A while back, in response to a Burner’s request, I queried some of my colleagues and posted a short list of recommended readings for newcomers to the disciplines of sociology and anthropology.
But what if you want an easy-to-read overview of sociological classics, as well as recent research? Jay Gabler’s Sociology for Dummies (Wiley, 2010) is a good place to start.*
In addition, the quarterly magazine Contexts, published by the American Sociological Association, features short articles on a variety of contemporary topics (immigration, consumption, aging, gender roles, etc.). Written for a general audience, it’s a compelling introduction to recent research and the sociological imagination.
*: Gabler also is the co-author of Reconstructing the University: Worldwide Shifts in Academia in the 20th Century (with David J. Frank, Stanford University Press, 2006).