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- Most chapters begin with a “Social Issues in the News” story taken from recent media coverage that recounts an event related to the chapter’s topic and uses it as a starting point for the chapter’s discussion. Additional material at the end of the chapter discusses promising strategies for addressing the social issues presented in the news story and in the chapter as a whole. The inclusion and discussion of “Social Issues in the News” will help students appreciate the relevance of sociology for newsworthy events and issues.
- Three types of boxes in almost every chapter reflect the U.S. founders’ emphasis on sociology and social justice. The first box, “Sociology Making a Difference,” discusses a social issue related to the chapter’s topic and shows how sociological insights and findings have been used, or could be used, to address the issue. The second box, “Learning From Other Societies,” discusses the experience in another nation(s) regarding a social issue related to the chapter; this box helps students appreciate what has worked and not worked in other nations regarding the issue and thus better understand how social reform might be achieved in the United States. The third box, “What Sociology Suggests,” summarizes social policies grounded in sociological theory and research that hold strong potential for addressing issues discussed in the chapter. In addition, many chapters contain tables called “Theory Snapshots.” These tables provide a quick reference tool for students to understand the various theoretical approaches to the sociological topic that the chapter is discussing.
- Most chapters end with a “Using Sociology” vignette that presents a hypothetical scenario concerning an issue or topic from the chapter and asks students to use the chapter’s discussion in a decision-making role involving social change. These vignettes help students connect the chapter’s discussion with real-life situations and, in turn, better appreciate the relevance of sociological knowledge for social reform.
- Drawing on these features and other discussions throughout the book, a unique final chapter, Chapter 22, summarizes what students have learned about the potential of sociology to achieve social reform and includes further discussion of the relevance of sociological knowledge for addressing important social issues.