students may find a large number of sociology books, textbooks, or academic books that are best. But, all the best books they need not study in a beginner step. You should read only introductory best books as a beginner in sociology. So, look at the best sociology books review for beginners in order to get a solid idea of which book you start for sociology.

Book Name & Image Image Rating Price

The Real World (Sixth Edition) by Kerry Ferris & Jill Stein

9.2 View on Amazon

The Sociology Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained by Sarah Tomley & Mitchell Hobbs

9.0 View on Amazon

Essentials of Sociology (12th Edition) by James M. Henslin

8.4 View on Amazon

Essential Concepts in Sociology by Anthony Giddens, Philip W. Sutton

7.4 View on Amazon

Sociology: The Essentials by Margaret L. Andersen, Howard F. Taylor & Kim A. Logio

8.6 View on Amazon

Essentials of Sociology (Sixth Edition) by Richard P. Appelbaum, Deborah Carr, Mitchell Duneier, & Anthony Giddens

8.8 View on Amazon

1. The Real World (Sixth Edition)

The Real World (Sixth Edition): An Introduction to Sociology is in fact “the most relevant textbook for today’s students.” It succeeds in classrooms because it focuses on the perspectives that the students know best on their own. In each chapter, the authors use real-life examples of everyday life. Kerry Ferris & Jill Stein presents conspicuously the Pop culture to help students think sociologically. Most importantly, they show the relevance of sociology to relationships, jobs, and future goals of the students. However, the data workshops in each chapter give students the great opportunity to apply theoretical concepts to their practical lives and to actually do sociology.

Kerry Ferris is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Northern Illinois University. Kerry Ferris uses ethnographic methods to study fame as a system of social power. She presently is researching the lives of professional celebrity impersonators as well as analyzing the emotions communicated by celebrities in red-carpet interviews.

Jill Stein is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Santa Barbara City College. Basically, she is a prominent teacher to teach Introduction to Sociology.

2. The Sociology Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained

The Sociology Book by DK raises some of humankind’s biggest questions: for example-

“What is society?”

“What makes it tick?”

“Why do we interact in the way that we do with our friends, coworkers, and rivals?”

Moreover, this Sociology book profiles the world’s most renowned sociologists. And their more than 100 key sociological ideas including issues of equality, diversity, identity, and human rights. The impact of globalization; the role of institutions as well as the rise of modern urban living.

Easy to navigate and full of key concepts, profiles of leading socialist thinkers, and plenty of conversation starters, it should be a must reading for beginners that guide to some of the most fascinating questions in the world.

“The ‘Big Ideas Simply Explained’ series is truly marvellous. Each and every book in the series is worth reading and discussing, and it is exciting to ponder what the next title in the collection will be.” — Examiner

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3. Essentials of Sociology: A Down-To-Earth Approach

Essentials of Sociology is one of the leading and best sociology books for beginners is written by James M. Henslin. In this book, the author shared the excitement of sociology with his high-quality writing style. In fact, the book focuses on the sociology of everyday life and its relevance to students’ lives. James Henslin stimulates students’ sociological imaginations so that they can better understand sociology and how the elements of society fit together with his wit, personal reflection, and illuminating examples. You can read on the Essentials of Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach Review to know more details.

The author presents six central themes in Essentials of Sociology to guide students. (1) A Down to Earth Approach, (2) Globalization, (3) Cultural Diversity, (4) Critical Thinking, (5) The New Technology, (6) The Growing Influence of Mass Media on our lives.

These central themes are especially effective to introduce the controversial issues that make the sociological study lively and exciting.

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4. Essential Concepts in Sociology

Social life changes constantly. Therefore, sociology also. As a result, sociology at present is a theoretically diverse discipline that covers a wide range of subjects and draws on broad aspects of research methods. Sociologists & students of sociology endeavor to make sense of sociology through the understanding of core concepts and ideas that necessarily evolves and changes.

This book clearly introduces a conscious selection of basic concepts that have helped to structure sociology for students. Anthony Giddens and Philip W. Sutton present a detailed discussion of each concept in a historical and theoretical context.

Capitalization, identity, globalization, environment, and intersectionality have been discussed in this book. As a result, it would be essential reading for all those who are new to sociology. Therefore, Essential Concepts in Sociology is one of the best sociology books for beginners.

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5. Sociology: The Essentials

Sociology: The Essentials looks behind the facades of everyday life and challenges common assumptions. This book helps students to develop critical thinking skills as well as a better understanding of how society is structured & sustained. Moreover, it has a strong focus on sociology concepts, methods, and research. The textbook presents an exceptional coverage of diversity, including social factors, for example, age, religion, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, class & gender. Thus, this has become one of the best sociology books for beginners.

Margaret L. Andersen is the prominent Professor of Sociology and Women’s Studies at the University of Delaware. She wrote several famous books including “Thinking About Women”. The author is the former Vice-President of the “American Sociological Association”. Moreover, she is the past President of the “Eastern Sociological Society”, from which she received the ESS Merit Award.

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6. Essentials of Sociology (Sixth Edition)

Essentials of Sociology (Sixth Edition) intends students to think sociologically about society. This textbook particularly highlights the macro social forces at work in our everyday lives. The authors move students beyond their individual experiences and cultivate students’ sociological imaginations. Therefore, this text is one of the best sociology books for beginners.

Richard P. Appelbaum, the MacArthur chair of Global Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has won several awards for his teaching and works mainly on globalization and labor issues.

Deborah Carr is a demographer at Rutgers University. She focuses on the sociology of life course, aging, social psychology, and gender.

Mitchell Duneier is an urban ethnographer at Princeton University. He is most famous for his book Sidewalk. His research focuses on the urban poor and other marginal groups.

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Core Concepts in Sociology for Beginners

Sociology students must first learn the basic and core sociology concepts in order to understand sociology accordingly. These core concepts that now we are going to address have been discussed well in the best sociology books for beginners. However, we just write down the key terms and concepts with a view to providing you with an overview.

First of all, what Sociology is? Then, the Sociological Imagination. Studying People and Society. After that the development of Sociological Thinking means the theories and theoretical perspectives in sociology. Level of analysis: Micro and Macro Sociology. Consequently, asking and answering Sociological Questions. In this step, students will learn how sociology is Scientific?

Then, students move on to elements of Society and Social Structure. Social Interaction and Everyday Life. To clarify, how do things happen and why? Further, ongoing issues and phenomena in society, for example, Globalization and the Changing World, Environment, etc.

Moreover, Families and Intimate Relationships are the basic concepts in sociology. On the other hand, sociology is more concerned with Health, Illness, and Disability. Despite this, Stratification and Social Class are also the core concepts in sociology.

Therefore, sociology focuses on Poverty, Social Exclusion, and Welfare. Further, Race, Religion, Ethnicity, and migration are the basic concepts in sociology. Organization & Networks, the impact of Mass Media. Similarly,  Education, Work & Economic Life are the major concerns of sociology.

Likewise, sociology makes sense of Politics, Government, Nations, Social Movements, War, Crime as well as Terrorism. To sum up, sociology embraces every aspect of human social life.

Why Sociology Knowledge is Essential?

The study of sociology helps not only to understand our society and people but also others, to know their position, social structure, profession, traditions, social customs, culture, social institutions, religion and belief system, and much more beyond imagination.

It helps at all levels to understand the structure and functionality of various organizations ranging from modern to traditional. All organizations are based on social cohesion, so any organization should be based on mechanical or biological cohesion. So, in order to understand how our organization under the concept of social cohesion does the most important work in our daily lives, it is similar to several examples that we can learn by understanding the concepts and proposed theories in sociology.

Our experience of society is limited if we do not read sociology books due to the increasing complexity of society due to vertical and horizontal industrialization. It is difficult to say what will happen in the next part of the world. We may have extensive knowledge of other societies as well. At the same time, we may have knowledge of how to interact or dissolve the group that is external to us.

Because of the proliferation of transport and communication on a daily basis, we have been confronted with a new experience throughout the human history of civilization that was unknown to us. Our minds are expanding vertically and horizontally every day. The brain is a biological construct but our mind is a social structure, we learn something by socializing every day and living in society. Sociology is simply a systematic and scientific study of society.

Sociology can necessarily help us to solve social problems existing in society.

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