Skip to content

Intro to Soc

Forthcoming in 2021, a revitalized text for introduction to sociology. To listen to an overview and sign up for updates, click here.

About the title:

Through writing this book, ever-present in my mind has been the fact that any student inspired to take sociology seriously is in for a ride. Sociology’s lessons are, in equal parts, inspiration and outrage. It’s a pleasure to master its concepts and see the world anew. But it’s painful to absorb the truth about social inequality. Harder still, perhaps, to accept that there are social forces over which we have little control.

Sociology is a delight. It’s also a gut punch.

In The Sociological Imagination, C. Wright Mills makes this observation about sociology, writing: “In many ways it is a terrible lesson; in many ways a magnificent one.” Characteristically, Mills did not parse words. Sociology’s lessons are not just hard; they’re terrible. But learning them is not merely good; it’s magnificent. I let this quote guide me. I spared students no pain; there is brutal honesty in my book. But I did my best to buoy them with sociology’s magnificence. There’s truly nothing like it.

So it felt right, in the end, to choose a title that reflects both the pain and pleasure of developing a sociological imagination. Introducing Terrible Magnificent Sociology. A startling title meant to capture our field in all its raw glory. I can’t wait for you to see it.

Read more: On decanonizing the Introduction to Sociology text.

%d bloggers like this: