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Price: $114.95

Paperback 432 pp.
110 photos; 8 maps, 8.5" x 11"



Copyright Year:

Imprint: OUP Canada

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Imagining Sociology

An Introduction with Readings

Catherine Corrigall-Brown

The only introductory sociology text to offer integrated readings throughout, Imagining Sociology is a refreshing new introduction to the fascinating world of sociology. Original readings by the founders of the discipline and today's top sociologists encourage students to engage directly with core ideas in the discipline while an accessible narrative framework offers context for understanding these ideas. Combining contemporary examples and interesting activities throughout, this text helps students recognize how their own lives impact and are impacted by society at large.

Readership : Suitable for introductory sociology courses.


  • "The use of representative readings from famous sociologists is very good. They are excellent selections that nicely illustrate the chapters' main points."
    --Janet M. C. Burns, University of New Brunswick

  • "The book is a full package that delivers! It has interesting activities, reviews the classic sociological theorists, is accessible, current and timely! It is outstanding work to assist students to use their sociological imagination and turn them on to our wonderful discipline."
    --Helene A. Cummins, Brescia University College at Western University

  • "Imagining Sociology is an innovative approach to helping students engage with classical and contemporary sociological readings. The greatest strength is the integration of the readings into the text. This feature makes the text a one of a kind in a saturated field."
    --Suzanne Ricard, Western University

Part 1: Understanding Society
1. The Sociological Imagination
Three Core Foci of Sociology
- Social Inequality
- Social Institutions
- Social Change
Three Core Aims of Sociology
- Reading: "Body Ritual among the Nacirema" by Horace Miner
Émile Durkheim and the Study of Suicide
- Activity: Suicide in Canada
The Sociological Imagination
- Reading: From The Sociological Imagination by C. Wright Mills
- Activity: The History and Biography of Higher Education in Canada
Research Methods: How Do Sociologists Study Society?
2. Becoming a Member of Society
The Individual and Society
- Reading: "Review of Albert Schaeffle, Bau und Leben des Sozialen Körpers: Erster Band" by Émile Durkheim
- Activity: The Twenty Statements Test
- Activity: How Do Toys Socialize Us?
Aging and Socialization
- Reading: "Growing Up Is Harder to Do" by Frank F. Furstenberg Jr, Sheela Kennedy, Vonnie C. McLoyd, Rubén G. Rumbaut, and Richard A. Settersen Jr
The Performance of Social Roles
- Reading: "The Presentation of Self" by Erving Goffman
Part 2: Social Inequality
3. Social Inequality and Social Class
Karl Marx and Social Class
- Class Struggles
- Reading: "Manifesto and the Communist Party" by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
Class Consciousness
Max Weber and Social Status
- Activity: Social Status Markers
Income Inequality in Canada
- Reading: Nickel-and-Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America By Barbara Ehrenreich
- Activity: Creating Low-Income Cut-Offs (LICOs)
4. Globalization and Global Inequality
What Is Globalization?
Understanding Globalization
- Modernization Theory
- Activity: The Ecological Footprint
- World Systems Theory
- Activity: Commodity Chains and Global Inequality
- Reading: "The Uses of Global Poverty: How Economic Inequality Benefits the West" by Diana Stukuls Eglitis
- World Society Theory
- Is Globalization a Good Thing?
Global Inequality
- Activity: Global Inequality in Images
- Reading: "The Record of Microfinance: The Effectiveness/Ineffectiveness of Microfinance Programs as a Means of Alleviating Poverty" by Jon Westover
5. The Social Construction of Race and Ethnicity
Race and Ethnicity
Social Construction
Race and Ethnicity as Social Constructions
- Activity: Defining and Calculating Racial Groups
- Reading: "Optional Ethnicities: For Whites Only?" by Mary C. Waters
The Consequences of Social Constructions
First Nations' People in Canada
Prejudice and Discrimination
- Activity: Canadian Citizenship Test
- Reading: "Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism" by Benedict Anderson
6. Gender at the Intersections
Sex and Gender
Gender as a Social Construction
- Activity: Performing Gender in Music
Gender and Institutions
- Gender and Sports
- Reading: "Commanding the Room in Short Skirts: Cheering as the Embodiment of Ideal Girlhood" by Natalie Adams and Pamela Bettis
- Gender and Work
- Gender and Politics
- Activity: Gender Associations
Feminism and Feminist Theory
- Reading: "The Invention of Heterosexuality" by Johnathan Ned Katz
Part 3: The Role of Institutions
7. Language and the Media
The Sapir Whorf Hypothesis
- Reading: "Racism in the English Language" by Robert B. Moore
Corporate Concentration and the Media
- Reading: From "The Power Elite" by C. Wright Mills
- Effects of Media Concentration
New Media and Social Media
Digital Divide
- Activity: The Reality of Reality TV
Violence in the Media
Media Literacy
- Activity: Using Media Literacy with Alcohol and Tobacco Ads
Alternative Media
8. The Family
What Is the Family?
- Activity: Comedy and the TV Family
Larger Social Changes That Impact the Family
- Reading: "Should the Government Promote Marriage?" by Andrew J. Cherlin
- Activity: Increasing or Decreasing Fertility in Quebec and China
Theorizing the Family
- Reading: "Men as Success Objects and Women as Sex Objects: A Study of Personal Advertisements" by Simon Davis
9. Education
The Schooled Society
The Functions of Education
- Socialization
- Selection
- Legitimation
- Activity: How Can We Measure the "College or University Experience"?
- Reading: "A Matter of Degrees" by William Beaver
Education and Social Inequality
- Education and Social Class
- Education and Gender
- Reading: "The Not-So-Pink Ivory Tower" by Ann Mullen
- Activity: Critically Analyzing School Curriculum
Education, Cultural Capital, and Social Capital
The Consequences of Degrees
Education around the World
10. Work and Rationalization
The Rationalized World
- Reading: "The 'McDonaldization' of Society" by George Ritzer
- Activity: The Commodification of Love
The Division of Labour in Society
Scientific Management
The Alienation of Labour
Changes in Work in Canada
Precarious Employment
Emotional Labour
- Reading: "Feeling Management: From Private to Commercial Uses" by Ariel Russell Hochschild
- Activity: Training Employees for Emotional Labour
11. Deviance
What Is Deviance?
The Social Construction of Deviance
- Activity: The Changing Social Construction of Deviance
Why Are People Deviant?
- Individual Explanations of Deviance and Crime
- Social Explanations of Deviance and Crime
- Reading: "On Being Sane in Insane Places" by D.L. Rosenhan
The Power of the Situation
Crime Rates
Crime Rates by Group
- Activity: Calculating Crime Rates
- Reading: "The Body of the Condemned" by Michel Foucault
Part 4: Social Change
12. Change through Policy and the Law
How Does Society Reproduce Itself?
The Routes to Social Change
The Rise of the State
The Welfare State
- The Welfare State in Canada
The Welfare State and Social Inequality
Social Policy: Universal and Means Tested Programs
Reparation Programs
- Reading: "Forty Acres and a Mule: What if America Pays Reparations?" by Dalton Conley
- Activity: The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
How the State Involves the Public
Challenges Facing the Modern State
- Reading: "Bowling Alone: America's Declining Social Capital" by Robert D. Putnam
- Activity: Civil Society on Campus and among the Young
13. Social Movements
Social Movements
- Reading: "The Environmental Movement" by Suzanne Staggenborg
The Collective Action Problem
Trends in Social Movement Participation
Explaining Social Movement Participation
- Ideology
- Resources
- Biographical Availability
- Social Ties and Identity
- Political Context/Critical Events
Consequences of Participation
The Media and Social Movements
- Selection and Description Bias
- Activity: Media Images of Protest - The Oka Crisis and Occupy
Success in Social Movements
- Reading: "The Meaning of Success" by William Gamson
Public Sociology and Using Our Sociological Imagination
- Activity: Using Our Sociological Imagination for Social Change

Instructor's Manual (by Catherine Corrigall-Brown)
For each chapter:
- Chapter Overview
- 5-10 Learning Objectives
- 10-15 Key Concepts and Names
- 10-15 Concepts for Discussion or Debate
- 3-5 Suggested Class Activities
Test Generator
For each chapter:
- 30 multiple choice questions
- 20 true-or-false questions
- 10 short answer questions
- Answer key with page references
Power Point Slides
For each chapter:
- 30-35 lecture outline slides that incorporate figures and tables from the text
Student Study Guide
For each chapter:
- Chapter Summary
- 5-10 Learning Objectives
- 5-10 Key Terms and Concepts
- 10-15 Annotated Further Readings and Websites
- Self-Assessment Quizzes
-- 10 multiple choice questions
-- 10 true-or-false questions
-- 5 short answer questions
-- Answer key with page references
Streaming Video Collection
- Case studies, documentary footage, and feature- length films that complement themes and issues discussed in the book
E-Book (ISBN 9780199008780)

Catherine Corrigall-Brown is assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of British Columbia. Her research examines individual participation in social movements, First Nations protest in Canada, identity, and the environmental movement. She has published in a variety of academic journals, such as Social Forces, Canadian Journal of Sociology, Mobilization, Sociological Perspectives, Journal of Civil Society, and International Journal of Comparative Sociology. Her recent book, Patterns of Protest (Stanford University Press, 2012), examines why and how individuals participate in social movements over the life-course. She received her PhD from the University of California, Irvine.

Questioning Sociology - Edited by Myra J. Hird and George Pavlich
Writing in the Social Sciences - Jake Muller
Making Sense in the Social Sciences - Margot Northey, Lorne Tepperman and Patrizia Albanese
Sociology - Edited by Lorne Tepperman and Patrizia Albanese
Thinking about Sociology - Karen L. Anderson
Starting Points - Lorne Tepperman

Special Features

  • The first and only introductory text to integrate readings throughout, directly exposing students to classic and contemporary thinkers in the discipline.
  • Contemporary coverage--includes real-life examples drawn from current events and popular culture, the latest data and research in the field, and a range of Canadian cases.
  • Incorporates theory in every chapter, helping students relate theoretical concepts to a variety of real-world sociological issues.
  • Thought-provoking activities in every chapter offer students many ways to actively explore sociological concepts.
  • Written from the ground up by a distinguished Canadian sociologist, this brand new text is relevant and relatable to students in this country.
  • A lively and accessible writing style offers students a welcoming introduction to the discipline.
  • Highlight boxes discuss relevant theorists, issues, and ideas, giving students deeper insight into the concepts discussed in each chapter.
  • Engaging streaming videos--including video clips and feature length films linked to the text. An accompanying viewing guide provides background information and discussion topics for each clip.
  • A wealth of photos, figures, and tables helps students visualize data trends and essential concepts.