The Best Sociology Textbooks of 2021

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Are you struggling to find the best sociology books of all time? Or, are you merely looking for new books in sociology to add to your collection? Regardless of your intent, there are several sociology books available to you. These come in the form of traditional textbooks as well as more standard reading.

This list aims to provide you with some of our favorite and most recommended books to get you through your studies and to even pique your interest in sociology. As the study of patterns, relationships, and even culture, textbooks which were relevant almost ten years ago, may no longer be able to provide real-life information which is relevant today.

This list will aim to provide you with some of the best sociology textbooks for aid, growth, and overall knowledge. We will also help you learn how to pick out the perfect sociology book for you. If you are struggling to find options that will help you pass your sociology courses or are simply in need of reference material, all you have to do is keep reading for more information. A new world of possibilities awaits.

If you want to just get back to studying, get our top choice for sociology textbooks here.

Our Top Favorite
Introduction to Sociology 2e by OpenStax (Official Print Version, hardcover, full color)
Our Top Runner Up
Introduction to Sociology
Our Top Value Pick
Sociology in Our Times, Baylor Sociology 1305, 11th Edition
Book Title
Introduction to Sociology 2e
Introduction to Sociology
Sociology in Our Times
Prime Eligible?
-
-
Our Top Favorite
Introduction to Sociology 2e by OpenStax (Official Print Version, hardcover, full color)
Book Title
Introduction to Sociology 2e
Prime Eligible?
Our Top Runner Up
Introduction to Sociology
Book Title
Introduction to Sociology
Prime Eligible?
-
Our Top Value Pick
Sociology in Our Times, Baylor Sociology 1305, 11th Edition
Book Title
Sociology in Our Times
Prime Eligible?
-

Last update: 2021-07-23

Our Favorites for Best Sociology Textbooks

Introduction to Sociology 2e by Heather Griffiths, Eric Strayer, Susan Cody-Rydzewski

Introduction to Sociology 2e is a text that is designed to be used for introductory one-semester sociology courses. It includes overviews of core sociology topics as well as relevant research and information to keep sociology pertinent within the real world. It also consists of an abundance of key terminology and a brief history of the discipline.

What Makes It Unique:

  • Each chapter is equipped with section quizzes. These quizzes work to ensure that the information students are reading is being reinforced and retained. These quizzes also make it easy for students to identify areas where they may be struggling.
  • If you are looking for ways to explore topics further, the Further Research section provides readers with activities that they can do to seek out information. These activities contain resources like maps, articles, and statistics.
  • The Making Connections segments allow users to connect what they are reading to the real world around them. This section includes stories and media which are relevant to the topic being studied.
  • Chapter Reviews ensure that students can take away the most essential information. These reviews include the key terms, chapter summaries for each section, and references used throughout the chapter.
  • The textbook can even be found in PDF format for free. However, if you are a physical learner, the hardcopy book is reasonable and the way to go.

Why Chose This Sociology Book:

  • Many users agree that the book flows smoothly and is easy to understand. The content is also presented in a manner that ensures that the reader will not be overwhelmed.
  • Many students found this introductory book better than most, as it remains relevant to the times.
  • This text can also be seen as a great reference guide for starting professionals or a seasoned sociologist. It explains a variety of subjects from different points of view and key topics in depth.

Last update: 2021-07-23


Introduction to Sociology by Deborah Carr, Anthony Giddens, Richard P. Appelbaum & Mitchell Duneier

Introduction to Sociology is an easy read which introduces a variety of concepts and terminology to the reader. It is not only easy to navigate but even more comfortable to follow. The authors are all seasoned professionals and educators who have their pulse on the sociology realm. The host of authors includes a social theorist, a demographer, and an ethnographer. All of the authors are also educators who are active in the social realm.

What Makes it Unique:

  • The text is divided into five parts. Each part of the book centers on a concept or theme within sociology. These themes are then further reflected in the chapters which make up the part. For example, part five is entitled Social Change in the Modern World. This section boasts chapters in relation to population, globalization, and even the sociology of the body.
  • Throughout Introduction to Sociology, students will find key terminology emphasized within the text and within the margins of the book.
  • Concept checks at the end of each section allow readers to revisit the information and highlight key take away from the reading.
  • Tables and figures are also placed in information-dense areas where pulling the facts together may be hard for some students to do. The figures provide a way to marry information from different sections of the text.
  • The Big Picture sections, which are found at the end of the chapters, provide not only a visual overview of the information that was read but activities that help students further grasp the information. Big Picture marries together the learning objectives, key terms, and unit checkpoints in a way that makes recalling information easy and quick to find within the chapter.

Why Chose This Sociology Book:

  • Introduction to Sociology is a text that can work for a course or be used as a reference or simply read for fun. Some students have even purchased it to supplement classes or their sociology curriculums.
  • Though an excellent text for college courses, some students say that the vocabulary used in the book may be intense. If you enjoy adding new words to your repertoire, this is the boo for you.
  • Introduction to Sociology also includes an app called InQuizitive, which allows the student to study from their smartphone.

On Sale
Introduction to Sociology
  • Carr, Deborah (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 856 Pages - 07/01/2018 (Publication Date) - W. W. Norton & Company (Publisher)

Last update: 2021-07-23


Runner Ups for Best Sociology Textbooks

The Real World: An Introduction to Sociology, 7th Edition by Kerry Ferris, Jill Stein

The Real World: An Introduction to Sociology uses all the things that college students know and love to pique their interests and draw them into the readings. These things include pop culture and real-life examples & scenarios. The text even provides students with the option to practice sociology on their own lives through the use of Data Workshops in each chapter. It uses aspects of your social life to teach you about various concepts in sociology. Even the cover art of each addition is centered around drawing you in and gaining your attention.

What Makes it Unique:

  • One thing that this text is is eye-catching. Illustrations are explicitly used and intentionally throughout the book. The Real World: An Introduction to Sociology boasts a colorful and fun design. Throughout the book, you will also find small illustrations and cartoons which catch your eye.
  • The Data Workshop feature allows students to analyze their everyday life. It teaches students how to conduct experiments, take notes, and even peer review each other’s work.
  • The margins of the text contain vital terms and concepts which are essential for students to know and retain. The Real World: An Introduction to Sociology also contains exciting research and stories you can relate to drive points home. For example, you may find articles related to why men talk more in relationships or statistics about college graduates.

Why Chose This Sociology Book:

  • The Real World: An Introduction to Sociology boasts a writing style that is casual, friendly, and inviting. The authors frequently speak directly to the reader and provide an abundance of resources where students can find information. With features like these, the text appeals to a variety of learning styles
  • Students can even purchase the book in conjunction with MyPsychLab. This software offers students the ability to access the audio version of the textbook, provides study guides for each chapter, and even gives students access to flashcards, which students can print out and use for studying.

On Sale
The Real World
  • Ferris, Kerry (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 600 Pages - 07/01/2020 (Publication Date) - W. W. Norton & Company (Publisher)

Last update: 2021-07-23

Sociology: A Down-To-Earth Approach by James M. Henslin

Sociology: A Down-To-Earth Approach is a text which uses everyday life to teach sociology. The text zeros in on relevant and relatable topics for students to bring them into the world of sociology. The book has six central themes that Henslin feels will aid in stimulating a student’s sociological imagination. These six themes include critical thinking, cultural diversity, globalization, technology, the influence of mass media, and a down to earth approach. With this text, James Henslin wants to breathe life into the topic of sociology.

What Makes it Unique:

  • The beginning pages of the text does an excellent job of making relevant material easily findable throughout the book. You will find not only a table of contents with the information contained in the chapter but a guide to the social maps and special features within the text.
  • The figures and diagrams used throughout the text are relevant to everyday life, and the troubles individuals face regularly. For example, maps track information like executions within the United States or the unequal funding of education.
  • The author has broken sociology down in a way that makes it digestible for all intellect levels. Though it is listed as one of his themes, the main goal of his texts are to make sociology down to earth.

Why Chose This Sociology Book:

  • This is an excellent text for individuals interested in sociology or students looking for a supplemental text for their introductory sociology course.
  • The text is written in a manner that is not jargon-filled or dry. Most students say that despite it being a required text, it was enjoyable to read. The book is highly approachable and extremely student-friendly.

Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach Annotated Instructor's Edition (13th Edition)
  • Henslin (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 07/24/2021 (Publication Date) - Pearson (Publisher)

Last update: 2021-07-23


Value Picks for Best Sociology Textbooks

Sociology in Our Times by Diana Kendall

Sociology in our Time is a book that uses theories, research, and examples to make sociology relevant for the reader. Sociology within our time has been recognized as being the first sociology text to integrate race, class, and gender issues. The book accurately depicts society through its use of facts as well as experience.

What Makes it Unique:

  • Sociology, in our time, is divided into several parts. These parts not only help to group information by topic but to make the content more digestible. These five parts include Social Dynamics, Social Institutions, Social Inequality, social groups, and Society, & Life.
  • The text aims to link the decisions we face in everyday life back to sociology. The Sociology and Everyday Life segments ask a series of questions about a familiar scenario related to the reading. The answers are provided further along in the read. However, it helps students to make connections and ultimately retain the information better.
  • Information in the text is presented in a manner that is easily digestible and enjoyable to read. There are also several activities littered throughout the book which provide breaks in the reading and checkpoints for learning.
  • If you are a tech-savvy reader and are looking for more assignments, web apps, and online learning, MindTap Sociology has you covered and is available for purchase with the text.

Why Chose This Sociology Book:

  • Many users had no complaints regarding the material and the way it was presented. Most found it well researched and well written. The text also provides ample illustrations that are relatable, provide valuable insight to the topics, and are ultimately invaluable.
  • The book also provides information on several things that people should know, rather you are a sociology student or not. This is a great way to introduce an individual to sociological thinking.
  • Overall, students found the book to be a fun read and extremely helpful in sociological settings.

Sociology in Our Times, Baylor Sociology 1305, 11th Edition
  • Sociology in Our Times, 11th Edition, Custom for Baylor University
  • IBSN-13: 9781337056724
  • Diana Kendall (Author)

Last update: 2021-07-23


How to Choose the Best Sociology Textbook for You

Choosing the perfect sociology book doesn’t always have to be a chore. It can be a fun and exciting experience. However, before beginning to look for a text, there are several things you must take into consideration. Utilize these questions in conjunction with this list of sociology books to find the once that is best for you.

Are you looking for a traditional textbook?

Several books can be found concerning the topic of sociology. These can be traditional textbooks or books published based on an author’s research. Though the books included in this list are textbooks generally meant for in-class learning, there are several books which aim to provide insight into sociology in other forms. For example, books like Suicide: A Study in Sociology or The Sociological Imagination are great reads but do not fall within the realm of a textbook.

The Sociological Imagination C. Wright Mills and Todd Gitlin has been listed as one of the most essential sociological books to read. It is a text which further develops the notion of the sociological imagination and challenges the dominant sociological discourse.

Will this be a reference text or used in conjunction with a class? Are you simply reading for enjoyment?

When choosing a textbook, one of the most important things you should do is evaluate the intention behind your purchase. If you are purchasing a required text for class, you will most likely not do much research beyond finding the best price for the textbook.

However, if you are reading for enjoyment or looking to supplement your current course load, there are several other factors you must take into account. The factors include the complexity of the text as well as the overall topics that it covers.

What reading level should my book fall into?

If you are a freshman in college, likely, you will not be looking for a textbook that is meant for graduate students. As the level increases, so will the amount of sociological jargon and complexities. Analyze your level and pick a text which satisfies that. You also would not want a high school aimed book as a college senior.

What viewpoint does the book take on or provide?

Many readers have strong opinions about sociology books and the information they bring to the surface. Some readers even feel that textbooks can too biased or too leftist. It’s important to remember that every book will not be for you. You may consider a book to be too liberal or, on the contrary, too conservative in the information it brings forth.

What is your price point for your sociology book?

For some, the price of sociology textbooks can be a deal-breaker as they are rather costly. However, if you are looking to get the best sociology textbooks for a bargain, there are several options and websites available to you.

Wrapping Up the Best Sociology Textbooks

In summary, here are the best sociology textbooks we looked at today:

Our Top Favorite
Introduction to Sociology 2e by OpenStax (Official Print Version, hardcover, full color)
Our Top Runner Up
Introduction to Sociology
Our Top Value Pick
Sociology in Our Times, Baylor Sociology 1305, 11th Edition
Book Title
Introduction to Sociology 2e
Introduction to Sociology
Sociology in Our Times
Prime Eligible?
-
-
Our Top Favorite
Introduction to Sociology 2e by OpenStax (Official Print Version, hardcover, full color)
Book Title
Introduction to Sociology 2e
Prime Eligible?
Our Top Runner Up
Introduction to Sociology
Book Title
Introduction to Sociology
Prime Eligible?
-
Our Top Value Pick
Sociology in Our Times, Baylor Sociology 1305, 11th Edition
Book Title
Sociology in Our Times
Prime Eligible?
-

Last update: 2021-07-23

If you have made it this far, then we hope that one of the texts listed above has piqued your interest. The books on this are traditionally formatted textbooks. However, that shouldn’t deter you. They are packed with relevant information as well as case studies and examples that you can dig into further. New books in sociology are emerging all the time, and it is up to you to find the one which works best for you.

Finding the perfect textbook can be a daunting task, but hopefully, we have helped you alleviate some stress. If you are a student of sociology, you may be familiar with many of these books or have used them in the past. Many of the texts within this list will cover sociology at a high level. Though they can provide an ample amount of detail, they also leave much to be imagined.

Students, teachers, and even sociology professionals have recommended the books within this list. These are people who are or have been in your shoes. If you are looking for a more traditional text which has been recommended by many, Introduction to Sociology 2e is a thorough and affordable option.

If you are looking for texts which are relatable and aim to tie your experiences to sociology, there are several options on this list. These include Sociology: A Down-To-Earth Approach and Sociology in our Times. As you continue your journey of looking for the perfect textbook, remember, these are not the only options available to you – happy hunting.

If you found this post helpful, check out our other comprehensive textbook reviews.

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Professor Conquer

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