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Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide.

Print Price: $179.99

592 pp.
121 photos; 65 figures; 7 tables; 2 maps, 8.5" x 11"


Copyright Year:

Imprint: OUP Canada

Starting Points

A Sociological Journey, Second Edition

Lorne Tepperman

Starting Points offers introductory students a roadmap to the problems, theories, and approaches at the core of sociology. With engaging discussions of the investigations, theories, and researchers shaping the field today, this text encourages students to step back and interpret their world from a sociological perspective.

Readership : A core text for introduction to sociology courses offered out of sociology departments at the university and college levels.

1. Introduction to Sociology
Starting Off: Understanding the High Suicide Rate among Canada's Young Inuit
Introduction: What Is Sociology
- Origins
- Five Approaches
- What Sociology Does
Critical Themes and Ideas Marx, Weber, and the Study of Social Conflict
Ways of Looking at . . . Sociology
- Functionalism
- Conflict Theory
- Symbolic Interactionism
- Feminism
- Postmodernism
Classic Studies Émile Durkheim's Suicide
- The Legacy of Durkheim's Suicide
- How Functionalism Relates to Conflict Theory
Classic Studies John Porter's The Vertical Mosaic
- The Legacy of Porter's The Vertical Mosaic
Classic Studies Erving Goffman's Stigma
Critical Themes and Ideas The Definition of the Situation
Critical Themes and Ideas Social Constructionism
Coming into Focus Navigating Sociology
2. Sociological Research NEW
Starting Off: (Mis)Using Statistics to Guide Policy Decisions
Introduction: Why Social Research Is Important
- The Research Process Begins with a Theory
- From Theory to Hypothesis to Research
Ways of Looking at . . . Social Research
- The Origins of Quantitative Methods
- Principles of Quantitative and Qualitative Research
- Qualitative and Quantitative Data - Which Are Better?
- Surveys for Qualitative and Quantitative Research
Critical Themes and Ideas Quantitative Research Methods
- The Quantitative Survey
Classic Studies Samuel Stouffer's The American Soldier
- Sampling
- The Experiment
Classic Studies Roethlisberger and Dickson's Management of the Worker
- Other Types of Quantitative Research Design
Critical Themes and Ideas Qualitative Research Methods
- The Qualitative Survey, or Interview
- Ethnographic Research
Classic Studies Richard Ericson's Reproducing Order
- Document Analysis
Classic Studies Kai Erikson's Wayward Puritans
- Analyzing Qualitative Data: Content Analysis and Grounded Theory
Critical Themes and Ideas Feminist Research Methods
Coming into Focus Navigating Sociological Research
3. Population, Urban Life, and the Environment
Starting Off: Are You Lonesome Tonight?
Introduction: What Demography Can Tell Us about Cities, the Environment, and the Way We Organize
- The Study of Humans as Material Beings
- The Importance of Population Composition
Ways of Looking at . . . Population, Urban Life, and the Environment
- Functionalism
- Conflict Theory
- Symbolic Interactionism
- Feminism
- Postmodernism
Classic Studies Meadows, Meadows, Randers, and Behrens: The Limits to Growth
Critical Themes and Ideas Population Growth and Fertility Decline
Classic Studies Ulrich Beck's Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity
Critical Themes and Ideas The Natural Environment
Critical Themes and Ideas Built Environments and Urbanization
Coming into Focus
- The Political Economy of the Environment
- Population and Fertility
- The Links between Population and Crime
Navigating Population, Urban Life, and the Environment
4. Social Structures
Starting Off: Where Are All the Single Ladies and Gentlemen?
Introduction: Finding Our Place in the Social Structure
- Defining Social Structure
- Social Scripts and Roles
Classic Studies Howard Becker's Outsiders
Ways of Looking at . . . Social Structures
- Functionalism
- Symbolic Interactionism
- Postmodernism
Critical Themes and Ideas Roles, Role Sets, and Identities
- Taking on and Exiting Roles
- The Importance of Community Membership
- Embracing the Role
- Role Strain
Classic Studies Georg Simmel's The Sociology of Secrecy and of Secret Societies
Critical Themes and Ideas The Study of Small Groups
- The Division of Social Roles in Teams, Bands, and Gangs
- Social Networks
- Cliques
- Organizations and Bureaucracy
- Social Control and Obedience
Coming into Focus Navigating Social Structures
5. Socialization and Culture NEW
Starting Off: China Lines up for Queuing Day
Introduction: There's Nothing "Natural" about Good Manners
- Defining Socialization
- Defining Culture
- The Socialization Process
Ways of Looking at . . . Socialization and Culture
- Functionalism
- Conflict Theory
- Symbolic Interactionism
- Feminism
- Postmodernism
Critical Themes and Ideas Topics in the Study of Socialization
- Agents of Socialization
- Socialization over the Life Cycle
Classic Studies Theodor Adorno's The Authoritarian Personality
- Parenting Styles Today
- Racial, Ethnic, and Class Socialization
Critical Themes and Ideas Culture
- Processes of Cultural Change
Classic Studies Thorstein Veblen's Theory of the Leisure Class
- Diffusion and Acculturation
Classic Studies Gabriel Tarde's The Laws of Imitation
- Cultural Experience and Knowledge
Coming into Focus Navigating Socialization and Culture
6. Deviance, Crime, and Punishment NEW
Starting Off: The Trial of a Norwegian Murderer
Introduction: Rules Are Made to Be Broken
- The Selective Punishment of Deviance
- Varieties of Deviant Behaviour
Classic Studies Edwin Schur's Crimes without Victims 180
- The Social Construction of Crime: The Moral Panic
Ways of Looking at . . . Deviance
- Functionalism
Classic Studies John Hagan and Bill McCarthy's Mean Streets
- Symbolic Interactionism
- Conflict Theory
- Feminism
- Postmodernism
Critical Themes and Ideas Crime as a Special Case of Deviance
- Violent Crime
- Non-violent Crime
- Trends in Crime
Critical Themes and Ideas Victimization
Critical Themes and Ideas Controlling and Punishing Criminal Deviance
- Approaches to Punishment
- Aims of Punishment
- Overrepresentation in Canada's Prisons
Coming into Focus Navigating Deviance, Crime, and Punishment
7. Gender Relations and Sexuality
Starting Off: Single Chinese Women "Unwanted" after 27
Introduction: Have Men Become the "Second Sex"?
- The Difference between Sex Roles and Gender Roles
- Sexism and Gender Inequality
Ways of Looking at . . . Gender and Sexuality
- Functionalism
- Conflict Theory
- Symbolic Interactionsm
- Feminism
- Postmodernism
Critical Themes and Ideas Sex and Gender Influences in the Workplace
Classic Studies Rosabeth Kanter's Men and Women of the Corporation
Classic Studies Pat Armstrong and Hugh Armstrong's The Double Ghetto
Critical Themes and Ideas Women's "Second Shift"
Critical Themes and Ideas Sex and Sexuality
Classic Studies Edward Laumann's The Social Organization of Sexuality
Critical Themes and Ideas Prostitution and Pornography
Critical Themes and Ideas Homosexuality and Heteronormativity
- Normalizing Sexuality
- Homophobia
Coming into Focus
- "Doing" Masculinity
- Prostitution: Oppression or Empowerment?
Navigating Gender Relations and Sexuality
8. Racial and Ethnic Groups
Starting Off: When Is Online Dating Racist?
Introduction: We're All Immigrants
- Race, Ethnicity, and Racialization
Ways of Looking at . . . Racialized Groups
- Functionalism
- Conflict Theory
- Symbolic Interactionism
- Feminism
- Postmodernism
Classic Studies Emory Bogardus's Social Distance
- Other Measures of Social Distance
Classic Studies Everett C. Hughes's French Canada in Transition
Critical Themes and Ideas Colonialism
Critical Themes and Ideas Canada's Immigration Policy through History
Classic Studies Thomas and Znaniecki's The Polish Peasant in Europe and America
Critical Themes and Ideas Ethnic Communities and Inter-Ethnic Interaction
Classic Studies Karl Gunnar Myrdal's An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy
Critical Themes and Ideas Racism, Prejudice, and Discrimination
Coming into Focus
- Racialization and Canada's Aboriginal Peoples
- Ethno-Racial Minorities: To Assimilate or Segregate?
- Testing for Racist Beliefs
Navigating Racial and Ethnic Groups
9. Classes and Workplaces
Starting Off: Federal Employees Take Twice as Many Sick Days
Introduction: How Work, Class, and Inequality Are Related
Critical Themes and Ideas Two Main Approaches to Class Conflict
- Marx and Class Conflict
- Weber and Class Conflict
Ways of Looking at . . . Classes and Workplaces
- Functionalism
- Conflict Theory
Classic Studies Harry Braverman's Labor and Monopoly Capital
- Symbolic Interactionism
- Feminism
- Postmodernism
Critical Themes and Ideas Class Socialization
Critical Themes and Ideas The Organization of Work in Canada Today
Classic Studies Émile Durkheim's The Division of Labor in Society
Critical Themes and Ideas Topics in the Study of Labour and Poverty
- Alienation and Collective Action
- The Working Poor and the Culture of Poverty
- Inequality
Coming into Focus Navigating Classes and Workplaces
10. Regions, Nations, and Empires
Starting Off: UN Report Accuses Canada of "Complicity" in Torture
Introduction: Finding Common Ground in a Fragmented World
- Territorial Alliances and Conflict
- Empire-Building and Globalization
Ways of Looking at . . . Regions, Nations, and Empires
- Functionalism
- Conflict Theory
- Feminism
- Postmodernism
Classic Studies Immanuel Wallerstein's The Modern World-System
- The Legacy of Wallerstein's World-Systems Theory
- Dependency Theory
Classic Studies Marx and Engels' The Manifesto of the Communist Party
Critical Themes and Ideas Global Conflict
- Types of Violence and War
Critical Themes and Ideas Globalization and Culture
- Social Distance and Technology
Coming into Focus
- The Consequences of Globalization
- Policy Diffusion: Four Approaches
- Standardization
- Social Mobility
Navigating Regions, Nations, and Empires
11. Families and Age Groups
Starting Off: Europe's Lost Generation
Introduction: How the Canadian Family Is Changing
- Types of Families
Ways of Looking at . . . Families and Age Groups
- Functionalism
- Conflict Theory
- Symbolic Interactionsim
- Feminism
- Postmodernism
Classic Studies William Goode's World Revolution and Family Patterns
- The Legacy of Goode's Study and Changes in the Canadian Family
Critical Themes and Ideas Intimate Partner Violence
- Causes of Family Violence
Critical Themes and Ideas Family Dynamics
- Dealing with Problems and Change
- Managing the Work-Life (Im)Balance
Classic Studies Philippe Ariès's Centuries of Childhood
Critical Themes and Ideas Changing Age Relations
Classic Studies Glen Elder's Children of the Great Depression
Coming into Focus
- Prospects for Children in Single-Parent Families
- Links between Family and Health
Navigating Families and Age Groups
12. Schools and Formal Education
Starting Off: Fundraising in Schools Creates a "Two-Tiered" System
Introduction: Are We Underfunding Education?
- What Is Education?
Ways of Looking at . . . Schools and Education
- Functionalism
- Conflict Theory
- Symbolic Interactionism
- Feminism
- Postmodernism
Classic Studies Christopher Jencks and David Riesman's The Academic Revolution
- The "Academic Revolution" in Canada
- Jencks and Riesman: Critical Reception
Critical Themes and Ideas Educational Trends and Inequalities
- The Rise of Education
- Graduation Rates Today
- Education and Inequality
Classic Studies James Coleman's The Adolescent Society 407
- Has Coleman's "Adolescent Society" Survived?
Critical Themes and Ideas Separating Students
- Ability Grouping or Streaming
- Segregation or Distance in Schools
Classic Studies John Seeley's Crestwood Heights
- Crestwood Heights: Critical Reception and Relevance Today
Critical Themes and Ideas Isolation, Integration, and Networks in Schools
- Bullying
- Social Integration in School Settings
- School Networks: Coleman's Social Capital Theory
Coming into Focus
- Education and Reform in the Post-industrial World
- The Achievement Gap
Navigating Schools and Formal Education
13. Churches and Religion
Starting Off: The Tim Tebow Experience
Introduction: How Religion Changes, and Why This Interests Sociologists
- How a Sociologist Approaches the Study of Religion
- What Is Religion?
Classic Studies Émile Durkheim's The Elementary Forms of Religious Life
Ways of Looking at . . . Churches and Religion
- Functionalism
- Conflict Theory
- Symbolic Interactionism
- Feminism
- Postmodernism
Critical Themes and Ideas Religion in Canada Today
Classic Studies Sigmund Freud's Civilization and Its Discontents
Critical Themes and Ideas Secularization
- Religion versus Science and the Origins of Secularization
- Mechanisms of Secularization
Critical Themes and Ideas Religion in Political Life
- Civil Religion
- American Fundamentalism
- Religion in Canadian Politics
- New Religious Movements
Coming into Focus
- Religion and Science: Equals or Adversaries?
- The Rise of Fundamentalism
- The Spread of Religiosity through Immigration
Navigating Churches and Religion
14. Media and Mass Communication
Starting Off: The Sexualization of Little Girls in the Media
Introduction: How the Media Make Us Consumers
- The Sociology of Media
Ways of Looking at . . . Media and Mass Communication
- Functionalism
- Conflict Theory
Classic Studies Herbert Gans's Deciding What's News
- Symbolic Interactionism
- Feminism
- Postmodernism
Critical Themes and Ideas The Business of Mass Media
- Commodification
- Media Ownership and Media Concentration
- Media Concentration and the News
- Media Concentration and Globalization
Critical Themes and Ideas Media, Conflict, and Crime
- Baudrillard on War and Reality TV
Critical Themes and Ideas The Internet and Its Effects on Social Life
- The New Knowledge Producers
- Changing Social Relations
- Romance Online
Coming into Focus
- New Insights on the Printed Word
- Television Today
- The Problem of Gaming
Navigating Media and Mass Communication
15. Politics and Social Movements
Starting Off: Batman Movie Parallels the Occupy Wall Street Movement
Introduction: How a Movie Can Become Political
- The Nation-State and the Alternatives
Ways of Looking at . . . Politics and Social Movements
- Functionalism
- Conflict Theory
- Symbolic Interactionism
Classic Studies Joseph Gusfield's Symbolic Crusade
- Feminism
- Postmodernism
Critical Themes and Ideas Political Sociology versus Political Science
Classic Studies S.M. Lipset's The First New Nation
Critical Themes and Ideas Political Authority and the State
- Models of Authority
- The Role of the State
- Different Forms of Political Power
- The Liberal-Democratic State in Canada
Critical Themes and Ideas Ideology and Opposition
- The Role of Ideology in Politics
- Types of Social Movements
- Political Violence
- Peaceful Protest
Coming into Focus
Navigating Politics and Social Movements
Note: All chapters end with:
- Summary
- Questions for Review and Critical Interpretation
- Recommended Readings
- Review Articles
- Books

Instructor Resources
Instructor's Manual
- Chapter overviews
- Learning objectives
- Key concepts
- Questions for discussion or debate (10-15 per chapter)
- Suggested class activities or assignments (5-10 per chapter)
PowerPoint slides
For each chapter:
- 30-35 lecture outline slides
Test Generator
For each chapter:
- 18-25 multiple-choice questions
- 8-10 true-or-false questions
- 7-10 short-answer questions
- Complete answer key
Student Resources
Student Study Guide
- Study questions
- Recommended readings and websites
- Matching exercises
- Flash cards
More Names to Know profiles
- Features short biographies of notable figures - including those not covered in the text - and an explanation of how they relate to the chapter material
Mobile Study Room
- Students can access learning tools on their smartphones, tablets, or PC
- Includes activities, quizzes, mastery exercises, and multimedia to enhance the material found in each chapter
Streaming Video Collection
- Case studies, documentary footage, and feature-length films that complement themes and issues discussed in the book
- Available on the companion site and at www.oupcanada.com/SocVideos
Video Viewing Guide
- Summary of each video
- Discussion questions
- Assignment topics
- Suggestions for key clips to use in the classroom
E-Book (ISBN 9780199006830)

Lorne Tepperman is professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto. He served as chair of the department from 1997 to 2003 and has won many teaching awards, including the Dean's Excellence Award, an Outstanding Teaching Award from the Faculty of Arts and Science, and an Oswald Hall Teaching Award, given by the sociology department. In 2003, Lorne received the Outstanding Contribution Award from the Canadian Sociology Association. He is the author or editor of many OUP Canada titles, including Sociology: A Canadian Perspective, 3/e (2013), Principles of Sociology: Canadian Perspectives, 3/e (2014), and Social Problems: A Canadian Perspective, 3/e (2011).

Elements of Sociology - John Steckley
Introducing Sociology - Murray Knuttila and Andre Magnan
Reading Sociology - Edited by Lorne Tepperman and Angela Kalyta
Questioning Sociology - Edited by Myra J. Hird and George Pavlich
Principles of Sociology - Edited by Lorne Tepperman, Patrizia Albanese and The late James Curtis
Foundations of Sociology - John Steckley
Thinking about Sociology - Karen L. Anderson
Sociology - Edited by Lorne Tepperman and Patrizia Albanese
Making Sense in the Social Sciences - Margot Northey, Lorne Tepperman and Patrizia Albanese
Writing in the Social Sciences - Jake Muller

Special Features

  • Written from the ground up by one of Canada's most distinguished sociologists, this single-authored indigenous text is relevant and relatable to students in this country.
  • Accessible, student-friendly style will engage students while they learn the discipline's core principles.
  • Integrates classic and cutting-edge research to provide a balanced look at key figures and developments that have shaped the field.
  • A wealth of photos, figures, and tables help students visualize data trends and essential concepts.
  • Theoretical foundation - examines each concept through a variety of theoretical lenses, including functionalist, postmodernist, symbolic-interactionist, conflict, and feminist theories.
  • Balances Canadian perspectives with international viewpoints to offer a wide-ranging treatment of sociological issues at home and abroad.
  • Captivating box program invites students to think about sociological ideas from many angles.
  • NEW! Starting Off boxes at the beginning of each chapter explore topical case studies and news items that highlight chapter themes.
  • One World, Many Societies boxes highlight social and diversity issues around the world to show how insights into regional issues can shed light on our own lives.
  • People are Talking About boxes profile significant figures in the discipline and personalize the study of sociology by showing its development through the efforts of leading social researchers.
  • Consistent framework facilitates an understanding of sociological concepts through stimulating sections that appear in every chapter.
  • Ways of Looking At sections examine the key areas of study through various theoretical lenses to ensure students are exposed to different interpretations of prominent sociological concerns.
  • Classic Studies sections provide students with historical background and classic theoretical perspectives to ensure they have a solid grounding in the discipline's core ideas.
  • Critical Themes and Ideas sections present the author's own interpretation of a theme that is central to the chapter topic.
  • NEW! Coming into Focus sections draw together important chapter concepts, leading into the end-of-chapter summary.
New to this Edition
  • Visual summaries at the end of each chapter help students review the themes and figures central to each major topic. Each summary features a QR code that will take students directly to the Mobile Study Room via tablet or smartphone.
  • The Mobile Study Room includes activities, review exercises, and multimedia content designed to help students master textbook material via tablet, smartphone, or PC. Students can choose from a range of activities to enhance their understanding of topics they find most interesting or challenging and create summaries tailored to their particular studying needs.
  • Stand-alone chapters on deviance and sociological research offer expanded coverage of these essential subjects.
  • Revised discussions of socialization and culture bring new perspectives on these fundamental topics and how they are related, in a stand-alone chapter appearing early in the textbook.