Producing textbook sociology

Jeff Manza, Michael Sauder, Nathan Wright

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The conservative role of the textbook in reproducing the dominant ideas of a disciplinary field is well known. The factors driving that content have remained almost entirely unexamined. Reviewing the universe of textbooks aimed at the American market between 1998 and 2004, we explore the persistence of the identification in American sociology textbooks of a paradigm in which structural functionalism, conflict theory, and symbolic interactionism are used to frame the theoretical core of the discipline. We examine how over time the textbook market produces both supply and demand pressures to reproduce content that is at odds with the mainstream of the profession. We draw upon in-depth interviews with recent textbook authors and their editors.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)271-304
    Number of pages34
    JournalArchives Europeennes de Sociologie
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Aug 2010


    • Introductory Sociology
    • Sociological Pedagogy
    • Sociological Theory

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Sociology and Political Science


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