Indeed, it encompasses almost every single phenomena of introductory sociology you need as a beginner The Real World: An Introduction to Sociology by Kerry O. Ferris & Jill Stein. I decided to read this textbook to make more clearly about core concepts in sociology as it is my major. I graduated and did postgraduation in sociology in 2010 & 2011.
Actually, this one has opened up my power of sociological imagination that I had never before reading it. I learned a complete introductory lesson through it really about sociology. The Real World: An Introduction to Sociology, in fact, the most popular sociology textbook today across the world. And of course the best-seller.
The Real World (Sixth Edition) – Best Seller
But why The Real World: An Introduction to Sociology has become the best seller and most popular these days? This is because it succeeds in classrooms, focuses on the student’s perspective that they know best of their own. Potentially, it’s the first interactive Introduction to Sociology Textbook. Moreover, its Data Workshop adds a new dimension to learn sociology accordingly.
The authors use examples from everyday life in every chapter, and pop culture to encourage students to think sociologically with a view to present the relevance of sociology to their relationships, jobs as well as future goals. When I was reading this book, I found that it is designed in such a way that it gives students a scope to apply theoretical concepts to their personal lives.
The Real World: An Introduction to Sociology Review
The Real World is the best choice for sociology students in the present day. Because it mixes up of popular culture, everyday life intelligently as well as provides extensive student activities that prove that it fully realizes sociology’s unique ability to stimulate intellectually and resonate with students.
The Real World is exclusively helpful in explaining sociology which is defined by the authors as-
“The systematic or scientific study of human society and social behavior, from large-scale institutions and mass culture to small groups and individual interactions.”
It explains conspicuously particular social phenomena that sociologists study and the research methods of sociology. Most helpful is the explanation of various theories sociologists use to frame the discussion for beginners would assist in thinking more critically about social phenomena.
As the sociology is the study of social facts that use traditional scientific methods to make new discoveries related to social phenomena. The Real World focuses on the goal of sociology is to find out correlations between different social constructs, and the ultimate goal is to find causal relationships between social constructs. For instance, it addresses the current issue of American Sociological Review and investigates the links between men’s participation in the core and non-core household tasks and sexual frequency.
The Real World emphasizes the main three theoretical approaches in sociology. For example, structural functionalism, conflict theory, and symbolic interactionism. Structural functionalism basically views society as consisting of certain structures such as family, government, the economic system. This approach analyzes how people over time seek to make these structures cohere. On the other hand, conflict theory interprets social phenomena in terms of class struggles. While symbolic interactionism looks at ways in which people make meaning in social situations through their interactions.
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Inside The Real World: An Introduction to Sociology Book
Since its first publication, it has 6 editions till 2019. In July 2020, there will also release the 7th edition of The Real World: An Introduction to Sociology. The authors divide the book into 5 parts that contain 16 chapters in total.
Part-1: Thinking Sociologically and Doing Sociology
The first part discusses Sociology and the Real World. In this part, you will find the real answer to what does society looks like? What is Sociology? Levels of Analysis: Micro – and Macrosociology. Most significantly, the Sociological Perspective & starting point of your Sociological journey.
Moreover, this part also finds the answer to what is a Theory? Sociology’s Family Tree. Global Perspective: Eurocentrism and Sociological Theory. Modern Schools of Thought. Gender, Parenting, and Theory. Changing the World: Addressing Racial Inequality in Theory and Praxis.
In addition, an Overview of Research Methods. Social Networking Sites as Sources of Data. Issues in Sociological Research. Changing the World: Brown vs. the Board of Education. Global Perspective: The Nuremberg Code and Research Ethics.
Part-2: Framing Social Life
Cultural Crossroads part covers the definition of culture. Ethnocentrism & Cultural Relativism. Components of Culture, Variations in Culture. Institutional Values and College Life. Changing the World: Principles and Practices-Values, Norms, & Laws in Flux. High, Low, and Popular Culture.
The Self and Interaction in this part concern with Human Nature. In fact, it describes the Process of Socialization, Theories of the Self, Agents of Socialization. Statuses and Roles. Emotions and Personality. Cross-Cultural Responses to Grief & New Interactional Contexts.
Further, in chapter six you will see Separate and Together: Life in Groups that explains Group, Primary and Secondary Groups. Separate from Groups: Anomie. Social Networking Sites: Pros and Cons. Group Dynamics: In-Groups and Out-Groups.
Moreover, chapter 7 addresses Deviance, its definition, Deviance Across Cultures, Theories of Deviance. Food, Culture, and Deviance. Stigma and Deviant Identity. Forming Friendships in the Face of Stigma. Finally, Crime and Punishment.
Part-3: Understanding Inequality
On the whole, Sociology is more concerned with social inequality and social classes. Therefore, it is essential to discuss the Social Class: The Structure of Inequality. The authors exactly explain Social Stratification and Social Inequality as well as Systems of Stratification. This section also shows Social Classes in the United States. In addition, Systems of Stratification Around the World. Theories of Social Class, Socioeconomic Status, and Life Chances. Defining Poverty.
In the deeper area, Race and Ethnicity as Lived Experience, Defining Race and Ethnicity, Minority. Likewise, Racism, Prejudice, and Discrimination. Theoretical Approach to Understanding Race in the United States. Race Relations: Conflict or Cooperation. Stories of Genocide.
Chapter-10 spontaneously makes sense of Constructing Gender and Sexuality. What is Sex? What is Gender? Essentialist and Constructionist Approaches to Gender Identity. Gender Inequality and Gender Role Socialization. It further presents Sex, Gender, and Life Chances. The Women’s Movement as well as The Men’s Movement, Sexual Orientation, etc.
Part-4: Examining Social Institutions as Sites of Everyday Life
The Real World: An Introduction to Sociology in its part 4 talks about The Macro-Micro Link in Social Institutions. Most importantly, here you can learn about more on Politics, Education, and Religion. Patriotism and Protest. Moreover, A Brief History of Modern Education. What is Religion? Despite, Functions and Dysfunctions of Religion.
Chapter-12: Consequently makes clear for sociology students the Economy, Work, and Working. Economic Changes, Economic Systems: Comparing Capitalism and Socialism. For example-the Nature of Industrial and Postindustrial Work and of Globalization.
Above all, Life at Home chapter defines Family. Diversity in Families. Sociological Perspectives on the Family. Who Can Marry? Family and the Life Course. And lastly, the Postmodern Family.
Later on this part, Recreation and Leisure in Everyday Life studied Leisure and Recreation. Leisure: The Opposite of Work? The Structure of Media Industries. Mass Media Consumption: Passive vs. Active Audiences. Finally, Fan-Celebrity Relations.
Part-5: Creating Social Change and Envisioning the Future
City and Country are the primary concern that focuses on the Social World and the Natural World. Population, Urbanization, and the Environment. Chapter-16 that called Social Change: Looking Toward Tomorrow defines what is Social Change? Collective Behavior. Then, Emergent Social Movements: Promoting and Resisting Change. Technology and Social Change.
So, it is now easy to understand how useful The Real World: An Introduction to Sociology for students starting to study sociology. It is not only easy to read for sociology students but also for people who love to know social sciences. Therefore, I do seriously suggest to collect this best-seller best sociology textbook with a view to learning sociology as it is.
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About the Authors
Kerry Ferris is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Northern Illinois University. Kerry Ferris currently is researching the lives of professional celebrity impersonators. Moreover, she is analyzing the emotions communicated by celebrities in red-carpet interviews.
Jill Stein is Professor & Chair of the Department of Sociology & Anthropology at Santa Barbara City College. She teaches Introduction to Sociology. Further, she has studied narrative processes in 12-step programs and the role of popular culture in higher learning, and group culture among professional rock musicians.