Preface

OpenStax College

This Preface is from OpenStax College, the creator of the original textbook.

1About OpenStax College

OpenStax College is a non-profit organization committed to improving student access to quality learning materials. Our free textbooks are developed and peer-reviewed by educators to ensure they are readable, accurate, and meet the scope and sequence requirements of modern college courses. Unlike traditional textbooks, OpenStax College resources live online and are owned by the community of educators using them. Through our partnerships with companies and foundations committed to reducing costs for students, OpenStax College is working to improve access to higher education for all. OpenStax College is an initiative of Rice University and is made possible through the generous support of several philanthropic foundations.

2About This Book

Welcome to Introduction to Sociology, an OpenStax College resource created with several goals in mind: accessibility, affordability, customization, and student engagement—all while encouraging learners toward high levels of learning. Instructors and students alike will find that this textbook offers a strong foundation in sociology. It is available for free online and in low-cost print and e-book editions.

To broaden access and encourage community curation, Introduction to Sociology is “open source” licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license. Everyone is invited to submit examples, emerging research, and other feedback to enhance and strengthen the material and keep it current and relevant for today’s students. You can make suggestions by contacting us at info@openstaxcollege.org. You can find the status of the project, as well as alternate versions, corrections, etc., on the StaxDash at http://openstaxcollege.org.

3To the Student

This book is written for you and is based on the teaching and research experience of numerous sociologists. In today’s global socially networked world, the topic of Sociology is more relevant than ever before. We hope that through this book, you will learn how simple, everyday human actions and interactions can change the world. In this book, you will find applications of Sociology concepts that are relevant, current, and balanced.

4To the Instructor

This text is intended for a one-semester introductory course. Since current events influence our social perspectives and the field of Sociology in general, OpenStax College encourages instructors to keep this book fresh by sending in your up-to-date examples to info@openstaxcollege.org so that students and instructors around the country can relate and engage in fruitful discussions.

5General Approach

Introduction to Sociology adheres to the scope and sequence of a typical introductory sociology course. In addition to comprehensive coverage of core concepts, foundational scholars, and emerging theories, we have incorporated section reviews with engaging questions, discussions that help students apply the sociological imagination, and features that draw learners into the discipline in meaningful ways. Although this text can be modified and reorganized to suit your needs, the standard version is organized so that topics are introduced conceptually, with relevant, everyday experiences.

6Features of OpenStax Introduction to Sociology

The following briefly describes the special features of this text.

Modularity

This textbook is organized on Connexions (http://cnx.org) as a collection of modules that can be rearranged and modified to suit the needs of a particular professor or class. That being said, modules often contain references to content in other modules, as most topics in sociology cannot be discussed in isolation.

Learning Objectives

Every module begins with a set of clear and concise learning objectives. These objectives are designed to help the instructor decide what content to include or assign, and to guide the student with respect to what he or she can expect to learn. After completing the module and end-of-module exercises, students should be able to demonstrate mastery of the learning objectives.

Key Features

The following features show students the dynamic nature of Sociology:

  • Sociological Research: Highlights specific current and relevant research studies. Examples include “Is Music a Cultural Universal?” and “Deceptive Divorce Rates.”
  • Sociology in the Real World: Ties chapter content to student life and discusses sociology in terms of the everyday. Topics include “Secrets of the McJob” and “Grade Inflation: When Is an A Really a C?”
  • Big Picture: Features present sociological concepts at a national or international level, including “Education in Afghanistan” and “American Indian Tribes and Environmental Racism.”
  • Case Study: Describes real-life people whose experiences relate to chapter content, such as “Catherine Middleton: The Commoner Who Would Be Queen.”
  • Social Policy and Debate: Discusses political issues that relate to chapter content, such as “The Legalese of Sex and Gender” and “Is the U.S. Bilingual?”

Section Summaries

Section summaries distill the information in each section for both students and instructors down to key, concise points addressed in the section.

Key Terms

Key terms are bold and are followed by a definition in context. Definitions of key terms are also listed in the Key Terms, which appears at the end of the module online and at the end of the chapter in print.

Section Quizzes

Section quizzes provide opportunities to apply and test the information students learn throughout each section. Both multiple-choice and short-response questions feature a variety of question types and range of difficulty.

Further Research

This feature helps students further explore the section topic and offers related research topics that could be explored.

7Faculty Reviewers

Carol Jenkins, Glendale Community College

Lillian Marie Wallace, Pima Community College

J. Brandon Wallace, Middle Tennessee State University

Gerry R. Cox, professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

David Hunt, Augusta State University

Jennifer L. Newman-Shoemake, Angelo State University, and Cisco College

Matthew Morrison, University of Virginia

Sue Greer-Pitt, Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College

Faye Jones, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College

Athena Smith, Hillsborough Community College

Kim Winford, Blinn College

Kevin Keating, Broward College

Russell Davis, University of West Alabama

Kimberly Boyd, Piedmont Virginia Community College

Lynn Newhart, Rockford College

Russell C. Ward, Maysville Community and Technical College

Xuemei Hu, Union County College

Margaret A. Choka, Pellissippi State Community College

Cindy Minton, Clark State Community College

Nili Kirschner, Woodland Community College

Shonda Whetstone, Blinn College

Elizabeth Arreaga, instructor emerita at Long Beach City College

Florencio R. Riguera, Catholic University of America

John B. Gannon, College of Southern Nevada

Gerald Titchener, Des Moines Area Community College

Rahime-Malik Howard, El Centro College, and Collin College

Jeff Bry, Minnesota State Community and Technical College at Moorhead

Cynthia Tooley, Metropolitan Community College at Blue River

Carol Sebilia, Diablo Valley College

Marian Moore, Owens Community College

John Bartkowski, University of Texas at San Antonio

Shelly Dutchin, Western Technical College

8. Disclaimer

All photos and images were licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license at the time they were placed into this book. The CC-BY license does not cover any trademarks or logos in the photos. If you have questions about regarding photos or images, please contact us at info@openstaxcollege.org.