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Contemporary Society

An Introduction to Social Science



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Contemporary Society: An Introduction to Social Science by John A Perry
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This best-selling text offers an integrated social science view of the world, emphasizing that social change is the pervasive reality of our era. One of the main themes of Contemporary Society is 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 human era. This framework also illustrates the increasing fragmentation of the social order, which leads people away from community and a common purpose to conflict and disunity.

Table of Contents

Every chapter concludes with "The Chapter in Brief," "Terms to Remember," "Suggested Reading," and "Websites of Interest." 1. Through the Lens of Science. The Social Sciences. The Social World Seen through the Lens of Science. The Scientific Method. Concepts. Theories. Research. Steps of the Scientific Method. The Scientific Spirit: Skepticism, Objectivity, Relativity. The Social Science Disciplines. Anthropology. Economics. Geography. History. Political Science. Psychology. Sociology. Research Methods in the Social Sciences. Box 1.1 Fur or Nakedness, Tools or Diet? Box 1.2 Psychology: How Much of a Science? Box 1.3 Consilience. Sample Survey. The Case Study. Participant Observation. The Experiment. Statistical Analysis. The Scientific Method in the Social Sciences. 2. In the Beginning ... Box 2.1 An Astrophysicist Views the Cosmos. The Beginnings of Life. Box 2.2 Creating Life. The Emergence of the Theory of Evolution. A Revolution in Thought: Darwin and His Theory. Natural Selection. The Role of Heredity. Genetics. Population Genetics: Factors for Change. Box 2.3 Human Evolution Designed by Humans. Box 2.4 Evolution: Theory or Fact? The Lo ng Trek: Human Evolution. Split Between Chimpanzee and Human Lines. Box 2.5 From Fossil to Fossil. The Road to Homo Sapiens. Homo Sapiens: Modern Humans. Agriculture: Cultivation and Domestication. The Evolution of Human Nature. Biological Foundations. Box 2.6 Using Biology to Interpret History. 3. 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. Box 3.1 Contradictory American Values. Categories of Norms: Folkways, Mores, Taboos, and Laws. The Need for Social Control. Box 3.2 From Folkways to Laws. Overt and Covert, Real and Ideal Norms. Traits, Complexes, and Institutions. Pivotal Institutions. Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativity. Cultural Differences and Universals. Box 3.3 African Genital Rite. Subcultures and Countercultures. 4. Group Interaction: From Two to Millions. How Is the Social System Organized and Structured? Elements of Social Structure: Statuses and Roles. Statuses: Ascribed and Achieved. The Multiplicity of Statuses and Roles. Real and Ideal Roles. Conflict, Strain and Confusion in Roles. Groups. Group Size. Primary and Secondary Groups. Additional Classification of Groups. Box 4.1 Being Tall in the Land of the Small. Society. Classification of Societies. Classification According to Chief Mode of Subsistence. Box 4.2 A Glimpse into the Human Past. Industrial Societies. Classification According to Social Organization. Interaction and Social Processes. Box 4.3 If Baboons Can Do It, Why Can't Humans? Formal Organizations. Formal Organizations and Institutions Distinguished. Characteristics of Formal Organizations. Types of Formal Organization. Bureaucracy. The Informal Side of Bureaucracy. 5. Becoming a Person: The Birth of Personality. Box 5.1 The Isolated and/or Feral Child. Personality. A Social Product on a Biological Basis. Heredity and Environment. Becoming Human: Socialization. Goals and Functions of Socialization. Theories of Socialization. The Looking-Glass Self: Cooley. The Self in Society: Mead. Box 5.2 You Are Who They Say You Are. The Self and the Unconscious: Freud. The Transitional Self: Erikson. Developmental Theories: Piaget. Moral Development: Kohlberg. Agents of Socialization. The Family. Box 5.3 The Maternal Bond: Its Impact on Personality. The School. The Peer Group. The Media. Occupational Groups. Reverse Socialization. Resocialization. Socialization through the Life Cycle. Childhood. Adolescence. Adulthood. Old Age. Some Conclusions. 6. Deviance and Criminality: The Need for Social Control. Deviance. The Relative Nature of Deviance. Functions of Deviance. Explaining Deviance. Biological Explanations. Box 6.1 Why Are Humans Killers? Psychological Explanations. Mental Disorders. Treatment of Mental Disorders. Deviance as Seen from a Sociological Perspective. Social Integration and Anomie. Cultural Transmission (Differential Association). Labeling Theory. Crime: Deviance that Hurts. Box 6.2What Contributes to Crime? How to Prevent It? Classification of Crimes . Social Order Crimes or Crimes Against Morality. Whitecollar Crime. Organized Crime. Crime Statistics: How Much Crime, and Who Commits It? The Criminal Justice System. Imprisonment. Recidivism. What Price Punishment? The Death Penalty. 7. The Great Divide: Ranking and Stratification. Social Differentiation, Ranking, and Stratification. Stratification. Theoretical Views on Stratification. StructuralFunctional Perspective. Conflict Perspective. Dimensions of Stratification: Class, Status, and Power. Class. Status. Power. Box 7.1 American Royalty. Systems of Stratification. The Closed Society: Caste. The Estate System. The Open Society: Class System. Box 7.2 Class Status, and Power in America. Determining Social Class. Socioeconomic Status. Social Classes in the United States. The Upper Classes. The Middle Class. The Working Class. The Poor. The Ghetto Poor. The Homeless. Box 7.3 The Growth of Inequality. Box 7.4 Welfare: Are We Our Brothers' Keepers? Social Class and its Consequences. Family Life. Child Rearing. Education. Religion. Politics. Health. Arrest and Conviction. Values. Social Mobility. The Upwardly Mobile: Who Are They? Social Mobility in the United States. Global Inequality. Box 7.4 World Hunger. 8. Minority Status : Race and Ethnicity. Majority - Minority Relations: Defining the Terms. Common Characteristics of Minorities. The Making of Pluralist Society. Ideologies Regarding the Treatment of Minorities. Majority and Minorities: Processes of Coexistence. In the Way: Obstacles to Pluralism. Prejudice. Box 8.1 Hate: Prejudice and Discrimination Among Castes in India. Why Are We Prejudiced? Discrimination. Racism. Racial Minorities . Native Americans. Asian Americans. African Americans. Hispanic Americans. Ethnic and Religious Minorities. White Ethnics: Catholics. Jewish Americans. The New Face of America. 9. Minority Status: Age, Gender, and Sexuality. The Aging Society. Theoretical Framework. Ageism. Box 9.1 The Silver Century. Women: Differentiation According to Gender. Biological Facts. Cultural Differences. Sex and Gender Differentiated. The Cultural Construction of Gender. Box 9.2 Women and Science. Traditional Gender Roles. Gender Scripts. Male Dominance. Theories of Gender Role Development. Theories of Socialization. Agents of Gender Socialization. Box 9.3 Adam's Curse. Sexuality. Homosexual Behavior. Box 9.4 Acquiring a Homosexual Identity. Explanatory Theories of Homosexuality. Bisexuality. 10. From the Plow to the Computer: Change, Collective Behavior, and Social Movements. Society and Change. Box 10.1 The United States: A Century of Change. Levels of Change. Processes of Social and Cultural Change. Social Change: Planning, Reform, Revolution. Cultural Change: Innovation and Diffusion. The Sources of Change. The Physical Environment. Technology. Results of the First Technological Revolution. The Industrial Revolution. Inventions and discoveries of the Industrial Revolution. Industrialism. Technology and Social Change. Modernization. Learning to Be Modern. Box 10.2 One Cost of Modernization: Car Wrecks. Collective Behavior. Crowds. Masses. Box 10.3 The Theory of Mass Society. Publics and Public Opinion. Public Opinion. Public Opinion and the Mass Media. Propaganda and Censorship. Social Movements. Types of Social Movements. Reformist Movements. Revolutionary Movements. Factors Encouraging Revolutionary Movements. Terrorism. 11. Population, Urbanization, and Environment. Demographic Processes: Dynamics of Population Change. Birthrates. Death Rates. Migration. Immigration. Internal Migration. Characteristics and Composition of a Population. Sex Ratio. Age Structure. Population Around the World. Malthus and Marx. Demographic Transition. Zero Population Growth. Population Policies. The Urban Society. Urbanization. The Industrial Revolution and the Growth of Cities. Urbanism. Box 11.1 Urban Theories. American Cities. Suburbia. The Impact of the Consumer Culture on the Growth of Suburbia. Suburbia and Social Class. Metropolitanization and Megalopolis. Megalopolis. The Urban Crisis. Slums and Ghettos. Population Drain. Attempts to Reclaim the City . Urban Renewal . The Future of Cities. The Natural Environment. The World We Live In. The Ecosystem. Ecology. Disruption of Ecosystems. Environmental Pollution. 12. Pivotal Institutions: Marriage and the Family. The Basic Institution: The Family. Family Forms. Kinship Systems. Family Functions . Marriage. Limitations on Marriage. Love and Marriage in America. Box 12.1 Arranged Marriages. The Stages of Marriage. Box 12.2 The Scientific Study of Marriage? The Role of Power in Marriage. Changing Marital Patterns. Divorce. Remarriage. Divorce as the New Norm. Consequences of Divorce: Wounds That Do Not Heal. The New American Family. Forms of the New American Family. Some Unintended Effects of the Changing American Family. Child Care. Family Violence. Teenage Pregnancy. 13. Pivotal Institutions: Religion and Education. The Great Religions of the World. Religion in the Social Sciences. Religion as Social Integration. A Functionalist View of Religion. A Conflict View of Religion. Religion and Social Control. The Institutional Context. Common Features of Religions. Religion in America. Religiosity in America. Religious Affiliation and Social Correlates. Religion, Race, and Ethnicity. The Sanctification of the American Way of Life. Contemporary Trends. Fundamentalism. Box 13.1 Science and Religion. The Electronic Church. The Role of Women in Religion. Education. Education in America. The Functionalist View of Education. The Conflict View of Education. Characteristics of American Education. Upward Mobility as a Cure-all for Social Problems. Education, Class, and Race. Box 13.2 Closing the Performance Gap. Attempts at Making Education Work. The Role of the Family. Box 13.3 Separate and Unequal Again? Higher Education. Some Contemporary Issues in Higher Education. 14. Government: The Institution and the Ideologies That Underlie It. The Institution of Government. Government and Politics. The Purpose of Government. The Functions of Government. Political Power: Legitimacy and Authority. Legitimacy. Authority. Types of Legitimate Authority. The State. Theoretical Views of the State. The Nation State. Nationalism. The Ideologies Behind the State. The Role of Ideology. Political Ideology. Autocratic Ideologies. Authoritarianism. Totalitarianism. Totalitarianism of the Right: Fascism and Nazism. Totalitarianism of the Left: Communism. Historical Prediction : The Dialectic. Box 14.1 Communism and the USSR. Box 14.2 Communism in China. Democratic Ideologies: Democracy. Democratic Capitalism. Socialism. Democratic Socialism. 15. The Government of the United States of America. The Constitutional Convention. Box 15.1 The Constitutional Convention. What Is a Constitution? . The Constitution of the United States. Federalism. Box 15.2 Constitutional Limits and Obligations. How Federalism Has Worked. Trend Toward Centralization. The Impact of the Federal Government. Separation of Powers. How Checks and Balances Work. Criticism of the Separation of Powers. The Presidency: The Executive Branch. The Nature of the Presidency. The Roles of the President. Congress: The Legislative Branch. The Issue of Representation. Congressional Committees. The subordinate Role of Congress. The Supreme Court: The Judicial Branch. Box 15.3 A President Elected by a Supreme Court Decision. The Court System. Functions of the Judicial System. The Importance of Limited Government. 16. Democracy in Action: We the People... American Democracy. How Is America Governed? Elitism. Pluralism. Conflict and Consensus. A Realistic Democracy. Interest Groups. Functions of Interest Groups. Formation and Growth of Interest Groups. Lobbyists. Political Action Committees. Shortcomings of Interest Groups. Political Parties. Purpose of Political Parties. Functions of Political Parties. Features of the American Party System. Dealignment or Realignment? The Party System in Decline. America: Red and Blue? The High Cost of Campaigning. Voting. Box 16.1 Peculiarities of American Voting: The Electoral College. Factors in Voter Turnout. The Nonvoters. Box 16.2 Why Americans Are Uninterested in the Political Process. Political Opinionmaking. Public and Political Opinion. The Mass Media. Sound Bites. 17. The Economy: Concepts and History. The Economic Institution. Economic Decision Making. Basic Elements of the Economy. Factors of Production. Economic Choices and Opportunity Costs. Limits to Output: the Production Possibilities Frontier. Specialization of Labor. Trade, Barter, and Money. Contemporary Economic Systems: How Choices Are Made . Western Economies in Historical Perspective. The Birth of Capitalism. Aspects of Industrial Capitalism. The Corporate Form of Industrial Organization. From Competition to Advertising. Diversification and Multinationalism. The Nature of Work in the Industrial Society. Shifting Sectors. Box 17.1 Machines: The Next Laborers. Professionalization. The Corporate Bureaucracy. The Executive. Middle Management: WhiteCollar Workers. Industrial Workers. Box 17.2 Methods of Production: Craft, Mass, and Lean. The Factory System. The American Labor Movement. Collective Bargaining. The Labor Movement Today. Decline of Unionism. American Labor and the Global Economy. Box 17.3 Globalism and its Foes. 18. Principles of Economic Behavior : Microeconomics and Macroeconomics. The Small Picture and the Large Picture. Market Mechanisms. Who Makes Decisions? Who Participates in the Economy? Markets. The Circular Flow. Market Forces. Demand, Supply, and Price. Equilibrium and Price Elasticity. The Principle of Laissez-Faire and Public Needs. A Macroview. The Public Interest: Socioeconomic Goals. Full Employment. Desirable Mix of Output. High and Equitably Distributed Incomes. Reasonable Price Stability. Adequate Growth. Instruments of Public Policy. Fiscal Policy. The Function of Price and Employment Stabilizers. The Federal Budget. Fiscal Decisionmaking. Monetary Policy. Banks. Interest Rates. Regulating Banks. The Federal Reserve. Incomes Policy. Economic Problems and Government Response. Business Cycles. DemandSide Theories. Theory and Reality. Box 18.1 Old and New Economies. Fitting Into the Global Economy. Box 18.2 Computers and Humans: The New Division of Labor. 19. Nation Among Nations: Perspectives on International Relations. Regions of the World. Europe. The Former Soviet Union. The Middle East. Asia. Pacific Rim. Sub-Saharan Africa. Latin America. Anglo America. Other Ways of Classifying States. Rich Nations, Poor Nations. Interaction Among Nations. Theoretical Perspectives. Realism. Contemporary Perspectives. Pluralism. Globalism. Neorealism. Participants in the International System. Actors in International Relations. The State and the Nation. Box 19.1 How States Emerged. Nonstate Actors. The Goals of States. The Competition of Objectives. Means of Achieving Goals: Foreign Policy. Types of Foreign Policy Decisions. Goals of American Foreign Policy. The Role of Ideology. Who Makes Foreign Policy Decisions? Instruments of Foreign Policy. The United Nations. Foreign Aid. Collective Security. The Military. Propaganda. Diplomacy and Diplomats. Treaties and Alliances. Morality in Foreign Policy. Power. The Balance of Power System. The Multipolar System. The World Wars. The Bipolar System. A New Multipolar World.
Release date NZ
May 24th, 2005
Country of Publication
United States
11th Revised edition
Allyn & Bacon
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