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The Practical Skeptic
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Table of Contents

Preface Introduction So, What is Sociology? The Value of Sociology to Students Tips for Studying Sociology-And An Invitation Chapter 1: Responding to Chaos: A Brief History of Sociology Inquiries into the Physical World Technology, Urbanization, and Social Upheaval The Origins of Modern Sociology in France: Emile Durkheim EXCERPT: EMILE DURKHEIM, from Suicide (1897) and The Rules of the Sociological Method (1904) The Origins of Modern Sociology in Germany: Ferdinand Tonnies and Max Weber EXCERPT: FERDINAND TONNIES, from Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft (1887) Karl Marx The Origins of Modern Sociology in England: Herbert Spencer Sociology in the United States Box: One small step for sociology The Place of Sociology in Modern Society Chapter 2: The Sociological Eye The Focus on the Social Skepticism Box: Nail down that distinction between manifest and latent functions Chapter 3: Science and Fuzzy Objects: Specialization in Sociology Dividing Up the Task Topic Area or Subject Matter Theoretical Perspectives (Paradigms): Functionalist, Conflict, and Symbolic Interactionist Which Paradigm Is Correct? Levels of Analysis: Microsociology and Macrosociology Chapter 4: Who's Afraid of Sociology? The Empirical World and Inconvenient Facts Ethnocentrism Avoiding Ethnocentrism Can Be Difficult Cultural Relativism Chapter 5: The Vocabulary of Science Variables Hypotheses Kinds of Variables: Independent Versus Dependent Kinds of Relationships: Directionality Operational Definitions Tables and Figures Chapter 6: Doing Social Research Two Traditions: Quantitative and Qualitative Research First Things First: The Lit Review The Survey Box: Six guidelines for crafting survey-questions The Experiment Box: Five rules of doing true experiments Observation Unobtrusive (Nonreactive) Research The Importance of Triangulation Sampling Box: Ethics and social research Chapter 7: Culture Material and Nonmaterial Culture Box: The power of informal sanctions Box: What do Americans value? Box: Ideology Box: Ponder Box: Statements of Belief How It Adds Up Culture as a Product of Action Culture as a Conditioning Element of Further Action Box: Varieties of cultural wisdom Social Institutions Social Change: Cultural Diffusion and Leveling Subcultures and Countercultures Idiocultures EXCERPT: MARGARET VISSER, from Much Depends upon Dinner (1986) Chapter 8: Social Structure Statuses Roles Box: Tricky tricky situations Master Status Groups Chapter 9: Society and Social Institutions Societal Needs The Nature of Social Institutions Box: Polygamy and monogamy Social Change: The Trend Toward Increasing Specialization Chapter 10: Socialization Nature and Nurture: Biological and Social Processes How Socialization Works EXCERPT: GEORGE HERBERT MEAD, From Play and Games in the Genesis of Self (1934) Box: Rites of passage Resocialization and Total Institutions Ponder Chapter 11: Deviance and Social Control The Relativity of Deviance (What We Already Know) Nonsociological Theories of Deviance Sociological Theories of Deviance: Emile Durkheim and Suicide More Structural Strain: Robert Merton and Anomie Learning to Be Deviant: Howard Becker's Study of Marijuana Use The Societal Reaction Perspective: Labeling Theory The Functions of Deviance: Maintenance of the Status Quo and Social Change Box: Ponder Chapter 12: Stratification and Inequality Caste Systems Estate Systems Box: A year in the life of the peasant Class Systems Theoretical Conceptions of Class Box: Ponder Some Words About Slavery Social Mobility and Open Versus Closed Systems Chapter 13: Inequality and Achievement: Social Class Box: The Mathew effect Explaining Social Stratification Box: Beyond academics The Pygmalion Effect: The Power of Expectations The Fallacy of Hard Work Social Mobility, Social Structure, and Social Change Chapter 14: Inequality and Ascription: Race, Ethnicity, and Gender Why a Dollar Is Not Always a Dollar Prejudice Discrimination Discrimination and "Isms" The Social Construction of Minority Groups Gender Box: Sex or gender? References Glossary/Index Credits

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