Skip to content
< Back to Subjects Sociology Textbooks

Sociology: Understanding and Changing the Social World, Comprehensive Edition

Steven E. Barkan
December 2016
Page Count: 
Online Access Price: 
Full Color Book + Online Access Price: 

This textbook is suitable for the following courses: Introduction to Sociology and Sociology.

Steve Barkan’s Sociology: Understanding and Changing the Social World presents a sociological understanding of society but also a sociological perspective on how to change society, while maintaining the structure and contents of the best mainstream texts.

  • Social Issues in the News: Almost every chapter starts with a story from recent media coverage that recounts an event related to the chapter’s topic and proceeds with thought-provoking discussion about the social issue related to the event. Additional discussion elsewhere in the chapter helps students understand the basis for this issue and related issues. This dual treatment of the news story will help students appreciate the relevance of sociology for newsworthy issues.
  • Sociology Making a Difference: Discusses a social issue related to the chapter’s topic and shows how sociological insights and findings have been used, or could be used, to address the issue and achieve social reform.
  • Learning from Other Societies: Discusses the experience in another nation(s) on a social issue related to the chapter; this box helps students appreciate what has worked and not worked in other nations and thus better understand how social reform might be achieved in the United States.
  • Theory Snapshots: Many chapters contain these tables that provide a quick reference tool for students to understand the varying theoretical approaches to the sociological topic in the chapter.
  • What Sociology Suggests: Summarizes social policies grounded in sociological theory and research that hold strong potential for addressing issues discussed in the chapter.
Steve barkan

Steven E. Barkan University of Maine _ Orono

Steven E. Barkan is Professor of Sociology at the University of Maine. He is the author of several other textbooks: (1) Discovering Sociology: An Introduction Using MicroCase Explorit, 3e (Wadsworth); (2) Criminology: A Sociological Understanding, 5e (Prentice Hall); (3) Law and Society: An Introduction (Prentice Hall); (4) Collective Violence, 2e (with Lynne Snowden; Sloan Publishing); and (5) Fundamentals of Criminal Justice, 2e (with George Bryjak; Jones and Bartlett). He has also authored more than 30 journal articles and book chapters in sources such as the American Sociological Review; Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion; Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency; Justice Quarterly; Mobilization; Review of Religious Research ; Social Forces; Social Problems; Social Science Quarterly; and Sociological Forum. Barkan is past president of the Society for the Study of Social Problems and was recently elected to the council of Alpha Kappa Delta, the international sociology honor society. He also recently finished his seventeenth and final year (fortunately, not all consecutive) as chair of his department. He has received an Outstanding Faculty Award from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at UMaine. A native of Philadelphia, PA, Barkan has lived in Maine for the past thirty-two years. He received his Sociology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and his B.A. in Sociology from Trinity College (Hartford, CT), where he began to learn how to think like a sociologist and also to appreciate the value of a sociological perspective for understanding and changing society.
Back to top