Finding the best sociology books for beginners can be a great way to introduce yourself to this fascinating area of study. Sociology is the study of human social behavior, including its origin, development, and institutions. It can be a fascinating topic for anyone interested in learning more about how people interact with each other.

Unfortunately, sociology is often overlooked in favor of other disciplines, such as psychology or history. This is a shame, as sociology has a great deal to offer anyone who takes the time to learn about it. In addition to providing insight into human behavior, sociology can also help us to better understand the world around us.

For example, by understanding how social norms develop, we can begin to see why some cultures place emphasis on certain values while others do not. sociology can also help us to identify patterns in social behavior that can be used to predict future trends. In short, sociology is a discipline that has a great deal to offer anyone interested in learning about human behavior. Encouraging people to read books on sociology is an excellent way to increase understanding of this important field.

Here are the best sociology books for beginners…

The Sociology Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained by Sarah Tomley and Mitchel Hobbs

The Sociology Book is part of DK’s Big Ideas Simply Explained series. The book introduces readers to the major concepts and theories in sociology in a way that is simple and easy to follow. The book uses facts, charts, timelines and graphics to make things easy to learn visually. One of the strengths of the book is its clear and concise writing style, which makes complex ideas easy to understand. Another strength is the fantastic range of illustrations and graphics that really bring the topic to life.

The book covers most of the big themes in Sociology, including 80 of the key ideas from the world’s renowned sociologists. While this is certainly not a textbook likely to be prescribed by a University Sociology Professor if you’re looking for a fun and easy-to-follow introduction to Sociology – this may be the best book for you.

Mind, Self & Society by George Herbert Mead

George Herbert Mead’s Mind, Self & Society is considered one of the most essential works in sociology. The book is a collection of his lectures, as he actually published no books in his lifetime. George Herbert Mead was an American sociologist who is best known for his work on the sociology of mind. Mead was born in 1863 in South Hadley, Massachusetts. He studied at Harvard University and taught at the University of Michigan and then at the University of Chicago.

It was during his time in Chicago that Mead developed his theory of the sociology of mind. This theory posits that human beings develop self-consciousness through their interactions with others. In other words, we learn to see ourselves from the perspective of others. Mead’s work on the sociology of mind was extremely influential and continues to be studied by sociologists today. This influential work has had a profound impact on sociology and continues to be studied and discussed by scholars today.

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

The Tipping Point is a sociology book written by Malcolm Gladwell that talks about how small changes can make a big impact. The book claims that there are three main concepts that will lead to something going viral or becoming popular. The first concept is the “Law of the Few”, meaning that certain people are more influential than others and are more likely to start a trend. The second concept is “The Stickiness Factor”, which is how well something catches on and how long it lasts. The last concept is “The Power of Context”, which states that people are influenced by their environment and the people around them.

All of these concepts work together to create a tipping point, where an idea or trend suddenly becomes popular. The book uses examples real-world examples of brands you’re familiar with to explain how these concepts work in the real world. Overall, The Tipping Point is an interesting book that explains why some things become popular while others do not.

Sociology Matters by Richard T. Schaefer

Richard T. Schaefer’s book, Sociology Matters, is a concise Introduction to sociology that covers a wide range of topics. The book begins with a discussion of the history and development of sociology as a field of study. It then looks at the methods sociologists use to conduct research and analyze data. The book also covers major sociological theories, including functionalism, conflict theory, and symbolic interactions.

In addition, Schaefer addresses important social issues such as race, gender, and poverty. With its clear explanations and vivid examples, Sociology Matters is an essential guide to understanding sociology today.

Upheavals of Thought by Martha Nussbaum

Upheavals of Thought is a book by Martha Nussbaum that looks at the sociology of emotions. In particular, Nussbaum looks at how different societies deal with different emotions, and how this can lead to different outcomes. For example, she looks at how American society tends to handle anger, and how this can lead to both positive and negative results. On the one hand, American society encourages people to express their anger, which can lead to productive change.

On the other hand, it can also lead to violence and aggression. Nussbaum also looks at other emotions such as love, sadness, and fear, and how they are dealt with in different societies. Overall, Upheavals of Thought is a fascinating look at the sociology of emotions, and how they can affect both individuals and societies.

Everything is Obvious (Once you know the Answer) by Duncan J. Watts

In his book, Everything is Obvious (Once you know the Answer), Duncan J. Watts explores the sociology of knowledge and how we believe we understand human behaviour when often we have no idea! He argues that we often mistake our own personal experiences for objective truth when in reality they are heavily influenced by our cultural and social backgrounds. We also use history and reasoning to back up our reasoning of predictions for the future but seem to continuously get this wrong.

Watts urges us to be more critical of our assumptions and to question everything, even (and especially) the things that everyone takes for granted. By doing so, we can begin to see the world more clearly and make better decisions. His arguments in this book have important implications for areas like business, marketing and even politics.

Introduction to Sociology by Deborah Carr, Anthony Giddens, Mitchell Duneier and Richard P. Appelbaum

Introduction to Sociology is a book written by four sociology professors: Deborah Carr, Anthony Giddens, Mitchell Duneier, and Richard P. Appelbaum. In the book, they explore the origins of sociology and its key concepts. They also provide an overview of different sociological perspectives, research methods, and applications of sociology in the real world. The book is intended for sociology students, but it is also a useful resource for anyone interested in learning more about the discipline.

The book starts with an introduction to the history and origins of sociology. The authors then go on to explain the key concepts of sociology, such as socialization, culture, deviance, and social inequality. They also discuss different sociological perspectives, such as functionalism, conflict theory, and symbolic interactionism. In addition, the book covers research methods in sociology and how sociology can be applied to real-world issues.

Overall, Introduction to Sociology is a comprehensive and accessible introduction to the field of sociology. It is an essential resource for sociology students, but it is also valuable for anyone who wants to learn more about sociology and its applications.

The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life by Erving Goffman

The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, published in 1959, is a sociology book by Erving Goffman. In it, Goffman uses the concept of how people present themselves in different social situations. He argues that we all have a “front stage” and a “backstage” self and that we put on different masks depending on the context. For example, when we are at work, we present ourselves as competent and professional, while at home with our family, we may be more relaxed and informal.

Goffman’s book has been highly influential in sociology and has helped to shape our understanding of how self-presentation works. Erving Goffman was Benjamin Franklin Professor of Anthropology and Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania until his death in 1982. He is recognized as one of the world’s foremost social theorists and much of his work still remains in print. 

The Social Construction of Reality by Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckman

In their book The Social Construction of Reality, Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann discuss the role of sociology in shaping our perceptions of reality. The book offers a detailed exploration of how social institutions and relationships help to create our beliefs and values. Berger and Luckmann argue that sociological factors play a significant role in shaping our individual and collective identities.

In addition, the book provides a number of case studies demonstrating how the construction of reality can have far-reaching consequences. Overall, The Social Construction of Reality offers a fascinating and insightful look at the sociology of knowledge.

The Sociological Imagination by C. Wright Mills

The Sociological Imagination is a book by C. Wright Mills that was first published in 1959. In it, Mills argues that sociology is the study of human behavior in social contexts and that it has the potential to reveal the underlying causes of various social ills. He further contends that sociological imagination can help us to see the personal problems we face in broader social terms and to develop more humane solutions to those problems.

While The Sociological Imagination is primarily a work of sociology, it also has important implications for politics, economics, and even philosophy. In recent years, it has become one of the most influential books in sociology, and its ideas have been applied to a wide range of social issues.

Discover Sociology by Daina Eglitis, Susan Wortmann and William Chambliss

Sociology is a social science that uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about social order, acceptance, and change. It can be studied at the micro level of individual agency and interaction or at the macro level of systems and social structures. Discover sociology by Daina Eglitis, Susan Wortmann and William Chambliss introduce readers to the discipline of sociology and its core concepts.

The book provides an overview of the history and development of sociology as a field of study, as well as its major theoretical perspectives. In addition, it discusses the research methods used in sociology and explores the many ways in which sociology can be applied to our understanding of the social world. Discover sociology is an essential text for anyone interested in learning more about this fascinating field of study.

sociology books for beginners

What is Sociology?

Sociology is the study of human social relationships and institutions. Sociologists investigate the structure of groups, organizations, and societies, and how people interact within these contexts. Social interaction can be studied at different levels, from small groups to entire societies. The focus of sociology is on the patterns of behavior that emerge from social interactions. These patterns can be observed in how people communicate, how they make decisions, how they resolve conflict, and how they interact with one another on a daily basis.

By understanding these patterns, sociologists can gain insights into the essential nature of human social behavior. In addition, sociology can also be used to develop theories about how social change happens and to test those theories against empirical data. As such, sociology is a powerful tool for understanding the complexities of human social life.

Why is Sociology Important?

Sociology’s subject matter is diverse, ranging from crime to religion, from the family to the state, from social movements to public opinion, from deviance to art, from race and ethnicity to gender. Because sociology studies the behavior of people in groups, it is an important tool for understanding social change and for developing interventions to mitigate social problems. Additionally, sociology can help individuals understand their own lives and experiences by providing a framework for understanding the structure and function of society.

Sociology can also be used to promote social change by informing individuals about inequality and injustice. sociology provides both a micro-level and macro-level analysis of social phenomena, which makes it a valuable tool for understanding individual behavior as well as large-scale social trends. In sum, sociology is important because it helps us understand the social world we live in and provides a framework for promoting social change.

If you enjoyed this reading list of the best sociology books for beginners, you may also enjoy the best psychology books for beginners.

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one and make a purchase, The Reading Lists may earn a small commission. This comes at no additional cost to you and helps keep our site running. Thanks for your support!