This best-selling text emphasizes why social and cultural changes are the pervasive realities of our time. A key theme of Contemporary Society is that the transition from an industrial to a post-industrial order in today’s world is fraught with difficulties, as was the transition from an agricultural to an industrial order in an earlier era. Within this framework, we can observe the increasing fragmentation of the social order today, which tends to lead people away from community and a common purpose, more often bringing conflict and disunity. Still, countervailing social forces are also at work, providing some stability--some shelter in a sea of change. Ever more, societies are faced with the rapid and transformative power of information technology, which helps propel separate groups of people into a global entity.This introduction to the social sciences shows what the authors have learned from such disciplines as anthropology, geography, history, sociology, psychology, political science, and economics--and how to apply social science approaches to an ever-faster tempo of change. The authors cover family life, interaction with others, racial and ethnic diversity, education, religion, population, environment, and many other topics analyzed in a student-friendly approach.
New to this Edition
The integration and flow of the text has been improved for better student comprehension.
Expanded selection of Web Links to many more sites for student research, many relevant to their interests and entertainment choices
Enriched focus on applying social science knowledge to current events (transcending a complete reliance on assumptions from the media)
New/expanded coverage on topics throughout the book, including
New findings from global warming research and its implications for social life and policy
New developments in race relations in an integrated approach throughout many chapters
Deepening inequality and the implications that threaten family, education, and student futures—nationally and globally
Gender, including new developments in legal gay marriage and transgender
Expanded coverage of genetics and the medical potential of human genome sequencing
New developments in astrophysics and their potential implications for society
Updated Statistics throughout
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Through the Lens of Science
Chapter 2 In the Beginning . . .
Chapter 3 Culture: Product And Guide To Life In Society
Chapter 4 Group Interaction: From Two To Millions
Chapter 5: Becoming A Person: The Birth Of Personality
Chapter 6 Deviance and Criminality: The Need for Social Control
Chapter 7 The Great Divide: Ranking And Stratification
Chapter 8 Minority Status: Race And Ethnicity
Chapter 9 Minority Status: Age, Gender, And Sexuality
Chapter 10 From The Plow To The Computer: Change, Collective Behavior And Social Movements
Chapter 11 Population, Urbanization, and Environment
Chapter 12 Pivotal Institutions: Marriage and The Family
Chapter 13 Pivotal Institutions: Religion and Education
Chapter 14 Government: The Institution and the Ideologies That Underlie It
Chapter 15 The Government of the United States of America
Chapter 16 Democracy in Action: We, the People
Chapter 17 The Economy: Concepts and History
Chapter 18 Principles Of Economic Behavior: Microeconomics and Macroeconomics
Chapter 19 Nation Among Nations: Perspectives On International Relations
John A. Perry has taught sociology and political science at Wayne State University, Cleveland State University, and Cuyahoga Community College.
Erna K. Perry has taught Spanish at Wayne State University and Cleveland State University, and Italian at Cuyahoga Community College. She helped John to streamline many editions of the textbook and ensure its grounded, journalistic style.