Sociologists teaching an introductory course focus on a wide array of topics, ranging from culture and socialization to institutional structures and stratification. One of the main lessons we impart to our students relates to the effects social inequalities have on our lives, particularly on the goals we establish for ourselves and families, and the structural barriers that serve to prohibit us from reaching these goals. For people who aspire to achieve upward social mobility, earning a college degree is a key means of doing so, however, with the rising costs of college education, access is out of reach for many. Community colleges are uniquely positioned to serve the American public by offering a quality education at a relatively low cost. Many community college professors teach at these institutions because they are invested in offering equitable access to higher education and desire to be part of a system that works toward this goal. To this end, we developed this text for our students because we know that rising textbook costs prohibit some of them from purchasing the materials necessary for their academic success. This text allows us to contribute one small piece to the educational equity puzzle and take one small step closer to social equality.
The Integrated Workbook Edition of this text was conceived of by Suzanne Latham, who felt that the text, coupled with an embedded workbook providing students with opportunities to interact with, reflect upon and recall concepts and theories, would significantly enhance their learning experience and understanding of the field of sociology. In addition to the new workbook element, this edition also includes updates to data and discussion of current issues.