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The Social Construction of Difference and Inequality Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality, 5th Edition

This anthology examines the social construction of race, class, gender, and sexuality and the institutional bases for these relations. While other texts discuss various forms of stratification and the impact of these on members of marginalized groups, The Social Construction of Difference and Inequality provides a thorough discussion of how such systems of stratification are formed and perpetuated and how forms of stratification are interconnected. Critical thinking questions at the end of each reading and part opening essays aid students in understanding how the material relates to their lives and how their own attitudes, actions, and perspectives may serve to perpetuate a stratified system.

About the Author

Tracy E. Ore is currently an Assistant professor of Sociology and the Director of the Applied Sociology Program at Saint Cloud State University. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Michigan. She serves as a consultant for multicultural education and curriculum to a variety of universities, organizations, and agencies and conducts workshops and trainings across the country related to issues of inequality. Her research areas include social inequality, race and ethnicity, and the development of effective teaching pedagogy.

I had to get this for a class in my PhD program and I was not impressed. It’s essentially a collection of stories written by obvious left-leaning sociologists who make grand claims without much empirical backing. The “critical thinking” questions at the end of the chapters do not push one to think critically, mainly because they are phrased in a way that accepts what was written as gospel. On top of that, every single essay that discussed economics amounted to nothing but a glossing over of statistical correlations that the authors just ran with instead of analyzing. Had they done so, they would have realized they were making arguments that have been shown to be fallacies.

Needless to say, the margins in my copy are quickly filling up with corrections to the claims made by the authors.

From a scholarly standpoint, a lot of the authors make the claim that “studies show” without citing which studies. Being in a graduate program that hammers in the practice of properly citing sources, this book comes across as a slap in the face.

The text includes a few actual studies as well as a few honest articles (i.e. don’t make grandiose claims or try to pass as scientific) that simply present arguments, but not nearly enough to warrant anything above one star. I apologize if you are buying this book because it is mandatory for your class. Personally, I’m weighing whether I should contact my institution and let them know that they are forcing students to waste their money on something that should be used as kindling.

Product Details :

  • Paperback: 848 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages; 5 edition (November 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780078026645
  • ISBN-13: 978-0078026645
  • ASIN: 0078026644
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.3 inches

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