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UNDERSTANDING SOCIETY: AN INTRODUCTORY READER, Fourth Edition, contains a collection of classic and contemporary sociological readings selected for their timeliness, diversity, and interest. The emphasis of this collection is on articles that students will both understand and also find intriguing. UNDERSTANDING SOCIETY: AN INTRODUCTORY READER, Fourth Edition, includes the most up-to-date selection available today. Out of sixty-eight total articles, thirty-eight are new in this edition. The new articles were selected to engage student interest, to reflect the richness of sociological thought, and to add articles that address issues that have emerged since the publication of the last edition (such as the economic recession, the Haiti earthquake, and the increasing racial segregation of schools, to name a few). As always, the editors have included the top names in the field. Five themes run throughout the text: classical sociological theory, contemporary research, diversity, globalization, and the application of the sociological perspective.