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Soft Cover
ISBN-13: 9781774128435
Publisher: Top Hat
Edition: 4th

The essence of sociology lies in the sociological imagination. Sociology in Action: A Canadian Perspective, Third Edition, articulates the importance of developing a sociological imagination and highlights the tools that are necessary to develop that skill: empirical research methods that create verifiable knowledge, sociological theories that explain that knowledge, and critical thinking that enables us to evaluate and to extrapolate from that knowledge. By the time students have completed this text, they will be better equipped to engage in effective social action in the context of their families, communities, and professions, as well as in the context of larger social problems such as social inequality and environmental degradation. With their signature passion and Sociological Toolkit, Diane Symbaluk and Tami Bereska have created a text that will inspire 21st-century learners to become active and informed citizens.


  • Unique to this textbook, four different settings within which the sociological toolkit can be used are highlighted: in theory, in practice, in my community, and in my life. This approach is especially effective for helping students understand how sociology relates to their everyday lives and how academic sociology (i.e., based in theoretical and empirical research) applies to real life.
  • Sociology Online boxes highlight particular websites that demonstrate key concepts and provide in depth examples of topics discussed in the chapters.
  • Sociology in Theory sections highlight certain pieces of research by formally trained academics.
  • Sociology in Practice boxes consist of applications of sociological concepts for policy development.
  • Sociology in My Community boxes demonstrate how sociological principles can be transmitted to nonacademic audiences.
  • Sociology in My Life boxes are applications of sociological knowledge to one's own personal life experiences.
  • Learning Objectives and Outcomes are numbered statements about the intended knowledge and/or skills students should be able to demonstrate following a thorough reading of the chapter.
  • Opening quotations begin each chapter; they are intended to spark the reader's interest and set the tone for the chapter by highlighting a central concept, issue, or paradox that is pertinent to the topic covered in the chapter
  • Sociology on Screen boxes discuss documentaries and/or fictional films that illustrate key concepts and processes.
  • Sociology in Music boxes look at music that illustrates the importance of sociological concepts in everyday practices.

Table of Contents

  • Part One: Practising Sociology: Your Sociological Toolkit
  • Chapter 1: Seeing and Acting Through the Lens of Sociology
  • Chapter 2: Applying Sociological Research Methods
  • Part Two: Society and the Self: The Foundations
  • Chapter 3: ?I Am Canadian?: What Is ?Canadian? Culture?
  • Chapter 4: Socialization: The Self and Social Identity
  • Chapter 5: Social Inequality in Canadian Society
  • Chapter 6: Mass Media: Living in the Electronic Age
  • Part Three: The Micro and Macro of Our Everyday Lives
  • Chapter 7: Sex, Gender, and Sexualities: Deconstructing Dualisms
  • Chapter 8: Race and Ethnicity: Defining Ourselves and Others
  • Chapter 9: Canadian Families: Past, Present, and Future
  • Chapter 10: Learning What Is ?True?: Religion, Science, and Education
  • Chapter 11: Social Control, Deviance, and Crime
  • Chapter 12: Health and Illness: Is It ?Lifestyle? or Something More?
  • Part Four: Our Changing World
  • Chapter 13: Social Change: Collective Behaviour and Social Movements
  • Chapter 14: ?Going Green?: Environmental Sociology
  • Chapter 15: Globalization: The Interconnected World
  • Glossary
  • References
  • Index

Author Information

Diane G. Symbaluk

Diane Symbaluk received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Alberta in 1997, with a specialization in criminology and social psychology. She joined MacEwan University in 1996 in order to pursue her joint passion for teaching and research mentorship. She has taught courses in a variety of areas including social psychology, criminology, statistics, and research methods. She is presently the faculty advisor for MacEwan University's Community-Based Sociology Project, a supervised student-led research program. Her extensive list of publications includes textbooks, journal articles, and more than forty pedagogical resources (e.g., study guides, test banks, instructor manuals, and online resources). A distinguished teaching award winner, Diane is currently conducting research on published student ratings of instruction and character strengths of award-winning instructors.

Tami M. Bereska

I began university as a psychology major. I had never even heard of sociology. But then, I made my discovery. A discipline where you could study families, teenagers, television shows, popular music, crime, and white supremacists—wow! Who could have ever believed that learning could be so interesting? Sociology grabbed me and has never let me go. Going on to obtain my Master of Arts and my Doctorate in sociology, I've since studied all sorts of interesting topics—adult and adolescent series romance novels (e.g. Harlequin, Sweet Valley High), what being a "real man" means in Young Adult novels for boys, and the medicalization of women's lives in magazine advertising. Popular culture, deviance and youth fascinate me. Along with my love of sociology, I have a love for teaching undergraduate students. I had my first opportunity to give a university lecture as a teaching assistant while working on my Master's degree. My supervisor had to be away, and asked me to lecture in his social organization class, with 180 students. As someone who had always hated giving presentations in class, I was terrified. But 10 minutes into my lecture, I knew that was what I wanted to do with my life. I've since taught courses ranging from deviance to social psychology, with class sizes as small as four and as large as 400. The pleasure I derive from connecting with students has also led me to writing textbooks—first, a book on deviance and social control, and now this book, one that will bring the fascinating world of sociology to those students who, like me, may have never even heard of sociology.