Summary: Scott Sernau's CRITICAL CHOICES shows students how to apply sociological insights to their own lives in ways that challenge complacency and easy answers. In exploring the connections between their social world and day-to-day lives--their plans, aspirations, and life choices--students sharpen their critical-thinking skills.
Written in an engaging, conversational tone, CRITICAL CHOICES helps instructors communicate the relevance of studying sociology to stud ...show moreents--how it can make us more savvy, successful, and empathetic social actors. The book's interactive, critical-thinking approach calls on students to apply data on trends and patterns, confront myth-challenging facts, examine tables and charts, and explore the social underpinnings of current controversies. Included are global concerns and issues of race, health, community, and gender--all crucial in the contemporary context of making critical choices.
''Reaching Out'' sections extend to interaction with the student's particular community. These include a wide range of hands-on learning experiences, such as short field projects, content analyses, ethnographic writing, and other community activities to encourage habits of thoughtful involvement. CRITICAL CHOICES offers a key resource to instructors seeking to convey both the intrigue and the practicality of sociology--and to spark fresh sociological imaginations. The table of contents is designed to match the range of topics found in most core introductory texts.
Introduction: At the Juncture of History and Biography
Understanding the links between social context and personal experience. (An introduction to the discipline--its theory and methods.)
One: Building Bridges in the Global Village
The crucible of culture in an interconnected world. Communication and understanding across cultures. Seeing ourselves and others, broadening our view toward a multicultural vision. (Emphasizes culture and society.)
Two: You've Come a Long Way, Maybe
Media messages on gender traits and views of success. Gender, socialization, and interaction. Gender expectations on campus: who do you believe, how should you act?
Three: The Corporate Life
Cocktails and tall tales: the art of the reception and the presentation of self. Manipulation, intimidation, and the art of saying no. Groupthink: when you are afraid to disagree. The dynamics of deadlock: when groups can't get things done. Up the organization: gender, status, and power. Corporate culture: should you fit in, dare you be different? (Emphasizes groups and organizations; also deviance and control.)
Four: Planning Ahead, Getting Ahead, Keeping Your Head
Education, jobs, and income: prospects, strategies, pitfalls. Assessing the returns to education. Job seeking, job trajectories, and job satisfaction. American class structure: pervasive effects of social class. Trends in employment and wages. (Emphasizes stratification; also education, labor markets, and economy.)
Five: A Cohort of Many Colors
Race and ethnicity on campus and in the workplace: dealing with stereotypes, handling discrimination, and challenging bias. Commanding and communicating respect; reaching across the color line. (Covers race and ethnic relations.)
Six: Family Values and Valuing Families
Rules, roles, and relationships: taking a look at what your family was, is, and might be. Passing on and rethinking traditions, values, and faith. Living well, staying well: health, aging, and family support. (Fits sections on family; also religion, health and medicine, and aging and life course.)
Seven: Thinking Globally, Acting Locally
Reading your community. What your neighborhood says about you. Community choice, community action, and community involvement. Making sense of the new world disorder.
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