At the dawning of the modern age, the French philosopher Francois Voltaire expressed his certainty that humans were meant to live together in society and that the gift of society to each of us is the ability to develop a sense of justice. A young woman or man coming of age today has plenty of reasons to take a keen interest in human society and wonder about justice. The United States is engaged in military conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and our nation is fighting a worldwide war against terrorism. Throughout the world, there are several dozen other ongoing military conflicts. At home, the gap between the rich and poor is greater than it has been in half a century, and it is increasing. Worldwide, the income gap between the richest and poorest nations is vast, twice as large as it was a century ago. Facts such as these force us to confront vital questions: What kind of world do we live in? Is it the kind of world we want for ourselves and for our children? Surely there is no better way to begin the process of answering these questions than by learning to use the discipline of sociology. There is another, happier reason to begin the study of society. Learning about the social world all around us is extremely rewarding and often great fun. The daily e-mail I receive from students throughout the United States and around the world is clear testimony both to the power of sociology to help people understand their world and to the pleasure they find in doing it. Ask the women and men who teach sociology in classrooms throughout North America and you will find that, in a large majority of cases, they enjoyed the first course they took so much that they continued, eventually deciding to make the study of society their life's work. Sociology has the power to transform people, and many of these people go on to transform society. All instructors know the deep satisfaction that comes from making a difference in the lives of our students. There is no greater reward for our work and, in my case, no better reason for striving for ever-better revisions ofSociology,which, along with the brieferSociety: The Basics,stand out--as they have for more than a decade--as the discipline's most widely used texts. I hope you will findSociologyto be authoritative, comprehensive, stimulating, and--as so many students testify--plain fun to read. In addition to the book, every new copy ofSociology, Tenth Edition,comes with a CD-ROM that includes a number of learning tools, including short video selections that illustrate major concepts, theories, and research findings, and also a series of "author's tip" videos-one for each chapter-that focus on key chapter themes. The third part of the learning package that is available free with each new book is access to two Web sites. The first is our full-featured Companion Website at http://www.prenhall.com/macionis . From the main page, simply click on the cover of the text to access a comprehensive and interactive study guide. Select a chapter to find chapter summaries, learning objectives, suggested essay questions, and paper topics, as well as multiple-choice and true/false questions. The second, new to this edition, is a premium-content Web site called OneKey. It will serve as a one-stop shop for students and faculty, providing anytime, anywhere access to important course materials. OneKey will also offer a customized student study plan after the student takes a quick diagnostic quiz. Access to OneKey is free with a passcode that can be wrapped withSociology, Tenth Edition. Textbook, CD-ROM, and Web sites: A three-part, multimedia package that is the foundation for sound learning in this new information age. We invite you to examine all three! ORGANIZATION OF THIS TEXT Part Iof the textbook and the CD-ROM introducesJohn J. Macionis is the author of 'Sociology (10th Edition)', published 2005 under ISBN 9780131849181 and ISBN 0131849182.