Understanding Societies

Readings for Introductory Sociology

edited by Gillian Balfour  

This book is a collection of critical readings, set in the context of Joanne Naiman’s How Societies Work, that animate contemporary sociological theory and research.

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  • August 2012
  • ISBN: 9781552665367
  • 200 pages
  • $28.00
  • For sale worldwide
  • PDF December 2021
  • ISBN: 9781773631516
  • $27.99
  • For sale worldwide

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About the book

This book is a collection of critical readings that animate contemporary sociological theory and research. Students will learn how sociology can be relevant in their everyday lives as they are introduced to scholars who challenge conventional thinking about how the world works. Designed as a companion reader for introductory sociology students, each reading is set in context with clear linkages to Joanne Naiman’s How Societies Work. Students will read about racial profiling, wrongful convictions, homophobia, human trafficking, professional sports, sweatshop labour, and residential schools. Each chapter illustrates how sociologists think about social inequality, power, and social transformation.

Research & Theory Sociology


Gillian Balfour

Gillian Balfour is Associate professor in the Department of Sociology at Trent University.

Gillian recently completed a PhD in sociology at the University of Manitoba where she examined the role of lawyers in the criminalization of men and women accused of violent crimes. Her PhD research examined the practice of law as a social act that is constrained and enabled by socio-political interests of “law and order,” professional codes of conduct, and the identities of victims and offenders and the meaning of violence that are encoded with stereotypes of whiteness, Indianness, dangerousness, poverty, heterosexuality, femininity and masculinity.

Her research interests include law reforms in the areas of domestic and sexual violence, women, crime and social justice, feminist criminology and Aboriginal peoples in the criminal justice system. Gillian teaches Sociology of Law, Feminist Criminology and Introductory Sociology.


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