Sociology Matters

Richard T. Schaefer's Sociology Matters is a concise introduction to the discipline of sociology. Schaefer’s characteristic straightforward style, a streamlined design, and highly focused coverage make it the perfect affordable, ultra-brief, introductory text for instructors who use a variety of materials in their course.

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Table of Contents

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Table of Contents


Chapter 1, The Sociological View

What Is Sociology?

What Is Sociological Theory?

The Development of Sociology

Major Theoretical Perspectives

What Is the Scientific Method?

Major Research Designs

Ethics of Research

Applied and Clinical Sociology


Chapter 2, Culture and Socialization

What Is Culture?

Development of Culture around the World

Cultural Variation

Language and Culture

Norms and Values

Global Culture War

Culture and Dominant Ideology

Culture and Socialization

The Self and Socialization

Agents of Socialization

Socialization throughout the Life Course


Chapter 3, Social Interaction, Groups, and Social Structure

Social Interaction and Reality

Elements of Social Structure

Social Structure in Global Perspective

Understanding Organizations


Chapter 4, Deviance and Social Control

Social Control

What Is Deviance?

Sociological Perspectives on Deviance

Crime: A Sociological Approach

Crime Statistics


Chapter 5, Stratification in the United States and Global Inequality

Systems of Stratification

Sociological Perspectives on Stratification

Is Stratification Universal?

Stratification by Social Class

Social Mobility

The Global Divide


Chapter 6, Inequality by Race and Ethnicity

The Privileges of the Dominant

The Social Construction of Race and Ethnicity


Sociological Perspectives on Race and Ethnicity

Patterns of Prejudice and Discrimination


Chapter 7, Inequality by Gender

The Social Construction of Gender

Sociological Perspectives on Gender

Women: The Oppressed Majority

Women in the Workforce of the United States


Chapter 8, Social Institutions: Family and Religion

Sociological Perspectives on Social Institutions

The Family: A Global View

Sociological Perspectives on the Family

Labeling and Human Sexuality

Religion as a Social Institution

Components of Religion


Chapter 9, Social Institutions: Education, Government, and the Economy

Sociological Perspectives on Education

Education: Schools as Formal Organizations

Government: Power and Authority

Economic Systems

The Informal Economy

Changing Economies


Chapter 10, Population, Community, Health, and the Environment

Demography: The Study of Population

How Did Communities Originate?

Urbanization and Its Consequences

Health and Illness: Sociological Perspectives

Social Epidemiology

The Environment: The World and Our Place in It


Chapter 11, Social Movements, Social Change, and Technology

Social Movements

Theories of Social Change

Resistance to Social Change

Technology and the Future