My name is Joan Ferrante, and I am the author of your textbook
, Sociology: A
This textbook introduces sociology’s concepts and theories, but it
does not do it in an encyclopedia-like way.
My goal is to show that the concepts and
theories covered in the textbook are more than a list of terms to be memorized and then
Rather, I present them as powerful analytical tools for thinking about personal,
local, national, but especially global issues and events.
At the end of this course, I expect you to be able to use these concepts and
theories to ask and then answer meaningful questions about any issue or event that affects
you, your community, our country, and our planet.
At this point, I think it is best to show
you a few photographs that will give you a preview of the kinds of questions sociologists
Sociologists do not just see a “black” father and his “white” son.
ask these kinds of questions: “How is it that, in the United States, a parent and his
or her biological offspring can be classified into different races?
How did that
practice come to be?
What are the consequences of dividing family members into
racial categories based on hair texture and skin color?”
Sociologists do not just see a mother pouring a glass of apple juice for her
Instead, sociologists ask: “Why is apple juice made from concentrate
that comes from at least 10 countries, including China, Turkey, Brazil, and the
Why is something as simple as making apple juice an
international effort, rather than a local effort?
Sociologists do not just see an Iraqi child watching an American soldier.
sociologists see this child as one of 10 million Iraqis 14 years of age or younger.
This image prompts sociologists to ask, “What does it mean for the United States
to occupy a country where 40 percent of the population is 14 years of age or
Sociologists do not just see a large plate of food in front of U.S. soldiers and local