Explore our groundbreaking books that facilitate teaching across disciplines. To request an exam copy, click on “Request an Exam or Desk Copy” on the book page, and this will take you to our distributor’s site where you can order your copy.
Is That True? Critical Thinking for Sociologists by Joel Best
Across disciplines, critical thinking is praised, taught, and put into practice. But what does it actually mean to think critically? In this brief volume, sociologist Joel Best examines how to evaluate arguments and the evidence used to support them as he hones in on how to think in the field of sociology and beyond.
With inimitable style that melds ethnographic verve with dry humor, Best examines the ways in which sociologists engage in fuzzy thinking through bias, faddish cultural waves, spurious reasoning, and implicit bias. The short chapters cover:
- A general introduction to critical thinking and logic in the social sciences
- Sociology as an enterprise
- Key issues in thinking critically about sociological research
- Challenging questions that confront sociologists and a call for the discipline to meet those challenges
Social Movements: The Structure of Collective Mobilization by Paul Almeida
Social Movements cleverly translates the art of collective action and mobilization by excluded groups to facilitate understanding social change from below. Students learn the core components of social movements, the theory and methods used to study them, and the conditions under which they can lead to political and social transformation. This fully class-tested book is the first to be organized along the lines of the major subfields of social movement scholarship—framing, movement emergence, recruitment, and outcomes—to provide comprehensive coverage in a single core text.
- use of real data collected in the U.S. and around the world
- the emphasis on student learning outcomes
- case studies that bring social movements to life
- examples of cultural repertoires used by movements (flyers, pamphlets, event data on activist websites, illustrations by activist musicians) to mobilize a group
- topics such as immigrant rights, transnational movement for climate justice, Women’s Marches, Fight for $15, Occupy Wall Street, Gun Violence, Black Lives Matter, and the mobilization of popular movements in the global South on issues of authoritarian rule and neoliberalism
With this book, students deepen their understanding of movement dynamics, methods of investigation, and dominant theoretical perspectives, all while being challenged to consider their own place in relation to social movements.
Criminology Explains Police Violence by Philip Matthew Stinson Sr.
Criminology Explains Police Violence offers a concise and targeted overview of criminological theory applied to the phenomenon of police violence. In this engaging and accessible book, Philip M. Stinson, Sr. highlights the similarities and differences among criminological theories, and provides linkages across explanatory levels and across time and geography to explain police violence.
This book is appropriate as a resource in criminology, policing, and criminal justice special topic courses, as well as a variety of violence and police courses such as policing, policing administration, police-community relations, police misconduct, and violence in society. Stinson uses examples from his own research to explore police violence, acknowledging the difficulty in studying the topic because violence is often seen as a normal part of policing.
Alt-Right Gangs: A Hazy Shade of White by Shannon E. Reid and Matthew Valasik
Alt-Right Gangs provides a timely and necessary discussion of youth-oriented groups within the white power movement. Focusing on how these groups fit into the current research on street gangs, Shannon E. Reid and Matthew Valasik catalog the myths and realities around alt-right gangs and their members; illustrate how they use music, social media, space, and violence; and document the risk factors for joining an alt-right gang, as well as the mechanisms for leaving. By presenting a way to understand the growth, influence, and everyday operations of these groups, Alt-Right Gangs informs students, researchers, law enforcement members, and policy makers on this complex subject. Most significantly, the authors offer an extensively evaluated set of prevention and intervention strategies that can be incorporated into existing anti-gang initiatives. With a clear, coherent point of view, this book offers a contemporary synthesis that will appeal to students and scholars alike.
Smoke but No Fire: Convicting the Innocent of Crimes that Never Happened by Jessica S. Henry
Rodricus Crawford was convicted and sentenced to die for the murder by suffocation of his beautiful baby boy. After years on death row, evidence confirmed what Crawford had claimed all along: he was innocent, and his son had died from an undiagnosed illness. Crawford is not alone. A full one-third of all known exonerations stem from no-crime wrongful convictions.
The first book to explore this common but previously undocumented type of wrongful conviction, Smoke but No Fire tells the heartbreaking stories of innocent people convicted of crimes that simply never happened. A suicide is mislabeled a homicide. An accidental fire is mislabeled an arson. Corrupt police plant drugs on an innocent suspect. A false allegation of assault is invented to resolve a custody dispute. With this book, former New York City public defender Jessica S. Henry sheds essential light on a deeply flawed criminal justice system that allows—even encourages—these convictions to regularly occur.
Pre-order the paperback format for your courses; publishing this October.
Law and Society Today by Riaz Tejani
Law and Society Today is a problem-oriented survey of sociolegal studies, with a unique emphasis on recent historical and political developments. Whereas other texts focus heavily on criminal procedure, this book foregrounds the significant changes of the 2000s and 2010s, including neoliberalism, migration, multiculturalism, and the large influence of law and economics in law teaching, policy debates, and judicial decision-making.
Each chapter presents key concepts, real-world applications, and hypothetical problems that allow students to test comprehension. With an integrated approach to theory and practice and written in an accessible tone, this text helps students recognize the dynamic forces that shape the way the law is constructed and implemented, particularly how law drives social inequality.
The Feminist War on Crime: The Unexpected Role of Women’s Liberation in Mass Incarceration by Aya Gruber
Deploying vivid cases and unflinching analysis, The Feminist War on Crime documents the failure of the state to combat sexual and domestic violence through law and punishment. Zero-tolerance anti-violence law and policy tend to make women less safe and more fragile. Mandatory arrests, no-drop prosecutions, forced separation, and incarceration embroil poor women of color in a criminal justice system that is historically hostile to them. This carceral approach exacerbates social inequalities by diverting more power and resources toward a fundamentally flawed criminal justice system, further harming victims, perpetrators, and communities alike.
In order to reverse this troubling course, Gruber contends that we must abandon the conventional feminist wisdom, fight violence against women without reinforcing the American prison state, and use criminalization as a technique of last—not first—resort.
Remaking a Life: How Women Living with HIV/AIDS Confront Inequality
by Celeste Watkins-Hayes
In the face of life-threatening news, how does our view of life change—and what do we do it transform it? Remaking a Life uses the HIV/AIDS epidemic as a lens to understand how women generate radical improvements in their social well being in the face of social stigma and economic disadvantage. Drawing on interviews with nationally recognized AIDS activists as well as over one hundred Chicago-based women living with HIV/AIDS, Celeste Watkins-Hayes takes readers on an uplifting journey through women’s transformative projects, a multidimensional process in which women shift their approach to their physical, social, economic, and political survival, thereby changing their viewpoint of “dying from” AIDS to “living with” it. With an eye towards improving the lives of women, Remaking a Life provides techniques to encourage private, nonprofit, and government agencies to successfully collaborate, and shares policy ideas with the hope of alleviating the injuries of inequality faced by those living with HIV/AIDS everyday.
Obstacle Course: The Everyday Struggle to Get an Abortion in America
by David S. Cohen and Carole Joffe
Obstacle Course tells the story of abortion in America, capturing a disturbing reality of insurmountable barriers people face when trying to exercise their legal rights to medical services. Authors David S. Cohen and Carole Joffe lay bare the often arduous and unnecessarily burdensome process of terminating a pregnancy: the sabotaged decision-making, clinics in remote locations, insurance bans, harassing protesters, forced ultrasounds and dishonest medical information, arbitrary waiting periods, and unjustified procedure limitations. Based on patients’ stories as well as interviews with abortion providers and allies from every state in the country, Obstacle Course reveals the unstoppable determination required of women in the pursuit of reproductive autonomy as well as the incredible commitment of abortion providers.
Health Care Off the BooksPoverty, Illness, and Strategies for Survival in Urban America by Danielle T. Raudenbush
Millions of low-income African Americans in the United States lack access to health care. How do they treat their health care problems? In Health Care Off the Books, Danielle T. Raudenbush provides an answer that challenges public perceptions and prior scholarly work. Informed by three and a half years of fieldwork in a public housing development, Raudenbush shows how residents who face obstacles to health care gain access to pharmaceutical drugs, medical equipment, physician reference manuals, and insurance cards by mobilizing social networks that include not only their neighbors but also local physicians. However, membership in these social networks is not universal, and some residents are forced to turn to a robust street market to obtain medicine. For others, health problems simply go untreated. Raudenbush reconceptualizes U.S. health care as a formal-informal hybrid system and explains why many residents who do have access to health services also turn to informal strategies to treat their health problems.
Trans Kids: Being Gendered in the Twenty-First Century by Tey Meadow
Trans Kids is a trenchant ethnographic and interview-based study of the first generation of families affirming and facilitating gender nonconformity in children. Earlier generations of parents sent such children for psychiatric treatment aimed at a cure, but today, many parents agree to call their children new names, allow them to wear whatever clothing they choose, and approach the state to alter the gender designation on their passports and birth certificates. Drawing from sociology, philosophy, psychology, and sexuality studies, sociologist Tey Meadow depicts the intricate social processes that shape gender acquisition. Where once atypical gender expression was considered a failure of gender, now it is a form of gender. Engaging and rigorously argued, Trans Kids underscores the centrality of ever more particular configurations of gender in both our physical and psychological lives, and the increasing embeddedness of personal identities in social institutions.
When the “sharing economy” launched a decade ago, proponents claimed that it would transform the experience of work—giving earners flexibility, autonomy, and a decent income. It was touted as a cure for social isolation and rampant ecological degradation. But this novel form of work soon sprouted a dark side: exploited Uber drivers, neighborhoods ruined by Airbnb, racial discrimination, and rising carbon emissions. Several of the most prominent platforms are now faced with existential crises as they prioritize growth over fairness and long-term viability. Nevertheless, the basic model—a peer-to-peer structure augmented by digital tech—holds the potential to meet its original promises. Based on nearly a decade of pioneering research, After the Gig dives into what went wrong with this contemporary reimagining of labor. The book examines multiple types of data from thirteen cases to identify the unique features and potential of sharing platforms that prior research has failed to pinpoint. Juliet B. Schor presents a compelling argument that we can engineer a reboot: through regulatory reforms and cooperative platforms owned and controlled by users, an equitable and truly shared economy is still possible.