Contemporary Society : An Introduction to Social Science

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  • Edition: 12th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-01-01
  • Publisher: Allyn & Bacon
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This best-selling text offers an integrated social science view of the world, emphasizing that social and cultural change are the pervasive realities of our era. One of the main themes ofContemporary Societyis that the transition from an industrial to a post-industrial order in the modern world is fraught with difficulties, as was the transition from an agricultural to an industrial order in an earlier era. Within this framework, we can observe the increasing fragmentation of the social order, which tends to lead people away from community and a common purpose and often invites conflict and disunity. At the same time, countervailing social forces are also at work, providing some stability, some shelter in the storm. Finally, societies are faced with the rapid and transformative power of information technology, a fact that propels separate groups of people into a global entity.

Table of Contents

See Comprehensive
Through the Lens of Science
In the Beginning . . .
Culture: Product and Guide to Life in Society
Group Interaction: From Two to Millions
Becoming a Person: The Birth of Personality
Deviance and Criminality: The Need for Social Control
The Great Divide: Ranking and Stratification
Minority Status : Race and Ethnicity
Minority Status: Age, Gender, and Sexuality
From the Plow to the Computer: Change, Collective Behavior, and Social Movements
Population, Urbanization, and Environment
Pivotal Institutions: Marriage and the Family
Pivotal Institutions: Religion and Education
Government: The Institution and the Ideologies That Underlie It
The Government of the United States of America
Democracy in Action: We the People...
The Economy: Concepts and History
Principles of Economic Behavior : Microeconomics and Macroeconomics
Nation Among Nations: Perspectives on International Relations
Full: Every chapter concludes with "The Chapter in Brief,"
"Terms to Remember,"
"Suggested Reading," and "Websites of Interest."
Through the Lens of Science
The Social Sciences
The Social World Seen through the Lens of Science
The Scientific Method
Steps of the Scientific Method
The Scientific Spirit: Skepticism, Objectivity, Relativity
The Social Science Disciplines
Political Science
Research Methods in the Social Sciences
Fur or Nakedness, Tools or Diet?
Psychology: How Much of a Science?
Sample Survey
The Case Study
Participant Observation
The Experiment
Statistical Analysis
The Scientific Method in the Social Sciences
In the Beginning . . .
An Astrophysicist Views the Cosmos
The Beginnings of Life
Creating Life
The Emergence of the Theory of Evolution
A Revolution in Thought: Darwin and His Theory
Natural Selection
The Role of Heredity
Population Genetics: Factors for Change
Human Evolution Designed by Humans
Evolution: Theory or Fact?The Lo ng Trek: Human Evolution
Split Between Chimpanzee and Human Lines
From Fossil to Fossil
The Road to Homo Sapiens
Homo Sapiens: Modern Humans
Agriculture: Cultivation and Domestication
The Evolution of Human Nature
Biological Foundations
Using Biology to Interpret History
Culture: Product and Guide to Life in Society
Culture: Concept and Importance
Biological Predispositions to Culture
The Birth of Culture
Cultural Evolution and Sociobiology
What, Then, Is Culture?The Symbolic Nature of Culture
The Necessity of Sharing Symbols
Language: The Most Important System of Symbols
Does Language Create Reality?The Content of Culture
Material Culture
Nonmaterial Culture
The Components of Nonmaterial Culture: Cognitive and Normative
The Normative System
Contradictory American Values
Categories of Norms: Folkways, Mores, Taboos, and Laws
The Need for Social Control
From Folkways to Laws
Overt and Covert, Real and Ideal Norms
Traits, Complexes, and Institutions
Pivotal Institutions
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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