Just Sociology

Sociology Reading List: Best Books Textbooks and Teaching Resources

Sociology is a vast field that is concerned with understanding and analyzing human behavior and the social structures that guide it. As such, it requires the utilization of different methods and theories to capture societal nuances and complexities.

For students and enthusiasts of sociology, having access to relevant reading materials is crucial for gaining a deeper understanding of the discipline. In this paper, we will explore different subtopics within the sociological field and recommend some of the best books, textbooks, and teaching resources for each area.

Good Books Written by Actual Sociologists

Sociologists have authored numerous books that provide an in-depth understanding of social phenomena. Some highly recommended ones include Fear of Freedom by Erich Fromm, which delves into the reasons behind an individual’s desire to surrender to authoritarianism.

The Condition of Post-Modernity by David Harvey assesses the societal transitions from modernity to post-modernity, while Modernity and Self-identity by Anthony Giddens explores the impact of modernity on the development of the self. Additionally, Zygmunt Bauman has written several highly-recommended books on the subject, including Runaway World and Liquid Modernity, which examine the impact of globalization on societal structures.

In Tyranny of the Moment, Bauman explores how the fast-paced nature of life influences social behavior. Lastly, Sudhir Venkateshs Gang Leader for a Day follows the journey of a graduate student who gets involved with a gang in Chicago and examines the issues surrounding poverty, race, and power within such groups.

The The Spirit Level by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett also looks at inequality in a comprehensive way.

Good Books with Sociological Content (But Not Necessarily Written by Actual Sociologists)

Several authors have written books with strong sociological content, exploring topics such as capitalism, inequality, and global governance from different perspectives. The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein highlights the way in which global policymakers have exploited crises such as natural disasters and economic recessions to further their political agendas.

23 Things They Dont Tell You About Capitalism by Ha-Joon Chang interrogates several of the popular myths associated with capitalism. The Equality Illusion by Kat Banyard explores entrenched gender inequalities in the UK.

Paul Collier’s The Bottom Billion illuminates the challenges that face the world’s poorest nations. Hegemony or Survival: Americas Quest for Global Dominance by Noam Chomsky provides a critical analysis of Americas imperial ambitions.

Finally, Early Retirement Extreme by Jacob Lund Fisker discusses early retirement as a way of countering the capitalist norm of perpetual overwork.

Good Introductory Sociology Textbooks

For those starting their journey in the field of sociology, introductory textbooks can be an excellent resource to understand the foundational concepts and theoretical perspectives in sociology. Some highly recommended books include Essential Concepts in Sociology by Anthony Giddens, Thinking Sociologically by Zygmunt Bauman, and Doing Sociology by David J.

Hague. These books cover key topics such as sociological imagination, social structures, and social action.

Additionally, Environment and Urbanism by Sue Parnell and Harriet Bulkeley explores the way humans relate to the urban living environment, while Structures of Society by Niklas Luhmann provides a systems theory approach to sociology. Unequal Life Chances by Mike ODonnell and Sue Sharpe explores how inequality shapes life chances, while Relationships and the Life Course by Alan Cribb examines how relationships shape individual experiences.

Edley and Wetherells Interaction and Communication focuses on the interaction between individuals within social environments. In Health, Illness, and the Body, Kevin White explores the social dimensions of health and illness, while Crime and Social Control by Ian Marsh and Gaynor Melville provides a comprehensive overview of the different theories and perspectives in criminology.

Finally, Political Sociology by Keith Faulks provides an in-depth insight into the complexities of politics from a sociological point of view.

Good Contemporary A-Level Sociology Textbooks

A-Level study refers to the UK’s academic standard, and as such, resources have been specifically tailored to suit the A-Level curriculum. Some highly recommended contemporary textbooks include Sociology for AQA Volume One by Dave O’Leary et al., AQA A Level Sociology Book One including AS Level by Rob Webb et al., and Sociology AQA A-Level Year 1 and AS by Dave Aiken et al.

These textbooks cover relevant topics such as culture, identity, media, and power in contemporary Britain, as required by the AQA curriculum.

Good Textbooks for Specific Areas within Sociology

Sociology is a vast field, and some textbooks have been tailored to specific areas of focus. These include Social Research Methods by Alan Bryman, which provides an overview of the different methods available to social researchers.

Researching Social Life by Nigel Gilbert et al., covers the research process from design to analysis, using concrete examples of contemporary studies. AS Sociology for AQA by Joan Garrod and Tony Lawson, explores how sociological research methods can be applied to the study of education.

Sociology Teaching Resources for Sale

Teaching resources can be helpful for teachers and lecturers in preparing their lessons and delivering them. Some examples of the resources on the market include Teaching Resource Pack by Mark Peace et al.

This pack is designed to accompany the Sociology of Education textbook but includes gapped summary grids, analysis activities, and topical material related to the current AQA specification. Additionally, subscription services such as Key Concepts in Sociology and Key Issues in Sociology provide access to a comprehensive library of teaching resources, including lesson plans, PowerPoints, and printable handouts.


Sociology is a broad discipline, and as such, the book recommendations provided in this paper represent a sample of the wide range of relevant material available. By providing recommendations across different subtopics, we hope to guide students and enthusiasts of sociology towards valuable resources that can deepen their knowledge and understanding of the field.

In conclusion, this article has provided recommendations for books, textbooks, and teaching resources for various subtopics in the field of sociology. From foundational concepts to specific areas of focus, the resources listed here will provide students and enthusiasts of sociology with a deeper understanding of the discipline.

By reading these materials and engaging with the ideas presented, readers can develop their sociological imagination and gain a greater appreciation for the complexities of human behavior and social structures. FAQs:


What are some recommended books written by actual sociologists? – Some highly recommended books written by sociologists include “Fear of Freedom” by Erich Fromm, “The Condition of Post-Modernity” by David Harvey, and “Modernity and Self-identity” by Anthony Giddens.

2. What are some good introductory textbooks for sociology?

– Highly recommended introductory textbooks include “Essential Concepts in Sociology” by Anthony Giddens, “Thinking Sociologically” by Zygmunt Bauman, and “Doing Sociology” by David J. Hague.

3. What are some good teaching resources for sociology?

– Some example resources include the “Teaching Resource Pack” by Mark Peace et al, “Key Concepts in Sociology,” and “Key Issues in Sociology.”

4. What are some recommended A-Level sociology textbooks?

– Highly recommended contemporary A-Level textbooks include “Sociology for AQA Volume One” by Dave O’Leary et al., “AQA A Level Sociology Book One including AS Level” by Rob Webb et al., and “Sociology AQA A-Level Year 1 and AS” by Dave Aiken et al. 5.

What are some good textbooks for specific areas within sociology? – Some examples of recommended textbooks for specific areas within sociology include “Social Research Methods” by Alan Bryman and “Researching Social Life” by Nigel Gilbert et al.

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