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The Australian Way of Life adopts a broad and flexible approach to sociology that illustrates ‘the sociological endeavour’ – the ongoing effort to understand and describe our changing world. The book begins with two introductory chapters. Chapter 1 lays the foundation for the four key sociological themes addressed throughout the book: Questioning things we take for granted; Examining social life from difference perspectives; Appreciating the advent of modernity; Examining social division, social inequality and social difference. This is followed by an introduction to sociological theory which readers can return to as they consider different perspectives. The structure and layout of the five parts that follow, offers readers flexibility to pursue their own interests, while enriching their appreciation of the sociological endeavour. Part 1 – The stuff of life: landscape, food, water, health, time and space; Part 2 – Fit for life: family, education, working, law and crime; Part 3 – Modern life: identity, location, colonialism, communities; Part 4 – Life chances: sex and gender, class and poverty, the life course, Aboriginality; Part 5 – Life style: mass media, leisure, consumption, religion. The interconnectedness of various issues is highlighted throughout the book. Also included are reflective markers which provide questions for consideration, margin notes and end of chapter discussion questions.
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