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Paperback 496 pp.
165 photos, 30 tables, 8.5" x 11"



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Imprint: OUP Canada

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Elements of Sociology

A Critical Canadian Introduction, Third Edition

John Steckley and Guy Kirby Letts

Acclaimed by instructors and students alike for its fresh, innovative approach to the discipline, Elements of Sociology is back and better than ever in this brand new third edition. Narratives, anecdotes, and a wealth of examples and illustrations challenge students to think differently not only about sociology, but also about the social world that surrounds them.

Readership : Elements of Sociology is designed for first-year introductory courses in sociology at both the college and the university levels. The text is intended for use in half-year courses but can be used in full-year courses when supplemented.


  • "This is an exceptional text in every way - it is comprehensive, accessible, and relevant. It fully engages students and challenges them to think in new ways about the social world. It is full of practical tools and applications to help students develop not only an appreciation for the discipline, but also the capacity for critical reflection."
    --Alison Dunwoody, University of Alberta

  • "The chapters are eye-catching and informative, but organized in a way that makes it easy to grasp the main concepts."
    --Amanda Zavitz, Fanshawe College

Part One: Foundations of Sociology
1. Introduction to Sociology
2. Social Research Methods
Part Two: Social Structures
3. Culture
4. Socialization
5. Social Roles, Interaction, and Organization
6. Deviance
Part Three: Social Difference
7. Social Inequality
8. "Race" and Ethnicity
9. Gender and Sexuality
Part Four: Social Institutions
10. Family
11. Religion
12. Education
13. Health and Medicine
Part Five: Global Perspectives
14. The Environment NEW
15. Social Change and the Future

Free to instructors: all new textbook-relevant streaming videos
* Instructor's Manual comes with streaming video viewing guidelines, which include discussion questions and suggested classroom activities for every clip
Instructor's Manual
Chapter overviews, summaries, and key concepts
Essay and research assignments
Teaching notes
Links to videos and online resources
Streaming video viewing guidelines
Test Generator
Multiple-choice questions
Short-answer questions
True-or-false questions
Student Study Guide
Chapter summaries
Study questions
Self-grading quizzes
Explore-and-discuss exercises
PowerPoint Slides
Graphics and tables from the text
Summaries of key points
E-Book (ISBN 9780199000692)
Available through CourseSmart.com

John Steckley, professor of sociology and anthropology for more than 20 years at Humber College, is the author of over a dozen books and 200 articles in scholarly journals. A specialist in Aboriginal languages, culture, and history (and reportedly the last known speaker of the Wyandot [or Huron] language), he has worked as a consultant on CBC's Canada: A People's History.

Guy Kirby Letts has taught at Humber College, Georgian College, Simon Fraser University, and York University. He holds a BA in sociology from the University of Calgary, an MA in sociology and anthropology from SFU, and is currently completing his PhD in sociology at York University. His research interests include contemporary social, cultural, and political theory; popular culture and mass media; and consumption and consumerism. He is currently the executive director of the Centre for the Study of the Human Condition (CSHC) and teaches in the Department of Sociology at Laurentian University.

Reading Sociology - Edited by Lorne Tepperman and Angela Kalyta
Questioning Sociology - Edited by Myra J. Hird and George Pavlich
The Sociological Imagination - C. Wright Mills
New Afterword by Todd Gitlin
Making Sense in the Social Sciences - Margot Northey, Lorne Tepperman and Patrizia Albanese
Sociology - Edited by Lorne Tepperman, Patrizia Albanese and The late Jim Curtis
Introducing Sociology - Murray Knuttila and Andre Magnan
Starting Points - Lorne Tepperman
Principles of Sociology - Lorne Tepperman and The late James Curtis
Writing in the Social Sciences - Jake Muller
Thinking About Sociology / Making Sense in the Social Sciences Pack - Karen L. Anderson

Special Features

  • An engaging personal narrative captures student interest and invites them to join a sociological conversation.
  • The most up-to-date research and statistics available - includes recently released 2011 Statistics Canada data and broad coverage of current, real-life examples such as challenges to Canada's polygamy laws in Bountiful, BC, religious unity during the Arab Spring protest, disability and difference at the 2012 Summer Olympics, and the housing crisis in Attawapiskat.
  • Written by Canadians for Canadian students, the text offers a uniquely Canadian perspective and a breadth of coverage on issues and topics of particular interest to students in this country.
  • Lively treatment of core sociological concepts captures student interest and makes complex subject matter easy to understand.
  • Fosters critical thinking by prompting students to examine sociological issues from multiple perspectives and question conventional ideas.
  • Unmatched treatment of diversity and Aboriginal issues encourages students to critically examine the issues facing society's many different ethnic, racial, religious, educational, and gender groups, helping them appreciate the triumphs and challenges of modern multicultural society.
  • Engaging streaming videos, including video clips and feature length films linked to the text, are perfect for use in lectures and to stimulate classroom discussion. An accompanying viewing guide provides background information and discussion topics for each clip.
  • An updated box program features attention-grabbing boxes that invite students to think about sociological ideas from many angles:
  • For Starters chapter-opening vignettes offer students a way to connect with the concepts that will be presented.
  • What do YOU Think? boxes present critical-thinking questions to encourage reflection on key concepts as they are presented.
  • The Point Is... boxes present case studies and highlight important contributions to and insight on sociological research, past and present.
  • Our Stories boxes examine the events and research that are especially relevant to the practice and study of sociology in Canada.
  • Telling It Like It Is boxes feature first-person narratives that give voice to a variety of perspectives informed by a variety of social factors - age, sex, gender, class, ethnicity, and more.
  • Going Global boxes shed light on international issues of interest to sociologists and students in Canada and around the world.
  • Quick Hits sidebars supplement the authors' narrative with relevant examples and data.
New to this Edition
  • New chapter on environmental sociology (Ch. 14) ensures that students are provided with a Canadian perspective on topics related to this increasingly popular and important topic in sociology, from the mining of asbestos in Quebec and the development of genetically modified pigs in Guelph to a Saskatchewan farmer's challenge to chemical giant Monsanto.
  • A dynamic new design with a colourful, concept-oriented art program, featuring over 100 new photos - 170 in all - and 30 tables.
  • Extensively revised research and statistics ensures students have the most up-to-date data available.
  • Newly annotated print and online resources point students in the right direction for further research and critical reflection.