This preface is from OpenStax College, the creator of the original textbook.

About OpenStax

OpenStax is a non-profit organization committed to improving student access to quality learning materials. Our free textbooks are developed and peer-reviewed by educators to ensure they are readable, accurate, and meet the scope and sequence requirements of modern college courses. Unlike traditional textbooks, OpenStax resources live online and are owned by the community of educators using them. Through our partnerships with companies and foundations committed to reducing costs for students, OpenStax is working to improve access to higher education for all. OpenStax is an initiative of Rice University and is made possible through the generous support of several philanthropic foundations.

About This Book

Welcome to Introduction to Sociology 2e, an OpenStax resource created with several goals in mind: accessibility, affordability, customization, and student engagement—all while encouraging learners toward high levels of learning. Instructors and students alike will find that this textbook offers a strong foundation in sociology. It is available for free online and in low-cost print and e-book editions.

To broaden access and encourage community curation, Introduction to Sociology 2e is “open source” licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license. Everyone is invited to submit examples, emerging research, and other feedback to enhance and strengthen the material and keep it current and relevant for today’s students. You can make suggestions by contacting us at

To the Student

This book is written for you and is based on the teaching and research experience of numerous sociologists. In today’s global socially networked world, the topic of sociology is more relevant than ever before. We hope that through this book, you will learn how simple, everyday human actions and interactions can change the world. In this book, you will find applications of sociology concepts that are relevant, current, and balanced.

General Approach

Introduction to Sociology 2e adheres to the scope and sequence of a typical introductory sociology course. In addition to comprehensive coverage of core concepts, foundational scholars, and emerging theories we have incorporated section reviews with engaging questions, discussions that help students apply the sociological imagination, and features that draw learners into the discipline in meaningful ways. Although this text can be modified and reorganized to suit your needs, the standard version is organized so that topics are introduced conceptually, with relevant, everyday experiences.


Introduction to Sociology 2e is based on the work of numerous professors, writers, editors, and reviewers who are able to bring topics to students in the most engaging way.

We would like to thank all those listed below as well as many others who have contributed their time and energy to review and provide feedback on the manuscript. Especially Clint Lalonde and team at BC Campus for sharing the updates they made for use in this edition, and the team at Stark State College for their editorial support in this update. Their input has been critical in maintaining the pedagogical integrity and accuracy of the text.

About the Authors

Contributing Authors

Heather Griffiths, Fayetteville State University

Nathan Keirns, Zane State College

Eric Strayer, Hartnell College

Susan Cody-Rydzewski, Georgia Perimeter College

Gail Scaramuzzo, Lackawanna College

Tommy Sadler, Union University

Sally Vyain, Ivy Tech Community College

Jeff Bry, Minnesota State Community and Technical College at Moorhead

Faye Jones, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College



Rick Biesanz, Corning Community College

Cynthia Heddlesten, Metropolitan Community College

Janet Hund, Long Beach City College

Thea Alvarado, College of the Canyons

Daysha Lawrence, Stark State College

Sally Vyain, Ivy Tech Community College

Natashia Willmott, Stark State College

Angela M. Adkins, Stark State College

Carol Jenkins, Glendale Community College

Lillian Marie Wallace, Pima Community College

J. Brandon Wallace, Middle Tennessee State University

Gerry R. Cox, professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

David Hunt, Augusta State University

Jennifer L. Newman-Shoemake, Angelo State University, and Cisco College

Matthew Morrison, University of Virginia

Sue Greer-Pitt, Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College

Faye Jones, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College

Athena Smith, Hillsborough Community College

Kim Winford, Blinn College

Kevin Keating, Broward College

Russell Davis, University of West Alabama

Kimberly Boyd, Piedmont Virginia Community College

Lynn Newhart, Rockford College

Russell C. Ward, Maysville Community and Technical College

Xuemei Hu, Union County College

Margaret A. Choka, Pellissippi State Community College

Cindy Minton, Clark State Community College

Nili Kirschner, Woodland Community College

Shonda Whetstone, Blinn College

Elizabeth Arreaga, instructor emerita at Long Beach City College

Florencio R. Riguera, Catholic University of America

John B. Gannon, College of Southern Nevada

Gerald Titchener, Des Moines Area Community College

Rahime-Malik Howard, El Centro College, and Collin College

Jeff Bry, Minnesota State Community and Technical College at Moorhead

Cynthia Tooley, Metropolitan Community College at Blue River

Carol Sebilia, Diablo Valley College

Marian Moore, Owens Community College

John Bartkowski, University of Texas at San Antonio

Shelly Dutchin, Western Technical College


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Rothschild's Introduction to Sociology Copyright © by Teal Rothschild is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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