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All OpenStax textbooks undergo a rigorous review process. However, like any professional-grade textbook, errors sometimes occur. In addition, the wide range of topics, data, and legal circumstances in sociology change frequently, and portions of the textbook may become out of date. Since our books are web-based, we can make updates periodically when deemed pedagogically necessary. If you have a correction to suggest, submit it through the link on your book page on Subject matter experts review all errata suggestions. OpenStax is committed to remaining transparent about all updates, so you will also find a list of past errata changes on your book page on


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About Introduction to Sociology 3e

Introduction to Sociology 3e aligns to the topics and objectives of many introductory sociology courses. It is arranged in a manner that provides foundational sociological theories and contexts, then progresses through various aspects of human and societal interactions. The new edition is focused on driving meaningful and memorable learning experiences related to critical thinking about society and culture. Students are challenged to look at events and situations in new ways, and, as often as possible, consider the reasons people behave and gather in the ways they do. The text includes comprehensive coverage of core concepts, discussions and data relevant to a diverse audience, and features that draw learners into the discipline in powerful and personal ways. Overall, Introduction to Sociology 3e aims to center the course and discipline as crucial elements for understanding relationships, society, and civic engagement; we seek to lay the foundation for students to apply what they learn throughout their lives and careers.

Changes to the Third Edition

The guiding principle of the revision was to build from the concept that students are not simply observers of the world, but are participants in it. Many discussions of new or ongoing changes have been improved in tone and content, based on reviewer feedback, to better reflect student experiences. Of course, much of the information in the text will be new to students, but the concepts, examples, and data are written in a way that will encourage students to apply their own experiences and to better consider those outside of their own.

The purpose of these changes, however, is not only to make the book more informative and effective, but more so to create additional opportunities for instructors to launch relevant and interesting discussions. In concert with the changes in the text, the accompanying lecture materials have been thoroughly revised and enhanced to include material beyond what is in the book, in order for instructors--at their discretion--to deepen these engagements.

A number of chapter introductions have been revised with substantial vignettes or narratives relating to the chapter content. Examples include the experience of a teenager in sub-Saharan Africa (chapter 4), a comparison of the emergence of the Tea Party and the MeToo movements (chapter 6), a more nuanced and historically accurate view of the issue of marijuana criminalization and legalization (chapter 7), and a discussion of voter referendums and subsequent governmental responses (chapter 17). Other references and coverage are meant to relate to students’ careers; these include issues around online privacy, the impacts of posting offensive content, and new material on adult socialization and workplace culture.

Extensive use of survey outcomes and governmental data is designed to add current perspectives on the concepts and provide more discussion starters for faculty and students. Some of these outcomes may challenge preconceived notions, while others may simply be interesting to discuss. For example, poll outcomes regarding perspectives on “When Does Someone Become Old?” in the chapter on Aging and the Elderly may be notable on their own, but could be also used to begin reflective discussions or further research. The COVID-19 pandemic is referenced frequently, but its inclusion is meant to offer opportunities for students to share their own stories, and for instructors to lead into more current outcomes.

Finally, the authors, reviewers, and the entire team worked to build understanding of the causes and impacts of discrimination and prejudice. Introduction to Sociology 3e contains dozens of examples of discrimination and its outcomes regarding social science, society, institutions, and individuals. The text seeks to strike a balance between confronting the damaging aspects of our culture and history and celebrating those who have driven change and overcome challenges. The core discussion of these topics are present in Chapter 11 on Race and Ethnicity, and Chapter 12 on Gender, Sex, and Sexuality, but their causes and effects are extensively discussed in the context of other topics, including education, law enforcement, government, healthcare, the economy, and so on. Together and when connected by an instructor, these elements have potential for deep and lasting effects.

Pedagogical Foundation

Learning Objectives

Every module begins with a set of clear and concise learning objectives, which have been thoroughly revised to be both measurable and more closely aligned with current teaching practice. These objectives are designed to help the instructor decide what content to include or assign, and to guide student expectations of learning. After completing the module and end-of-module exercises, students should be able to demonstrate mastery of the learning objectives.

Key Features

  • Sociological Research: Highlights specific current and relevant research studies.
  • Sociology in the Real World: Ties chapter content to student life and discusses sociology in terms of the everyday. New and updated examples include discussions of princess culture, social media employment consequences, and sports teams with Native American names/mascots.
  • Big Picture: Present sociological concepts at a national or international level, including the most recent mass migration crises, the rise of e-waste, and global differences in education pathways.
  • Social Policy and Debate: Discusses political issues that relate to chapter content, such as “The Legalese of Sex and Gender” and “Is the U.S. Bilingual?”

Section Summaries

Section summaries distill the information in each section for both students and instructors down to key, concise points addressed in the section.

Key Terms

Key terms are bold and are followed by a definition in context. Definitions of key terms are also listed in the Glossary, which appears at the end of the chapter.

Section Quizzes

Section quizzes provide opportunities to apply and test the information students learn throughout each section. Both multiple-choice and short-response questions feature a variety of question types and range of difficulty.

Further Research

This feature helps students further explore the section topic through links to other information sources or discussions.

Answers to Questions in the Book

Section Quiz answers are provided in the Answer Key at the end of the text. Short Answer responses are highly variable, thus answers are not provided to students. A rubric for assessing student answers to each of these questions is provided in the Instructor Answer Guide available via the Instructor Resources page.


Introduction to Sociology 3e is based on the work of numerous professors, writers, editors, and reviewers who are able to bring topics to students in the most engaging way.

We would like to thank all those listed below as well as many others who have contributed their time and energy to review and provide feedback on the manuscript. Their input has been critical in maintaining the pedagogical integrity and accuracy of the text.

About the Authors

Senior Contributing Authors

Tonja R. Conerly, San Jacinto College
Kathleen Holmes, Northern Essex Community College
Asha Lal Tamang, Minneapolis Community and Technical College and North Hennepin Community College

Contributing Authors

Heather Griffiths, Fayetteville State University
Jennifer Hensley, Vincennes University
Jennifer L. Trost, University of St. Thomas
Pamela Alcasey, Central Texas College
Kate McGonigal, Fort Hays State University
Nathan Keirns, Zane State College
Eric Strayer, Hartnell College
Susan Cody-Rydzewski, Georgia Perimeter College
Gail Scaramuzzo, Lackawanna College
Tommy Sadler, Union University
Sally Vyain, Ivy Tech Community College
Jeff Bry, Minnesota State Community and Technical College at Moorhead
Faye Jones, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College


Karen Sabbah, Los Angeles Pierce College
Nikitah Imani, University of Nebraska - Omaha
Vera Kennedy, West Hills College
Kathryn Kikendall, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Anna Penner, Pepperdine University
Patricia Johnson Coxx, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Mitchell Mackinem, Wingate University
Rick Biesanz, Corning Community College
Cynthia Heddlesten, Metropolitan Community College
Janet Hund, Long Beach City College
Thea Alvarado, College of the Canyons
Daysha Lawrence, Stark State College
Sally Vyain, Ivy Tech Community College
Natashia Willmott, Stark State College
Angela M. Adkins, Stark State College
Carol Jenkins, Glendale Community College
Lillian Marie Wallace, Pima Community College
J. Brandon Wallace, Middle Tennessee State University
Gerry R. Cox, professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
David Hunt, Augusta State University
Jennifer L. Newman-Shoemake, Angelo State University, and Cisco College
Matthew Morrison, University of Virginia
Sue Greer-Pitt, Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College
Faye Jones, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College
Athena Smith, Hillsborough Community College
Kim Winford, Blinn College
Kevin Keating, Broward College
Russell Davis, University of West Alabama
Kimberly Boyd, Piedmont Virginia Community College
Lynn Newhart, Rockford College
Russell C. Ward, Maysville Community and Technical College
Xuemei Hu, Union County College
Margaret A. Choka, Pellissippi State Community College
Cindy Minton, Clark State Community College
Nili Kirschner, Woodland Community College
Shonda Whetstone, Blinn College
Elizabeth Arreaga, instructor emerita at Long Beach City College
Florencio R. Riguera, Catholic University of America
John B. Gannon, College of Southern Nevada
Gerald Titchener, Des Moines Area Community College
Rahime-Malik Howard, El Centro College, and Collin College
Jeff Bry, Minnesota State Community and Technical College at Moorhead
Cynthia Tooley, Metropolitan Community College at Blue River
Carol Sebilia, Diablo Valley College
Marian Moore, Owens Community College
John Bartkowski, University of Texas at San Antonio
Shelly Dutchin, Western Technical College

Additional Resources

Student and Instructor Resources

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