The goal of Introduction to Sociology 12e is to demonstrate the vitality, interest, and utility associated with the study of sociology. Examining society and trying to understand how it works is an exciting and absorbing process, but in order to understand society, we need to understand how it shapes people and how people in turn shape society.

The author threads two basic ideas throughout the book: sociology is a rigorous, scientific discipline and basic knowledge of sociology is essential for understanding social interaction in many work and social settings. Sociology is a highly organized discipline shaped by several theoretical perspectives or schools of thought. It is not merely the study of social problems or the random voicing of opinions. In this book, no single perspective is given greater emphasis; a balanced presentation of both functionalist theory and conflict theory is supplemented whenever possible by the symbolic interactionist viewpoint.

Every aspect of this book has been updated and a great deal has been changed. Each chapter progresses from a specific to a general analysis of society. Each part introduces increasingly more comprehensive factors necessary for a broad-based understanding of social organization. The material is presented through consistently applied learning aids. Each chapter begins with a chapter outline. Then, a thought-provoking opening vignette offers a real-life story of the concepts being covered. Key terms are presented in boldfaced type in the text. Key concepts are presented in italicized type in the text. A chapter summary concludes each chapter, and an integrated study guide follows each chapter. Great care has been taken to structure the book in such a way as to permit flexibility in the presentation of the material. Each chapter is self-contained and, therefore, may be taught in any order.

The author’s approach has received a great deal of praise over the years for being cross-cultural in approach and for bringing in examples from a wide variety of societies. Often, in fact, the best way to appreciate our own situation is through comparison with other societies. This cross-cultural focus is used as a basis for comparison and contrast with U.S. society . . . hopefully providing the reader with a greater understanding of all people and societies.


 

HENRY L. TISCHLER grew up in Philadelphia and received his bachelor’s degree from Temple University and his masters and doctorate degrees from Northeastern University. He pursued postdoctoral studies at Harvard University.

His first venture into textbook publishing took place while he was still a graduate student in sociology when he wrote the fourth edition of Race and Ethnic Relations with Brewton Berry. The success of that book led to his authorship of the twelve editions of Introduction to Sociology.

Dr. Tischler has been a professor at Framingham State University in Framingham, Massachusetts, for several decades. He has also taught at Northeastern University, Tufts University, and Montclair State University. He continues to teach introductory sociology every year and has been instrumental in encouraging many students to major in the field. His other areas of interest are race and ethnicity, and crime and deviant behavior.

Professor Tischler has been active in making sociology accessible to the general population and has been the host of an author interview program on National Public Radio. He has also written a weekly newspaper column called “Society Today” which dealt with a wide variety of sociological topics.