A Contemporary Introduction to Sociology: Culture and Society in Transition

3rd Edition

Jeffrey C. Alexander, Kenneth Thompson, Laura Desfor Edles, Moshoula Capous-Desyllas

Published November 2, 2017
Textbook - 638 Pages - 300 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781138282049 - CAT# Y316196

For Instructors Request Inspection Copy

was $130.00


SAVE ~$26.00

Add to Wish List
FREE Standard Shipping!


The influential authors significantly update their popular introductory text that invites students to reflect on their lives in the context of the combustible leap from modern to postmodern life. The authors show how culture is central to understanding many world problems as they challenge readers to confront the problems and possibilities of an era in which the futures of the physical and social environments seem uncertain. As culture rapidly changes in the 21st century, the authors have successfully incorporated these nuances with many important updates on race and racism, Black Lives Matter, the rise of populist politics, ISIS, new social media, feminist perspectives on sex work, trans and non-gender conforming identities, and more.

New to this edition:

New data, text box examples, photos, exercises, study questions, and glossary terms appear throughout.

New discussions added of arts-based and participatory approaches to research, historical changes in the perception of deviance, legalization of marijuana; Islam vs. secularism in France, new forms of socialization, heteronormative and essentialist language related to sex and gender, intersections of social class and other identities, the prison industrial complex, informal sharing economies, atheism, and more.

New text boxes include:

Young Saudis Find Freedom in their Phones

How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life

School-to-Prison Pipeline

India’s Reproductive Assembly Line

Workers Feel Pain of Layoffs

Like Prohibition, the fight over guns is about something else

Micro-aggression and Changing Moral Cultures

Praise for A Contemporary Introduction to Sociology

"Treats sociology as a living, vibrant discipline. The book is a masterful synthesis written in a style that is at once sophisticated, engaging, and accessible."
—Peter Kivisto, Augustana College

"Alexander and Thompson have produced the modern textbook we have all been waiting for—comprehensive and coherent, but above all intelligent. Designed to make teaching sociology unproblematic, the book is the ideal combination of theory, evidence, and accessibility."
—Bryan S. Turner, editor of The Cambridge Dictionary of Sociology

"Sets new standards in speaking directly to students of the most significant recent developments in sociology and social changes they are living. It shows how inspiring the sociological imagination can be in areas like media, sexuality, gender relations, inequality, and globalization.
—Lyn Spillman, University of Notre Dame

"A truly contemporary sociology, one that mines the classics of sociology for insights into a profoundly changed, postmodern world. Most important, the book reminds us of sociology’s capacity to surprise."
—Francesca Polletta, University of California–Irvine

"An extraordinary textbook that synthesizes a wealth of sociological studies. The book is engaging and readable, key concepts are clearly defined, and important theories are succinctly explicated. I highly recommend it to students and faculty alike."
—William Julius Wilson, Harvard University


We provide complimentary e-inspection copies of primary textbooks to instructors considering our books for course adoption.

Request an
e-inspection copy

Share this Title