The low down on 'The Sociology Book'
Ever since the DK 'Big Ideas' series came into being, I've loved the premise. Glancing over 'The Philosophy Book' and 'The Psychology Book' has proved life-saving during times of panic over some interdisciplinary aspect. It'd be great if they produced one for Sociology I thought! Then on the 1 July 2015 my wish came true and 'The Sociology Book' was published. Lets see if its claim to be 'an innovative and accessible guide to Sociology' really is the case...
Before I bought a copy of the book, it was important to me to see the authorship carried credibility rather than mickey mouse's take on things. The main players are indeed Sociology lecturers across England, researching and teaching themselves - the first test passed.
The Layout and Content
I was sceptical of the layout at first because the pictorial content could've been too garish and childish. But, I found it well laid-out with each theorist's pages containing a balance between text, mind maps and images. Sections such as 'Social Inequalities' and 'Living in a Global World' makes for easy navigation and far from patronising, the given titles work well to signpost to the key theorists. For example, 'Social Inequalities' points you to the likes of Pierre Bourdieu, Sylvia Walby and Bell Hooks. An interesting summary of a broad range of issues - in this sense it does what it claims to.
The book could please both students who need a go-to guide on key topics/ theorists, or novices wanting to learn more. The friendly writing style with less of the usual bulk makes the concepts more appealing so I can see myself consulting it in and out of my studies.
The Final Verdict
:) Accessible explanation makes the book a good tool for quick reference and can be handy to get your head around complex sociological ideas.
:) The lack of critique allows the reader to make their own judgement on the relevancy of the information in contemporary society.
:( On a side note, it would've been useful for any direct quotes to note the page number/title of the original source.
Why don't you make your own mind up about the book? The RRP is £16.99 but you can get hold of a copy cheaply from The Works. Or why not borrow from your local public library!