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Introducing Sociology Using the Stuff of Everyday Life


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Table of Contents


Preface for Instructors

Preface for Students


Chapter 1. A Day in the Life of Your Jeans: Using Our Stuff to Discover Sociology

Part I. Surviving (and thriving) in Consumer Culture

Chapter 2. You Are What You Eat: Culture, Norms, and Values Chapter 3. Fast Food Blues: Work in a Global Economy Chapter 4. Coffee: Status, Distinction, and `Good' Taste Part II. Fitting In: Being Part of the Group Chapter 5. Shopping Lessons: Consuming Social Order Chapter 6. Get in the Game: Race, Merit, and Group Boundaries Chapter 7. Barbies and Monster Trucks: Socialization and `Doing Gender' Chapter 8. Dreaming of a White Wedding: Marriage, Family, and Heteronormativity Chapter 9. I <3 My Phone: Technology and Social Networks Part III. Standing Out: Individuals Negotiating the Social World Chapter 10. Branding Your Unique Identity (TM): Consumer Culture and the Social Self Chapter 11. Looking Good: Ideology, Intersectionality, and the Beauty Industry Chapter 12. What's On Your Playlist? Subcultures, Racism, and Cultural Appropriation Chapter 13. Our Love-Hate Relationship with the Car: Masculinity, Industry, and Environmental Sustainability Appendix: Advertising and Society: An Overview of Sociological Methods Glossary / Index Index of Key Sociological Concepts Bibliography

About the Author

Josee Johnston is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto. She is co-author of Foodies: Democracy and Distinction in the Gourmet Foodscape, second edition and Food and Femininity. Kate Cairns is Assistant Professor in the Department of Childhood Studies at Rutgers University. She is co-author of Food and Femininity. Shyon Baumann is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto. He is co-author of Foodies: Democracy and Distinction in the Gourmet Foodscape, second edition.


"From designer jeans to iPhones, cultural understandings and material arrangements come together to shape what we buy and why. With a remarkable gift for storytelling, the authors shows us how the things we use reflect the conflict between our private lives and the public issues structuring them. After reading this book, it will be impossible to see a marketing campaign or a PR event in quite the same way. I can't wait to teach Using the Stuff of Everyday Life in my classroom!"

Frederick F. Wherry, Yale University

"Johnston, Cairns, and Baumann have produced something that Introductory Sociology instructors have long needed: a text that integrates the many diverse topics covered by sociology into a unifying theme. By focusing on the social processes surrounding consumption and consumerism -the literal `stuff' of our students' everyday lives-the authors help students explore important sociological subjects such as globalization, inequality, subcultures, gender, identity, and much, much more. This is an exciting, creative contribution to the same-old, same-old landscape of introductory sociology texts, and one certain to get students exercising their sociological imaginations right away."

Daniel Winchester, co-editor of Social Theory Re-Wired (Routledge 2016)

"Remarkably well-written and cleverly organized, Introducing Sociology Using the Stuff of Everyday Life demonstrates the relevance of a wide range of sociological concepts to such routine occurrences as getting a cup of coffee, playing sports, and getting married. The authors' presentation of `thinking frames' and `active learning' suggestions for each chapter provides students with rich opportunities to test and apply their knowledge and understanding. An excellent introductory text!" David Karen, co-editor of Sociological Perspectives on Sport (Routledge 2015) "Introducing Sociology Using the Stuff of Everyday Life succeeds where other `nontraditional' textbooks have failed. Johnston, Cairns, and Baumann have compiled truly compelling chapters that apply core sociological concepts to the stuff-clothes, food, cars, music, phones, etc.-that surrounds our students today. Their focus on `stuff' allows instructors go beyond concepts covered in traditional sociology textbooks to emphasize contemporary ideas that sociologists actually use when we `do sociology'. This is the first nontraditional textbook I've seen that really breaks the standard textbook mold and engages students in the practice of thinking sociologically!" Julie A. Pelton, University of Nebraska Omaha "Thanks to Introducing Sociology, your students in Introductory Sociology will never be able to look at their `stuff' in the same way. This text will leave them thinking about sociology when they pick up their phone, eat a burger, pull on their jeans, and `conspicuously consume' their lattes. Johnston, Cairns, and Baumann offer a unique approach to the introductory course that covers essential sociological concepts in an engaging and meaningful way." Suzanne Hudd, Quinnipiac College

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