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Introduction to Sociology 3e by OpenStax

Introduction to Sociology 3e by OpenStax PDF

Author: OpenStax

Publisher: XanEdu Publishing Inc


Publish Date: June 3, 2021

ISBN-10: 171149397X

Pages: 667

File Type: PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface

About OpenStax

OpenStax is a non-profit organization committed to improving student access to quality learning materials. Our free textbooks are developed and peer-reviewed by educators to ensure they are readable, accurate, and meet the scope and sequence requirements of modern college courses. Unlike traditional textbooks, OpenStax resources live online and are owned by the community of educators using them. Through our partnerships with companies and foundations committed to reducing costs for students, OpenStax is working to improve access to higher education for all. OpenStax is an initiative of Rice University and is made possible through the generous support of several philanthropic foundations.

About OpenStax Resources


Introduction to Sociology 3e is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY) license, which means that you can distribute, remix, and build upon the content, as long as you provide attribution to OpenStax and its content contributors.
Because our books are openly licensed, you are free to use the entire book or select only the sections that are most relevant to the needs of your course. Feel free to remix the content by assigning your students certain chapters and sections in your syllabus, in the order that you prefer. You can even provide a direct link in your syllabus to the sections in the web view of your book.
Instructors also have the option of creating a customized version of their OpenStax book. The custom version can be made available to students in low-cost print or digital form through their campus bookstore. Visit the Instructor Resources section of your book page on for more information.

Art attribution

In Introduction to Sociology 3e, most photos and third-party illustrations contain attribution to their creator, rights holder, host platform, and/or license within the caption. Because the art is openly licensed, anyone may reuse the art as long as they provide the same attribution to its original source. To maximize readability and content flow, some art does not include attribution in the text. This art is part of the public domain or under a CC0 or similar license, and can be reused without attribution. For illustrations (e.g. graphs, charts, etc.) that are not credited, you may assume they are developed by OpenStax and should be attributed as such.


All OpenStax textbooks undergo a rigorous review process. However, like any professional-grade textbook, errors sometimes occur. In addition, the wide range of topics, data, and legal circumstances in sociology change frequently, and portions of the textbook may become out of date. Since our books are web-based, we can make updates periodically when deemed pedagogically necessary. If you have a correction to suggest, submit it through the link on your book page on Subject matter experts review all errata suggestions. OpenStax is committed to remaining transparent about all updates, so you will also find a list of past errata changes on your book page on


You can access this textbook for free in web view or PDF through, and for a low cost in print.

About Introduction to Sociology 3e

Introduction to Sociology 3e aligns to the topics and objectives of many introductory sociology courses. It is arranged in a manner that provides foundational sociological theories and contexts, then progresses through various aspects of human and societal interactions. The new edition is focused on driving meaningful and memorable learning experiences related to critical thinking about society and culture. Students are challenged to look at events and situations in new ways, and, as often as possible, consider the reasons people behave and gather in the ways they do. The text includes comprehensive coverage of core concepts, discussions and data relevant to a diverse audience, and features that draw learners into the discipline in powerful and personal ways. Overall, Introduction to Sociology 3e aims to center the course and discipline as crucial elements for understanding relationships, society, and civic engagement; we seek to lay the foundation for students to apply what they learn throughout their lives and careers.

Changes to the Third Edition

The guiding principle of the revision was to build from the concept that students are not simply observers of the world, but are participants in it. Many discussions of new or ongoing changes have been improved in tone and content, based on reviewer feedback, to better reflect student experiences. Of course, much of the information in the text will be new to students, but the concepts, examples, and data are written in a way that will encourage students to apply their own experiences and to better consider those outside of their own.

The purpose of these changes, however, is not only to make the book more informative and effective, but more so to create additional opportunities for instructors to launch relevant and interesting discussions. In concert with the changes in the text, the accompanying lecture materials have been thoroughly revised and enhanced to include material beyond what is in the book, in order for instructors–at their discretion–to deepen these engagements.

A number of chapter introductions have been revised with substantial vignettes or narratives relating to the chapter content. Examples include the experience of a teenager in sub-Saharan Africa (chapter 4), a comparison of the emergence of the Tea Party and the MeToo movements (chapter 6), a more nuanced and historically accurate view of the issue of marijuana criminalization and legalization (chapter 7), and a discussion of voter referendums and subsequent governmental responses (chapter 17). Other references and coverage are meant to relate to students’ careers; these include issues around online privacy, the impacts of posting offensive content, and new material on adult socialization and workplace culture.
Extensive use of survey outcomes and governmental data is designed to add current perspectives on the concepts and provide more discussion starters for faculty and students. Some of these outcomes may challenge preconceived notions, while others may simply be interesting to discuss. For example, poll outcomes regarding perspectives on “When Does Someone Become Old?” in the chapter on Aging and the Elderly may be notable on their own, but could be also used to begin reflective discussions or further research. The COVID-19 pandemic is referenced frequently, but its inclusion is meant to offer opportunities for students to share their own stories, and for instructors to lead into more current outcomes.

Finally, the authors, reviewers, and the entire team worked to build understanding of the causes and impacts of discrimination and prejudice. Introduction to Sociology 3e contains dozens of examples of discrimination and its outcomes regarding social science, society, institutions, and individuals. The text seeks to strike a balance between confronting the damaging aspects of our culture and history and celebrating those who have driven change and overcome challenges. The core discussion of these topics are present in Chapter 11 on Race and Ethnicity, and Chapter 12 on Gender, Sex, and Sexuality, but their causes and effects are extensively discussed in the context of other topics, including education, law enforcement, government, healthcare, the economy, and so on. Together and when connected by an instructor, these elements have potential for deep and lasting effects.

Pedagogical Foundation
Learning Objectives
Every module begins with a set of clear and concise learning objectives, which have been thoroughly revised to be both measurable and more closely aligned with current teaching practice. These objectives are designed to help the instructor decide what content to include or assign, and to guide student expectations of learning.
After completing the module and end-of-module exercises, students should be able to demonstrate mastery of the learning objectives.

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