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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 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 take one small step closer to social equality.

The Integrated Workbook Edition of this text was conceived of by Suzanne Latham, who felt that the text, coupled with an embedded workbook providing students with opportunities to interact with, reflect upon and recall concepts and theories, would significantly enhance their learning experience and understanding of the field of sociology. In addition to the new workbook element, this edition also includes updates to data and discussion of current issues.

This textbook was made possible through the Lansing Community College (LCC) Open Educational Resources (OER) award program. A special thanks is owed to the following for their support of this project: LCC SOCL-ANTH Program Faculty and LCC Students; Denise Warner, LCC Center for Teaching Excellence OER Faculty Fellow; and Megan Lin, LCC Center for Teaching Excellence Director. Thanks is also due to the generous donation of Steve Barkan, author of Sociology: Understanding and Changing the Social World, from which the original edition of this OER, Exploring Our Social World: The Story of Us, was remixed and revised. In addition, we have included several subsections from the OpenStax Introduction to Sociology, 2nd edition and Introduction to Sociology, 3rd edition OER textbooks. Images in this text come from a variety of sources, with commons.wikimedia.org, pexels.com, flickr.com and pixabay.com, serving as primary repositories from which we drew.

This text was envisioned as an essentials text, providing coverage of the main areas of study reviewed in most introduction to sociology 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.


Exploring Our Social World : The Story of Us, Integrated Workbook Edition (2022) by Jean M. Ramirez, Suzanne Latham, Rudy G. Hernandez and Alicia E. Juskewycz is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International License.


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Exploring Our Social World: The Story of Us by Jean M. Ramirez; Suzanne Latham; Rudy G. Hernandez; and Alicia E. Juskewycz is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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