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Social Inequality in a Global Age

Social Inequality in a Global Age

Fifth Edition
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Sociology (General)

July 2016 | 408 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
This updated Fifth Edition of Scott Sernau's acclaimed text provides a sociological framework for analyzing inequality within the United States in the context of global stratification and a rapidly changing world economy. With insightful analysis, this text offers students an accessible introduction to stratification systems and the structural and personal realities of growing class divides. It explores the multiple dimensions and intersections of inequalities of race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, and power and lifestyle. Using lively writing and examples drawn straight from today's headlines, Sernau explores each issue and dimension of inequality as he analyzes the relationship between changing global power and growing inequalities within countries. Throughout, a focus on social action and community engagement encourages students to become involved, active learners in the classroom and engaged citizens in their communities.
Part I: Roots of Inequality
1. The Gordian Knot of Race, Class, and Gender
Dimensions of an Unequal World  
Intersections of Race, Class, and Gender in the United States  
The Development of Inequality: Race, Class, and Gender Across Societies  
A Social Network Understanding of Inequality  
2. The Great Debate
The Historical Debate  
The Sociological Debate  
Reframing the Debate  
3. The Global Divide: Inequality Across Societies
Worlds Coming Apart and Coming Together  
The Double Divide  
The Global Debate  
Globalization: The Ties That Bind  
Immigration: Seeking to Cross the Divide  
The Market Paradox  
4. Class Privilege
Wealth and Property  
Class Structure  
Growing Inequality  
5. Racial and Ethnic Inequality
A Debt Unpaid: Internal Colonialism  
Middleman Minorities and Ethnic Solidarity  
The Analytic Debate: Cultures and Structures of Poverty  
Colorful Language  
The Color of Justice  
6. Gender and Sexual Inequality
When Men Were Men  
From Glass Slippers to Glass Ceilings  
Work and Family: The Double Burden and the Second Shift  
Gender and Class Around the World  
Changing Norms on Gender and Sexuality  
7. Status Prestige
The Quest for Honor  
Socialization: Acquiring Marks of Distinction  
Association: Whom You Know  
Lifestyles of the Rich and the Destitute  
Tastes in Transition  
8. Power and Politics
People Power and Powerful People  
Who Rules? The Power Elite Debate  
Changing the Rules: Campaign Finance Reform  
Global Power: Who Really Rules?  
9. Moving Up: Education and Mobility
Getting Ahead  
Education: Opening Doors, Opening Minds  
No Child Left Behind  
Ladders With Broken Rungs  
10. Abandoned Spaces, Forgotten Places: Poverty and Place
Urban Poverty: Abandoned Spaces  
The Making and Unmaking of the Postindustrial City  
Brain-Gain and Brain-Drain Cities  
Suburban Poverty: The Urban Fringe  
Rural Poverty: Forgotten Places  
Poverty in the Global Ghetto  
11. Reversing the Race to the Bottom: Poverty and Policy
From Welfare to Work  
The Challenge of the Margins: Antipoverty Programs  
Extreme Poverty: Homelessness and Hunger  
Poverty Programs Among Advanced Industrial Nations  
The Private World of Poverty  
12. Challenging the System: Social Movements in a Global Age
The Enduring Struggle: The Labor Movement  
Gender and Power: The Women’s Movement  
Gay Rights: Gender Identity, Sexuality, and Equal Access  
Race and Power: The Civil Rights Movement  
The Happiest Place on Earth  
One World After All  
About the Author


Instructor site

Calling all instructors!
It’s easy to log on to SAGE’s password-protected Instructor Teaching Site for complete and protected access to all text-specific Instructor. Simply provide your institutional information for verification and within 72 hours you’ll be able to use your login information for any SAGE title! 

Password-protected Instructor Resources include the following:

  • A Microsoft® Word test bank containing multiple choice, true/false, short answer, and essay questions for each chapter. The test bank provides you with a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity for editing any question and/or inserting your own personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding.
  • Tables and Figures in an easily-downloadable format for use in papers, hand-outs, and presentations.
  • Carefully selected web links for each chapter to enhance classroom-based explorations of key topics

This text offers a concise overview of social inequalities from a global perspective.

Professor Teresa Downing
Social Sciences Dept, Ca Polytechnic State Univ
January 3, 2017

Scott Sernau's book Social Inequality is a Global Age, 5th Edition is an outstanding book that thoroughly reviews the institutional, spatial, and political-economic aspects of social stratification. In my view, some of the major strengths of the book are its lively and contemporary coverage of inequality issues, both in the United States and globally, and its last chapter which links social inequality to social change by providing an excellent overview of social movements and their role in transforming social inequalities. An affordable book highly recommended for courses focusing on social stratification and inequality.

Armando Mejia
Sociology Dept, California St Univ-Long Beach
October 5, 2016

The text has been updated to describe the growing economic divides and stagnant wages for many workers that are occurring despite the overall economic recovery.

 Tables and charts reflect the latest data on racial and gender gaps in wages, trends in poverty, trends in real wages, and real value of the minimum wage.

 The chapter on Racial and Ethnic Inequality (Ch. 5) includes a new section on “The Color of Justice” that looks at continuing inequalities in incarceration rates as well as new attention to arrests and shootings of black men.  

 Ch. 5 also includes new coverage of growing worries of bias and discrimination against Arab Americans and the overall Muslim population, and to racial incidents and protests on college campuses.  

 The chapter on Gender and Sexual Inequality (Ch. 6) contains a fuller examination of struggles over gay marriage; new directions in the LGBT movement, particularly among young adults; and greater attention to gender identity issues and transsexual individuals. 

 The chapter on Power and Politics (Ch. 8) includes new material on the post “Citizens United” state of campaign finance and the rapid growth of super-PACS.

 The chapter on Poverty and Place (Ch. 10) includes expanded attention to housing costs and the suburbanization of poverty.

 The chapter on Poverty and Policy (Ch. 11) includes debates about the Affordable Care Act (especially in regard to expansion of Medicaid eligibility), tax policy, minimum wage raises, and regulation/deregulation of the financial and investment sector.

 The emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement is included in the chapter on Social Movements (Ch. 12).

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

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ISBN: 9781483373973