Top Sociology Textbooks


This webpage provides an up-to-date list of the top sociology textbooks.
Rankings are based upon the number of syllabi in which a sociology book has appeared since 2015 (source: opensyllabus.org).
The most recent edition of each book is provided.

1.  Essentials of Sociology (12th Edition)

Author(s): James M. Henslin
Publication date: 2016-01-14
ISBN: 0134205588
ISBN-13: 9780134205588

Essentials of Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach highlights the sociology of everyday life and its relevance to students’ lives. With wit, personal reflection, and illuminating examples, author James Henslin stimulates students’ sociological imaginations so they can better perceive how the pieces of society fit together. Six central themes guide students through this concise overview of the discipline: a down-to-earth approach, globalization, cultural diversity, critical thinking, the new technology, and the influence of the mass media on our lives. The Twelfth Edition has been extensively revised to include contemporary examples and fresh topics that bring sociology to life.

2.  Sociology (16th Edition)

Author(s): John J Macionis
Publication date: 2016-01-15
ISBN: 0134206312
ISBN-13: 9780134206318

Sociology empowers students to see the world around them through a sociological lens, helping them better understand their own lives and the world we all share. John Macionis, author of the best-selling Introductory Sociology franchise over the last three decades, takes students step by step through the theories and research that make up the discipline, helping them to find and use the science of social behavior in everyday life. In addition to extensively updated data, the Sixteenth Edition offers engaging discussions of hot-button contemporary topics such as the increased proliferation of social media as well as expanded coverage of race, class, and gender.

3.  Introduction to Sociology (Seagull Tenth Edition)

Author(s): Anthony Giddens, Mitchell Duneier, Richard P. Appelbaum, Deborah Carr
Publication date: 2016-05-01
ISBN: 0393265161
ISBN-13: 9780393265163

Introduction to Sociology focuses only on what students need to know in order to master the sociological concepts taught in the introductory course. Each chapter in the Tenth Edition follows the same consistent four-part structure: First, the authors introduce the basic concepts before discussing sociological theory. They then turn their attention to current research and finally wrap up by exploring unanswered questions that face sociologists today. This consistent, thoughtful organization―coupled with learning objectives, Concept Checks, and Big Picture concept maps―keeps students focused on the core concepts.

4.  Discover Sociology (4th Edition)

Author(s): William J. Chambliss, Daina S. Eglitis
Publication date: 2019-01-21
ISBN: 1544333439
ISBN-13: 9781544333434

Discover Sociology presents sociology as a discipline of curious minds. The authors inspire curiosity about the social world and empower students by providing the theoretical, conceptual, and empirical tools they need to understand, analyze, and even change the world in which they live. Organized around four main themes―The Sociological Imagination, Power and Inequality, Technological Transformations of Society, and Globalization―the book illuminates the social roots of diverse phenomena and institutions, ranging from poverty and deviance to capitalism and the nuclear family. "Behind the Numbers" features illustrate the practical side of sociology and shows students how to be critical consumers of social science data reported in the media. And every chapter addresses the question, "What can I do with a sociology degree?" by linking the knowledge and skills acquired through studying sociology with specific jobs and career paths.

5.  Society: The Basics (14th Edition)

Author(s): John J Macionis
Publication date: 2016-01-15
ISBN: 0134206320
ISBN-13: 9780134206325

Society: The Basics utilizes a complete theoretical framework and a global perspective to offer students an accessible and relevant introduction to sociology. John Macionis, author of the best-selling Introductory Sociology franchise over the last three decades, empowers students to see the world around them through a sociological lens, helping them to better understand their own lives. Informative as well as engaging, Society: The Basics will change the way readers see the world, and open the door to a new perspective and new opportunities. In addition to extensively updated data, the Fourteenth Edition offers engaging discussions of hot-button contemporary topics such as the increased proliferation of social media as well as expanded coverage of race, class, and gender.

6.  Sociology: A Brief Introduction (13th Edition, Loose-Leaf)

Author(s): Richard T. Schaefer
Publication date: 2018-10-24
ISBN: 1260153797
ISBN-13: 9781260153798

Sociology: A Brief Introduction invites students to take sociology with them in their daily lives.  This successful student-friendly program includes strong coverage of race, ethnicity, and globalization.  The approachable material encourages students to develop their sociological imaginations and start to think like a sociologist.

7.  Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach (13th Edition)

Author(s): James M. Henslin
Publication date: 2016-01-14
ISBN: 013420557X
ISBN-13: 9780134205571

Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach highlights the sociology of everyday life and its relevance to students’ lives. Throughout the text, author James Henslin shares the excitement of sociology through his acclaimed down-to-earth approach and personal writing style. Six central themes help stimulate students’ sociological imaginations: a down-to-earth approach, globalization, cultural diversity, critical thinking, the new technology, and the influence of the mass media on our lives. The Thirteenth Edition has been extensively revised to include contemporary examples and fresh topics that bring sociology to life.

8.  You May Ask Yourself: An Introduction to Thinking like a Sociologist (6th Edition)

Author(s): Dalton Conley
Publication date: 2019-07-01
ISBN: 0393674177
ISBN-13: 9780393674170

In You May Ask Yourself: An Introduction to Thinking like a Sociologist, Dalton Conley’s unconventional narrative uses personal anecdotes and current examples to help students understand big ideas. Chapter-opening Paradoxes stimulate sociological thinking. And NEW Practice activities―in text and online―invite readers to “make the familiar strange.” Scholarship and examples have been refreshed throughout, especially in a revamped Gender chapter. A wide array of multimedia and assessment tools include award-winning InQuizitive activities for students’ pre-lecture prep and NEW online activities for post-lecture practice.

9.  The Real World (6th Edition)

Author(s): Kerry Ferris, Jill Stein
Publication date: 2018-07-01
ISBN: 0393639576
ISBN-13: 9780393639575

The Real World uses examples from everyday life and pop culture to draw readers into thinking sociologically and to show the relevance of sociology to their relationships, jobs, and future goals. Data Workshops in every chapter give readers a chance to apply theoretical concepts to their personal lives and actually do sociology.

10.  Sociology in Our Times (11th Edition)

Author(s): Diana Kendall
Publication date: 2016-01-01
ISBN: 1305503090
ISBN-13: 9781305503090

Sociology in Our Times conveys the relevance of sociology by presenting a timely collection of theories, research, and examples -- including its signature first-person accounts that open many chapters. These "lived experiences" are relevant to students and introduce themes that provide a framework for learning the chapter material. Kendall's vivid and inviting writing style, emphasis on applications, and eye for compelling current examples further highlight sociology's relevance to all students. This edition focuses more on social/global change and on the contemporary world, presenting such current debates as bullying and social media abuse, digital-age methods to increase school attendance, food trucks and the spread of culture, modern slavery, and weight bias.

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