Sociologists teaching an introductory course focus on a wide array of topics, ranging from culture and socialization to institutional structures and stratification. One of the main lessons we impart to our students relates to the effects social inequalities have on our lives, particularly on the goals we establish for ourselves and families, and the structural barriers that serve to prohibit us from reaching these goals. For people who aspire to achieve upward social mobility, earning a college degree is a key means of doing so, however, with the rising costs of college education, access is increasingly out of reach for many. Community colleges are uniquely positioned to serve the American public by offering a quality education at a relatively low cost. Many community college professors teach at these institutions because they are invested in offering equitable access to higher education and desire to be part of a system that works toward this goal. To this end, we developed this text for our students because we know that rising textbook costs prohibit some of them from purchasing the materials necessary for their academic success. This text allows us to contribute one small piece to the educational equity puzzle and one small step closer to social equality.
This textbook was made possible through the Lansing Community College Open Educational Resources (OER) award program. A special thanks is owed to Regina Gong, for her vision and the support she provided us as we developed this text. Thanks is also due to the generous donation of Steve Barkan, author of Sociology: Understanding and Changing the Social World, from which Exploring Our Social World: The Story of Us has been remixed and revised. In addition, we have included several subsections from Introduction to Sociology, 2ed from OpenStax. Images in this text come from a variety of sources, with commons.wikimedia.org, pexels.com and pixabay.com, serving as primary repositories from which we have drawn. Finally, thank you to those sociology faculty and students at Lansing Community College who were early adopters of this text and who generously offered their time and feedback to us.
This text was envisioned as an essentials text, providing coverage of the main areas of study reviewed in most introductory classes. With that said, we understand faculty may wish to tailor this text to meet their teaching objectives and the needs of their students, so please feel free to revise, remix and redistribute this text at will. We hope that this text provides faculty and students with a quality resource which aids students in achieving their academic goals.
Jean Ramirez, Professor of Sociology, Lansing Community College
Exploring Our Social World : The Story of Us by Jean Ramirez, Rudy Hernandez, Aliza Robison, Pamela Smith, and Willie Davis is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International License.