Prentice Hall
John J. Macionis / Ken Plummer  
Total pages
August 2011
Related Titles


Sociology: a global introduction represents a uniquely co-ordinated and complete learning resource for sociology students worldwide. International in outlook and culturally wide-ranging, it also reminds us that sociology is valuable. Unrivalled in breadth, it is a text of passion and sophistication helping you become an active, connected and critical learner.


  • Global, cultural and ‘digital’ turns highlighted throughout. Images, film, DVD and novels are linked online, which constantly illustrate, illuminate and underpin the theory
  • Informative maps, graphical representations of data, and thought-provoking photographs make the text visually appealing
  • My Task List sections for each chapter provide guidance on websites to investigate, DVDs to watch, reading to do, questions, and the big debates in sociology ranging from whether religion is in decline or crime is inevitable
  • Part 6 Resources for Critical Thinking is an extensive and unique resource bringing together key words, video lists, a major webliography, reading lists, YouTube links and key organisations all directly linked from the website
  • Extensive Website Resources at – for lecturers and students include:
    -Podcasts from the authors and students around the world
    -'Big Vote' online with other students on key sociological debates
    -Interactive questions
    -Key sociological concepts explored
    -Web and Videography links
    -Revision flashcards

New to this Edition

  • All major statistics, maps, web sites, data and references updated to reflect the latest thinking
  • New sections on theory along with new theorist boxes on Patricia Hill Collins, Judith Butler, Raewyn Connell, John Urry, and Norman Denzin
  • Significant new sections on music, social inequalities and mental health
  • New material on subjects ranging from the sociological citizen and digital methods to celebrities and the sociology of happiness
  • New coverage on theocracy in Iran, poverty in Afghanistan, drugs and the narco state and the Human Millennium Development Goals
  • Author blog with material on current and 'hot' topics (written by Ken Plummer)

Table of Contents

Part One: Introducing Sociology
1 The Sociological Imagination
2 Thinking Sociologically, Thinking Globally
3 Studying the Social: An Introduction to Sociological Method

Part Two: The Foundations of Society: From Macro to Micro
4 Societies
5 Culture
6 Groups, Organisations and the Rise of the Network Society
7 Micro-sociology: The Social Construction of Everyday Life

Part Three: The Unequal World: Difference, Division and Social Stratification
8 Inequality, Social Divisions and Social Stratification
9 Global Poverty/Global Inequality
10   Class, Poverty and Welfare: The Case of the UK
11   Racism, Ethnicities and Migration
12   The Gender Order and Sexualities
13   Age Stratification, Children and Later Life
14   Disabilities, Care and the Humanitarian Society

Part Four: Social Structures, Social Practices and Social Institutions
15   Economies, Work and Consumption
16   Power, Governance and Social Movements
17   Control, Crime and Deviance
18   Families, Personal Life and Living Together
19   Religion and belief
20   Education
21   Health, Medicine and Well-being
22   Communication and the New Media
23   Science, Cyberspace and the Risk Society

Part Five: Social Change and the Twenty-First Century
24   Populations, Cities and the Space of Things to Come
25   Social Change and the Environment
26   Living in the Twenty-First Century

Part Six: Resources for Critical Thinking: Creating Sociological Imaginations
1 Films
2 Novels
3 Art and sociology
4 Time and space
5 Websites
6 YouTube
7 Key social thinkers
8 World statistics
9 Big debates of our time
10 Abbreviations and acronyms
11 Glossary
12 References   

Back Cover

Sociology: a global introduction represents a unique, lively and complete learning resource for sociology students worldwide. International in outlook and culturally wide-ranging, it is unrivalled in breadth. It helps you to develop a critical sociological imagination and a better understanding of the challenges and joys of living in the 21st century.

5th edition highlights include:

  • a story of how societies change runs throughout the book.  
  • increased coverage and active, integrated engagement with theory and theorists throughout.
  • a key focus on the recent global, cultural and digital ‘turns’ in social analysis.
  • a link to the humanities concerned with art, history, film and literature.
  • an explicit link to the core debates over values and politics in sociology in the modern world.
  • fully updated statistics, maps, references and text throughout.
  • thought-provoking images and maps to foster a sense of the developing ‘visual sociology’.
  • new ‘hot’ topics including digital methods, celebrities, citizenship and the sociology of happiness.

Critical engagement

This is an active book that helps you do sociology and think creatively. It is packed full of tips and resources to work with. Four features stress this:

  1. My Task List ends each chapter with ten things to do: questions to ask, web sites to investigate, films and DVDs to watch, major debates to engage with.
  2. Project Interludes link sections and integrate the parts through specific suggestions for students to research sport, food, music and biography.
  3. Critical Thinking (Part 6) is a detailed closing section which integrates the book to the web site and brings together a major webliography, films, YouTube, artwork, key statistics and glossary - a major support for all students.
  4. A wide range of discussion boxes on new developments in the twenty first century, social theory and research methods encourage broad and critical engagement with the issues.

The Website

This major supporting website resource is closely integrated with Part 6 (Critical Thinking) of the book – use them independently or (for best results!) together.  You’ll find:

  • major links to key websites, art, novels and films – all will enhance your research and sociological thinking
  • interactive self-test exercises, additional readings and podcasts from author and students around the world
  • key sociological concepts explored
  • power points and revision cards

Go to:

The key resource to help you do sociology – thinking, studying, investigating and interacting as a sociologist.

John J. Macionis is Professor of Sociology at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio.

Ken Plummer is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Essex.

Instructor Resources