PREFACE If there is a college course that is more exciting for students than the introduction to sociology, we don't know what it is. Both of us began our careers as students taking the "intro course," and we both found it to be life-changing. Over the (many) years since then, we have received thousands of e-mail messages from students that, in different ways and using different words, say pretty much the same thing: "Sociology has given me a new way to see the world around me, it has changed the way I think about myself and our society, it has given me knowledge and skills that I can use every day." Why is sociology so exciting? First, understanding how society operates is a source of power, helping us to recognize the opportunities and challenges that frame our lives and to see that society is a human creation that is subject to change. Second, sociology is liberating. It frees us from the belief that we alone are responsible for our life situations and, by showing how society shapes our world, opens the door to new possibilities. Third, sociology is plain fun. Looking at our families, workplaces, campuses, and local communities with a sociological eye, we suddenly recognize patterns and processes that were always there but went unnoticed. To learn to see sociologically is to have the world around you come alive as it never has before. What could be more fun than that? Sociology is also a vast and diverse body of knowledge that stretches back more than 150 years. Seeing Ourselves: Classic, Contemporary, and Cross-Cultural Readings in Sociology captures this rich legacy, presenting it to readers in the words of the men and women who created it. This collection of readings contains the work of the discipline's founders and others who have made lasting contributions. In addition, it contains important research being done by women and men who are standing on the shoulders of the founders. Finally, it deepens our understanding of our own way of life by making comparisons with other societies and cultural systems. This reader provides excellent material for use in a wide range of courses. Seeing Ourselves is most widely used in introductory sociology, but it is also well suited for courses in social problems, cultural anthropology, social theory, social stratification, American studies, women's studies, and marriage and the family. Since its introduction a decade ago, Seeing Ourselves has been the most popular reader in the discipline. This seventh edition offers eighty-three readings that represent the widest range of material found in any similar text. In short, Seeing Ourselves gives instructors the largest selection of articles to consider for their courses. It also give students the best value for their textbook dollar, costing less per article than competing readers and "custom" readers. THE THREE C'S: CLASSIC, CONTEMPORARY, AND CROSS-CULTURAL Seeing Ourselves is the only reader that systematically weaves together three types of selections. For each general topic typically covered in a sociology course, three types of articles are included: classic, contemporary, and cross-cultural. Classic articlesthirty in allare sociological statements of recognized importance and lasting significance. Included here are the ideas of sociology's founders and shakers--including Emile Durkheim, Karl Marx, Max Weber, Georg Simmel, Ferdinand Tönnies, as well as Margaret Mead, W. E. B. Du Bois, Louis Wirth, George Herbert Mead, Thomas Robert Malthus, and Charles Horton Cooley. There are also many more recent contributions by Alfred Kinsey, Jessie Bernard, Robert Merton, Erving Goffman, Peter Berger, Kingsley Davis and Wilbert Moore, C. Wright Mills, Talcott Parsons, Leslie White, and Jo Freeman. We realize that not everyone will agree about precisely which selections should be called classics.” But we hope that instructors will be pleased to see the work of so many outstanding men and womencMacionis, John J. is the author of 'Seeing Ourselves Classic, Contemporary, And Cross-Cultural Readings in Sociology', published 2006 under ISBN 9780132204910 and ISBN 0132204916.