This best-selling textbook returns for a seventh edition with material on the most fundamental and fascinating issues in sociology today. The authors continue their tradition of focusing on the big picture, with an emphasis on race, class, and gender in every chapter. The text continues to frame sociological debates around the major theoretical perspectives of sociology and focus on capturing students’ imaginations with cutting-edge research and real-world events. The hallmark of the book continues to be clear writing that helps students understand the intricacies of the discipline like no other textbook on the market.

New to the seventh edition

  • Expanded focus on new social movements such as Black Lives Matter, Occupy Wall Street, and the Tea Party.
  • Updates on both the 2012 and 2016 elections.
  • New discussions of Donald Trump and the immigration debate; causes and consequences.
  • New discussions of "patriot" movements, racism, and the reaction to the first African American president.
  • Expanded coverage of sexual orientation and LGBT issues.
  • Updates on gay rights and the historic legalization of same-sex marriage.
  • New sections on cyber life discussion issues such as cyber bullying and public shaming; WikiLeaks, Edward Snowden, and NSA spying; sexting and youth culture; the Arab Spring; and social media activism.
  • New coverage of the so-called "he-cession" and the rise of women managers (whom employers still see as risky but, increasingly, as highly talented).
  • Updates on health-care reform, five years on and the efforts to repeal and replace "Obamacare".
  • Expanded coverage of mass shootings and the corresponding policy debates.
  • Expanded coverage and new focus on police-involved shootings and gun control in the "Deviance, Crime, and Social Control" chapter.
  • New discussions of the sociology of finance, including the role of financial derivatives in the 2008 global financial crisis.
  • New photos and updated figures and tables throughout the text.

part I|51 pages


chapter 1|24 pages

Sociology: The Discipline

chapter 2|25 pages

How Sociology Is Done

part II|99 pages

Society and Human Interaction

chapter 3|25 pages

Perspectives on Society and Interaction

chapter 4|42 pages

Culture and Social Structure

chapter 5|29 pages


part III|207 pages

Social Structure and Inequality

chapter 7|42 pages

Race and Ethnic Relations

chapter 8|47 pages

Sex, Gender, and Society

chapter 9|35 pages

Groups, Organizations, and the Workplace

chapter 10|39 pages

Deviance, Crime, and Social Control

part IV|132 pages

Social Institutions

chapter 11|45 pages

Economy and Society

chapter 12|41 pages

Politics, Power, and Society

chapter 13|42 pages

Marriages and Families

part V|75 pages

Social Change

chapter 15|27 pages

Social Movements and Change