The 10 Best Sociology Textbooks

video play icon 10 Best Sociology Textbooks

This wiki has been updated 18 times since it was first published in July of 2018. Sociology is the in-depth study of human relationships, cultures, and patterns within society. It can sound like a daunting subject and, without the proper materials, it often is. These textbooks will help you begin to understand precisely what makes people tick. Some options focus on a specific topic while others offer broad and comprehensive introductions to the field. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Introduction to Sociology

2. The Family

3. Sociology: A Down-To-Earth Approach

Editor's Notes

February 13, 2020:

On the face of it, sociology seems like a soft option, but once students dig into the subject they find out quickly just how complex it is. Textbooks have to cover naturally contentious issues, like inequality, crime, abuse, diversity, social status, how minorities are treated, and much more. Because of this, we did our best to supply books that are as balanced as possible, however, some texts, like The Real World, still allow some bias to come through.

We feel that that can actually be a good thing when the book is read by more advanced students because they can then use sociological thinking to deconstruct where that bias comes from and make their own interpretations. Still, we kept works that lean too far in any direction to a minimum. For more insight into the field, we recommend picking up a few social science books to see how sociology is intertwined with psychology, economics, law, and politics.

Today we brought several volumes up to their most recent editions. That includes The Real World, Sociology: The Essentials, Sociology: Exploring the Architecture of Everyday Life, and Introduction to Sociology. We also said goodbye to Race, Ethnicity, Gender, and Class in favor of The Family, which touches on many of the same concepts, but uses an extremely interesting and coherent approach to do so. We also removed Essentials of Sociology and replaced it with Sociology: A Down-To-Earth Approach, the better fleshed out, more recent and revised edition by the same author.

4. Sociology 16th Edition

5. What is Political Sociology?

6. Introduction to Sociology

7. Sociology: Exploring the Architecture of Everyday Life

8. Sociology: The Essentials

9. The Real World

10. Medical Sociology

Gia Vescovi-Chiordi
Last updated by Gia Vescovi-Chiordi

Born in Arizona, Gia is a writer and autodidact who fled the heat of the desert for California, where she enjoys drinking beer, overanalyzing the minutiae of life, and channeling Rick Steves. After arriving in Los Angeles a decade ago, she quickly nabbed a copywriting job at a major clothing company and derived years of editing and proofreading experience from her tenure there, all while sharpening her skills further with myriad freelance projects. In her spare time, she teaches herself French and Italian, has earned an ESL teaching certificate, traveled extensively throughout Europe and the United States, and unashamedly devours television shows and books. The result of these pursuits is expertise in fashion, travel, beauty, literature, textbooks, and pop culture, in addition to whatever obsession consumes her next.

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