Nelson Higher Education

Higher Education

Sociology: The Essentials, 9th Edition

  • Margaret L. Andersen
  • Howard F. Taylor
  • ISBN-10: 1305503082
  • ISBN-13: 9781305503083
  • 480 Pages | Paperback
  • Previous Editions: 2015, 2013, 2011
  • COPYRIGHT: 2017 Published
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About the Product

SOCIOLOGY: THE ESSENTIALS, Ninth Edition, uses the theme of debunking myths to look behind the facades of everyday life, challenge common assumptions, and help students develop critical thinking skills as well as better understand how society is constructed and sustained. This thorough yet streamlined text employs a reader-friendly presentation and manageable structure, while maintaining a strong focus on sociology concepts, methods, and research. Updated throughout with coverage of the latest findings, trends, and themes, the text provides exceptional coverage of diversity, including social factors such as age, religion, sexual orientation, and region of residence in addition to race, ethnicity, class, and gender.


  • The text's theme of "debunking" encompasses looking behind the facades of everyday life, challenging common assumptions, and helping students develop critical thinking skills as well as a better understanding of how society is constructed and sustained. "Debunking Society's Myths" features in each chapter reinforce this theme in interesting and thought-provoking ways.

  • Helping students maximize their study time and retention of key concepts, learning objectives are included near the beginning of every chapter, articulating what the authors expect students to learn from the chapter and matching the major chapter headings.

  • "A Sociological Eye on the Media" boxes help students become savvy and discerning consumers of media messages that can be misleading or inaccurate. Topics include "Death of a Superstar," about Whitney Houston (Chapter 2); and "Idealizing Family Life," featuring images of families as portrayed on television (Chapter 13).

  • "Thinking Sociologically" features in every chapter pose critical-thinking questions that encourage students to engage their sociological imaginations. Each of these develops from a highlighted sociological concept.

  • "See for Yourself" features in every chapter provide several levels of detailed prompts to guide student writing exercises. This feature gives you the flexibility to tailor the length and depth of writing assignments to your students' abilities and the needs of your course.

  • The text provides the most thorough coverage of diversity found in any brief introductory text on the market. The authors broadly define diversity to include social factors such as age, religion, sexual orientation, and region of residence, in addition to race, ethnicity, class, and gender. This primary focus is emphasized in the boxed feature "Understanding Diversity".

  • "Doing Sociological Research" features highlight the importance of research while providing a proven, practical structure to help students learn key concepts and develop their own skills. These features build on a unique four-step approach that guides students to consider research questions, methodology, results, and implications.

  • "What Would a Sociologist Say" boxes are intended to show students the way that sociologists understand particular topics, thus moving students away from the typically more individualistic explanations of common topics. An example is the box on the Tea Party in Chapter 15 that examines the social roots of this significant political development.


"A great textbook structure with many valuable and unique features that can only help to enhance the learning process for students!"
— Traci Sullivan, Lakeland Community College

About the Author

Margaret L. Andersen

Margaret L. Andersen (B.A., Georgia State University; M.A., Ph.D. University of Massachusetts, Amherst) is the Edward F. and Elizabeth Goodman Rosenberg Professor of Sociology at the University of Delaware, where she has also served in several senior administrative positions, including most recently as Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and Diversity. She holds secondary appointments in Black American Studies and Women and Gender Studies. She is the author of several books, including (among others) THINKING ABOUT WOMEN, recently published in its tenth edition; the best-selling anthology, RACE, CLASS, AND GENDER (co-edited with Patricia Hill Collins, now in its ninth edition); LIVING ART: THE LIFE OF PAUL R. JONES, AFRICAN AMERICAN ART COLLECTOR; and ON LAND AND ON SEA: A CENTURY OF WOMEN IN THE ROSENFELD COLLECTION. She is a member of the National Advisory Board for Stanford University's Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, the Past Vice President of the American Sociological Association, and Past President of the Eastern Sociological Society, from which she received the ESS Merit Award. She has also received two teaching awards from the University of Delaware and the American Sociological Association's Jessie Bernard Award.

Howard F. Taylor

Howard F. Taylor has taught at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Syracuse University, and Princeton University, where he is presently Professor of Sociology and former director of the African American Studies Center. He has published over fifty articles in sociology, education, social psychology, and race relations. His books include THE IQ GAME (Rutgers University Press), a critique of hereditarian accounts of intelligence; BALANCE IN SMALL GROUPS (Van Nostrand Reinhold), translated into Japanese; and the forthcoming RACE AND CLASS AND THE BELL CURVE IN AMERICA. He has appeared widely before college, radio, and TV audiences, including ABC's Nightline. Past president of the Eastern Sociological Society, Dr. Taylor is a member of the American Sociological Association and the Sociological Research Association, an honorary society for distinguished research. He is a winner of the DuBois-Johnson-Frazier Award, given by the American Sociological Association for distinguished research in race and ethnic relations, and the President's Award for Distinguished Teaching at Princeton University. Raised in Cleveland, Ohio, he graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Hiram College and has a Ph.D. in sociology from Yale University.

Table of Contents

1. Sociological Perspective.
2. Culture.
3. Doing Sociological Research.
4. Socialization and the Life Course.
5. Social Structure and Social Interaction.
6. Groups and Organization.
7. Deviance and Crime.
8. Social Class and Social Stratification.
9. Global Stratification.
10. Race and Ethnicity.
11. Gender.
12. Sexuality.
13. Families and Religion.
14. Education and Health Care.
15. Economy and Politics.
16. Environment, Population and Social Change.

New to this edition

  • The Ninth Edition continues to present and expand upon the most complete use of race/class/gender and sexual orientation in the study of American society. There’s new and updated material on poverty, including the rise of extreme poverty in the United States and new research on immigration and poverty (Ch. 8); the rise of color-blind racism (Ch. 10); sexual assault on college campuses (multiple chapters); and the influence of money on political campaigns (Ch. 15). These are just a few of the ways the book incorporates current topics to explicate important sociological concepts and theory.
  • The text continues the use of graphs and maps to convey crucial sociological data. There are two types of maps, one focused on the U.S. called "Mapping America's Diversity," and the other on the world called "Viewing Society of Global Perspective." Graphs on such topics as public opinion, income and poverty data, and other demographic facts are richly used throughout the book, both to help students learn how to interpret data and also to add visual appeal.


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the Main title.
Please see Main title page for new to this edition information.

Instructor Supplements

Online Instructor's Manual with Test Bank  (ISBN-10: 1305656709 | ISBN-13: 9781305656703)

This detailed manual provides sample syllabi, course guidelines, in-class exercises, and chapter objectives to assist instructors in teaching the course.

Online PowerPoint® Slides  (ISBN-10: 1305656717 | ISBN-13: 9781305656710)

Helping you make your lectures more engaging while effectively reaching your visually oriented students, these handy Microsoft PowerPoint® slides outline the chapters of the main text in a classroom-ready presentation. The PowerPoint® slides are updated to reflect the content and organization of the new edition of the text.

Cengage Testing, powered by Cognero® Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1305656687 | ISBN-13: 9781305656680)

Cengage Learning Testing Powered by Cognero® is a flexible, online system that allows you to: import, edit, and manipulate content from the text's test bank or elsewhere, including your own favorite test questions; create multiple test versions in an instant; and deliver tests from your LMS, your classroom, or wherever you want.

MindTap Sociology, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access for Andersen/Taylor's Sociology: The Essentials  (ISBN-10: 1305656156 | ISBN-13: 9781305656154)

MindTap Sociology for Andersen/Taylor's Sociology: The Essentials, 9th Edition is the digital learning solution that powers students from memorization to mastery. It gives you complete control of your course—to provide engaging content, to challenge every individual, and to build their confidence. Empower students to accelerate their progress with MindTap. MindTap: Powered by You. MindTap gives you complete ownership of your content and learning experience. In conjunction with Knewton’s adaptive technology, MindTap prepares students to learn and apply sociological concepts as they move past the basics for stronger class discussions and better performance on exams. Activities focus on applying concepts and thinking like a sociologist. Students complete interactive Aplia activities that encourage them to think critically as they practice concepts. Customize the syllabi, emphasize key topics, and add your own material.

LMS Integrated for MindTap Sociology, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1305672704 | ISBN-13: 9781305672703)

This access code will provide your students with seamless access to their MindTap Sociology resources from within your campus Learning Management System. Students will be prompted to enter this access code the first time that they click on a link in your course that includes Cengage content.

Student Supplements

MindTap Sociology, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access for Andersen/Taylor's Sociology: The Essentials  (ISBN-10: 1305656156 | ISBN-13: 9781305656154)

MindTap Sociology for Andersen/Taylor’s Sociology: The Essentials, 9th Edition helps you learn on your terms. INSTANT ACCESS IN YOUR POCKET. Take advantage of the MindTap Mobile App. Read or listen to the book and study with the aid of instructor notifications, flashcards and practice quizzes. MINDTAP HELPS YOU GEAR UP FOR ULTIMATE SUCCESS. Knewton Study Center activities help you master key concepts. Stay engaged with assignments that connect sociological concepts to the news and your own experiences. Track scores and stay motivated toward goals. You’ll always know where to focus your efforts. And the MindTap Green Dot will charge your confidence on the way. MINDTAP HELPS YOU MAKE THE BOOK YOURS. No one knows what works for you better than you. Highlight key text, add notes, and create custom flashcards. When it’s time to study, gather everything you’ve flagged into a guide.

LMS Integrated for MindTap Sociology, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1305672704 | ISBN-13: 9781305672703)

This access code will provide you with seamless access to your MindTap Sociology resources from within your campus Learning Management System. You will be prompted to enter this access code the first time that you click on a link in your course that includes Cengage content.