3rd Edition

Social Sciences
The Big Issues

ISBN 9780415824095
Published May 7, 2014 by Routledge
204 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations

USD $66.95

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Book Description

The social sciences are about people and the relationships between individuals and the social and material world we live in. They are about the social structures which shape – and are shaped by – social forces such as ethnicity, race, gender, sexuality and age and the bodies we inhabit. How are these relationships changing and to what extent and how can people influence change? What are the big issues which concern us today? How can the social sciences help us to understand what is going on?

Social Sciences: The Big Issues third edition looks at what matters in terms of what is changing and what remains the same in contemporary life, bringing together personal concerns and social forces. Fully revised and updated, this book explores some of the debates about how we live our personal, domestic and emotional lives at a time of change and disruption, including economic crises and uncertainties. The issues covered include: changing selves and personal lives; the role of consumption and consumerism; materialism and material culture; as well as citizenship, migration and globalization as both opportunities and sources of inequality in the contemporary world and in everyday lives.

The third edition of Social Sciences: The Big Issues provides a clear, accessible introduction to the ideas and approaches of the social sciences across a range of disciplines, including sociology, psychology and politics.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction  2. Identity Matters: Psychosocial Selves  3. Social Order and Citizenship  4. Buying and Selling  5. Mobilities: Place and Race  6. Globalization: Opportunities and Inequalities  7. Conclusion

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Kath Woodward is Professor of Sociology at the Open University. Her research is in social inequalities, most recently in the field of sport. Her most recent publications are Planet Sport (2012) and Sporting Times (2012).


"This is a superb introduction to the sociological imagination. It blends an account of social structures and patterns with the different narratives through which they are negotiated by individuals and groups. Covering key areas of the discipline, it  enables students to understand their own experiences by locating them in wider processes and, in so doing, to develop their own sociological imaginations." - John Holmwood, Professor of Sociology, University of Nottingham and President, BSA

"Social Sciences: The Big Issues set new standards for introductory textbooks.  In this new edition, Kath Woodward displays her considerable gifts for exemplary clarity and synthetic summary of complex theoretical ideas once again - but this time the result is better still!  Woodward writes of the major topics facing individuals and communities in these early years of the twenty-first century - from identity to globalisation, from mobilities to citizenship.  This introduction to the social sciences is first-rate, and students will find this book immensely helpful."- Professor Anthony Elliott, Director, Hawke Research Institute at University of South Australia 

"Kath Woodward is Professor of Sociology with the Open University and is also connected with the Centre for Research into Socio-cultural Change; perfect credentials, I would suggest, for this exploration of the "big issues" that face citizens in this period of rapid change… just grab a copy and recommend it to your sociology students."— Terry Goodwin, ASPEN