Connecting Sociology and YOU!

SociologicalYOU Introduction


SociologicalYOU (Fifth Edition)

Format: Digital
ISBN: 978-1-64007-406-4

SociologicalYOU is a comprehensive, digitally delivered learning system for Introductory Sociology classes. This NextGen textbook provides an unparalleled collection of resources for both students and instructors. SY encourages student engagement and learning retention through the latest in proven learning theory and interactive features, including gamification, Focus Mode, and a note-taking system. SY even incorporates the Science of Learning, Achievement, and Happiness because we believe the first step in becoming a better student is becoming a better learner!

SY is easy to adopt and fits any teaching style for both in-person and online courses.


SociologicalYOU is a peer-reviewed, innovative, digital textbook that utilizes a “read a little, do a little” pedagogical approach coupled with a unique chapter completion certificate. The certificates solve the problem of students coming to class not having read the chapter. The digital certificates are downloadable and are provided when students earn a 90% or better on the low-stakes assessment questions integrated into the chapter content.

This NextGen textbook provides an unparalleled collection of resources for both students and instructors and incorporates the latest in proven learning theory to provide an engaging learning experience unlike any textbook currently on the market. It is easy to adopt and fits any teaching style for both in-person and online courses. The unparalleled and dedicated support staff makes adopting and using SY a simple process that supports our motto: K.I.S.S. – “Keep It Simple Sociologists!

SY encourages student engagement and learning retention through the latest in proven learning theory and interactive features, including gamification, Focus Mode, and a note-taking system. SY even incorporates the Science of Learning, Achievement, and Happiness because not only do we believe that it is important to teach students how to be better sociologists, we also believe it is important to teach students how to be better individuals and members of society!


Student Goal: “Connecting Sociology and YOU”

Instructor Goal: “K.I.S.S” – “Keep It Simple Sociologists”

  • NEW! Gamification System: This feature is GAME CHANGER. SYlvia and SYlvester, two animated characters referred to as the SYlvettes, have joined SY! The SYlvettes introduce and apply content to personal situations and encourage students to engage in sociological reflection and critical discussion. The SYlvettes give students the opportunity to earn badges and points by offering voluntary ACTION items in each chapter. Each ACTION item reinforces the science of Learning, Achievement, and Happiness, course content, and utilization of SY resources and features. As students accumulate points, they unlock bonus study material: 150 points unlocks the chapter’s Study Guide with Answers, 250 points unlocks the Chapter Summary animated video, and 350 points unlocks the chapter’s full-length Practice Exam.

  • NEW! Focus Mode: This feature removes the main navigation, footer elements, and sidebars from the page, so students will be able to fully focus on engaging with the chapter content. Focus Mode aims to eliminate distractions and streamline the students’ learning experience – increasing learning retention and completion rates.

  • NEW! Student Note-Taking System: Research shows that highlighting is one of the least effective study strategies, while taking notes is one of the most effective strategies to learn and retain information. The note-taking system allows students to take notes as they read, save notes in each Learning Objective, and download notes into Word Documents as they prepare for an exam.

  • NEW! “A Better YOU” Videos: The textbook has 15 short, animated videos within the gamification system to introduce students to the science behind LearningAchievement, and Happiness. This content is included to help students succeed in this course as well as in other courses. To a large degree, socialization dictates how we study, our ideas about how to achieve goals, and what makes us happy and healthy. Students will learn what science says about each of these topics so they can apply them and make informed decisions to reach their academic, professional, and personal goals.

  • NEW! COVID-19 Supplementary Content: Approximately 75 pages of bonus content for students to apply the current pandemic to the terms in the chapters. Students click on the (C-19) link associated with the term, and a paragraph presents how the term is related. The Pandemic and YOU section asks questions for the student to consider for personal application.

  • NEW! UPDATED Annually! The co-authors have committed to updating SociologicalYOU each summer, so the most up-to-date content is available for students and instructors.

  • Read a Little Do A Little Pedagogy: The textbook is designed based on Make It Stick: The Science of Learning. Students read the content within each learning objective and then answer 3 or 4 questions. This is a proven method to learn and retain the content. Student feedback is, “This is the first textbook that I have enjoyed reading!”

  • Chapter Completion Certificates: This is one of the most innovative and unique features of SY. Students answer the questions in the chapter and must score 100% to earn the digital certificate. Don’t worry. The assessment is low-stakes, as the students can answer the questions as many times as needed, which improves retention. The certificate includes the student’s name and score so it can be uploaded prior to the first lecture over the chapter. Voila! Students come to class having read the chapter and prepared for discussions. It is a game-changer!

  • SY Blog: This weekly blog applies terms to current events to achieve the goal of “Connecting Sociology and YOU!” Each blog has numerous links to news articles to reinforce how sociology is “In the News” The blog is also made available to the public so that all sociology instructors and students can benefit from the SY blog.

  • NEW! SY Lecture Launchers (Instructor Resource): This unique feature is a weekly 2-3 minutes video that integrates two news articles from the day it is created, so it the most current news and application. The video poses a question and answers it based on a sociological perspective. The video has two discussion questions to help students begin thinking about the topic and to launch a lively lecture. This feature is available to all sociology instructors.

  • Health Professions Content: Each chapter has 15 terms applied to the health professions fields for students focusing on nursing, pre-med, dentistry, physician assistant, kinesiology, physical therapy, speech pathology, and other areas. Students click on the (HP) link associated with the term, and a paragraph presents how the term is related to the health professions fields. The Diagnosis section provides questions for students to consider regarding their future careers.

  • Supplementary Readings (Instructor Resource): Each chapter has 5 or more Creative Commons supplementary readings that can be provided to students. Many of the readings are classics commonly included in readers.

  • UPDATED! PowerPoints: The PowerPoints have been updated to meet accessibility standards. Our textbook’s most recent Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) was updated on August 7, 2020.

  • NEW! SY Ph.lippeD. Lesson Plans (Instructor Resource): We offer proprietary lesson plans for each chapter so you can semi-flip your course.

  • Built-in Quizlets (Student Resource): This is one of the most popular features for students as it saves time and is an excellent study tool. All of the SY terms are fully integrated within Quizlets for each chapter, and students simply click on the link.

  • Study Guides and Practice Quizzes (Student Resources): These study resources are built into each chapter providing opportunities for practice retrieval. Numerous student resources are included in the textbook, and student feedback consistently indicates this is one of the key features enjoyed by students.

  • Purchasing – Access Codes: Students can purchase an access code at the college or university bookstore or purchase access to the textbook directly from the SY home page.

  • Technical Support: We pride ourselves on providing nearly 24/7 assistance to instructors and students. During the first two weeks, we provide 24/7 support and then transition to responding within 2 hours during normal operating hours, including weekends. The SY Support Team often will respond to a support ticket at 3:00 a.m. because our team is located in the U.S., Europe, and South Asia.

  • Student Learning Tips (Student Resource): Our goal is to help students relearn how to study based on the science of learning, and Chapter 1 provides Keys to Success. The following are four key evidence-based recommended strategies with included videos to dig deeper into the strategies.

Table of Contents

SociologicalYOU: Table of Contents

  1. Chapter 1: Introduction – Understanding Sociology
  2. Chapter 2: Sociological Inquiry – For Inquisitive Minds
  3. Chapter 3: Culture – Defined by Everyday Reality
  4. Chapter 4: Socialization – Are We Merely Byproducts of Society
  5. Chapter 5: Social Interaction – All the World is a Stage
  6. Chapter 6: Groups and Organizations – From Dyads to Myriads
  7. Chapter 7: Crime and Deviance – Abnormal Sociology
  8. Chapter 8: Social Stratification – The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Poorer
  9. Chapter 9: Sex and Gender – Society’s New Directions
  10. Chapter 10: Race and Ethnicity – Privileges and Prejudices
  11. Chapter 11: Economics and Politics – Money and Power
  12. Chapter 12: Religion and Education – An Educated Belief System
  13. Chapter 13: Marriage and Family – Changing Times
  14. Chapter 14: Health, Illness, and Medicine – Society’s Magic Pill
  15. Chapter 15: Social Changes and Social Movements – A Changing World

Chapter Modules

Each chapter of SociologicalYOU is divided into five modules organized around specific sociological insights.

  • Sociological Perspectivethe process of understanding and explaining how individuals and groups interact within society. 
  • Social Structuresthe distinctive and stable arrangements of social patterns that form the society as a whole.
  • Social Problemsthe societal-level conditions that harm segments of society.
  • Sociological Imaginationthe ability to see the details of our own lives in the context of larger social structures as opposed to merely personal choices or personal troubles.
  • Social Changethe social forces that change the organization and social structures of society.

Chapter 1: Outline

Chapter 1: Introduction – Understanding Sociology

Chapter Outline

Module 1:

Understanding Your Social World

Sociology: In the Beginning

Sociological Theory: The Basics

Sociological Theory: Relevant Today

Weber: A Different Perspective

Contemporary Theories: New Approaches

Learning Objectives

1.1.1: Compare Comte’s means of studying society with the methods of studying natural science

1.1.2: Compare and contrast the three sociological theories or views of society.

1.1.3: Apply the three main sociological theories to a contemporary social issue.

1.1.4: Define verstehen and compare and contrast how Weber’s perspective differs from the three main sociological theories.

1.1.5: Summarize the feminist, queer, and postmodern theories.

Module 2:

Social Structures: The Basics

Unfolding Characteristics of Social Structures

Practicing Sociologists during Times of Change

Social Structures: Real Life Applications

Learning Objectives

1.2.1: Explain the characteristics of social structures.

1.2.2: Describe how Martineau, Addams, Du Bois, and Merton recognized social structures in their research, writings, or practice of sociology.

1.2.3: Identify social structures within a contemporary social issue.

Module 3:

Social Structures: Real Life Applications

The Human Side of Our Sweet Addiction

Social Inequality: Poor Families Aren’t Allowed a Dad

Learning Objective

1.3.1: Identify the role of sociology in understanding social problems.
1.3.2:  Describe the social problems associated with social inequality.

Module 4:

A Greek Tragedy: The Link between Personal Troubles and Public Issues

United We Stand, Divided We Fall: The Importance of Social Bonds

Suicide in Greek Society

Learning Objective

1.4.1: Explain the relationship between the sociological imagination and Durkheim’s anomie.

1.4.2:  Apply the sociological imagination to Durkheim’s research on suicide.

Module 5:

Social Change and Globalization through the Lens of Sociology

It’s a Small World After All.

Sociology on the Job

Learning Objective

1.5.1: Evaluate the consequence of globalization in the context of social change.

1.5.2: Explain how sociology can be applied to social change.

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    The best way to understand our innovative and unique textbook is to hear from the students who have used it. The below unedited survey was conducted in 2020 and reflects student feedback about SociologicalYOU. Notice the last question which asks,

    “If you had one sentence to convey to a professor about SociologicalYOU, what would you say?”

    Download Survey PDF 

    About The Authors

    Angela L. Thompson, Ph.D.

    Dr. Thompson received her B.A. in English and Sociology from Wellesley College, her joint M.A. in Sociology and Women’s Studies from Brandeis University, and her Ph.D. in Sociology also from Brandeis University. Her doctoral research addressed the role of the wedding planner in the American wedding industry. Other wedding related topics she has studied include the emotion work of wedding work, the role of the male wedding coordinator, minority participation in the wedding industry, as well as a comparison between the wedding and funeral industries.

    Keith H. Whitworth, Ph.D.

    Dr. Whitworth has taught at Texas Christian University since 1998 within the TCU Department of Sociology & Anthropology, specializing in sustainability and the social impacts of technology. He teaches Introductory Sociology; Sustainability: Environmental, Economic, and Social Justice Issues; Social Media, Technology, and Society; Applied Sociology; Sociology of Religion; Health, Illness, & Medicine; and a 3-week summer study abroad course pertaining to sustainability in Japan and a similar course in Scandinavia.


    Our Story

    We are a small publishing company headquartered in Texas consisting of 10 employees and 4 nationalities spread out around the world dedicated to offering the most innovative digital textbook on the market. In some ways, we are similar to the craft brewery that has decided to not follow the traditional recipes and offers new and innovative beers. We did not create a traditional textbook as SY was designed from the beginning to be used online as well as in the classroom with a variety of unique features. We publish one textbook, SociologicalYOU, so we put all of our time and resources into making it the best on the market.

    We invite you to “taste test” SociologicalYOU by requesting a review copy.

    Our company motto is “K.I.S.S.,” which stands for Keep It Simple Sociologists. Every decision we make is designed to keep the process simple for instructors in order for the adoption process to be quick and easy and the textbook simple to use. The digital textbook has a lot of bells and whistles, but they are all integrated and are seamless so instructors can just focus on what they do best – TEACHING!


    Students can purchase SY directly online at for $60.00. We provide access codes to college and university bookstores, which incurs a markup to the base cost.