Fast food is a major part of the American society. (Photo by Christopher MacSurak)

When you think about a society, there are likely multiple factors that come to mind which make up that collaboration of people, places, and ideas. In order for a society to work well and for its population to be happy, healthy, and productive, there are numerous things that must be in working order.

A great resource for information on current societies and sociological factors involved in them is the college textbook Society: The Basics (11th Edition). Amazon ranks this book as the 14th most popular textbook currently on the market and in use at institutions of higher education across the nation. Even if this book isn’t required for one or more of your sociology courses, it can still be worth reading or, at the very least, referencing for upcoming assignments and exams.

One of the chapters for the book is called “Seeing Sociology in Everyday Life.” This chapter is an excellent example of how students can learn things that directly apply to their lives and to the lives of others. This chapter is a microcosm of the book’s goal – to help students take a step back and view the society in which they live through a “sociological lens.” The book is made up by a theoretical framework and offers global perspective on sociology in our ever-increasing world of globalization. Its purpose is to serve as an introduction to this topic, but those who are majoring in sociology can certainly benefit from it regardless of their educational standing.

The 576 pages of this book, which was published by Prentice Hall and released in October 2010, are packed with informative and engaging material that is relevant to today’s students. Even though historical perspectives are important in any academic discipline, this book specifically takes a current approach by looking out how societies function nowadays versus 50 or 100 years ago when students’ parents and grandparents were growing up. Through an easy-to-follow design that works well for online classes along with traditional classroom settings, this book lays out each principle and concept one a t a time in a way that puts students at ease when reading it.

Author John J. Macionis is a longtime sociology professor at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, which is one of the oldest colleges in the country. In addition to writing Society: The Basics [11th Edition], Macionis has also authored a number of related books like many of those in the Sociology series.

Be sure to use to find this book and others. It’s easy to compare prices on every book on your textbook list. Just type in the title or ISBN and a listing of online booksellers offering each book will appear with their prices. Rentals are becoming more popular as well, and you can compare prices on rentals if you choose to rent your books rather than buy them.