21st Century Sociology: A Reference Handbook provides a concise forum through which the vast array of knowledge accumulated, particularly during the past three decades, can be organized into a single definitive resource. The two volumes of this Reference Handbook focus on the corpus of knowledge garnered in traditional areas of sociological inquiry, as well as document the general orientation of the newer and currently emerging areas of sociological inquiry.
Since the earliest-known writings on the nature of human societies, there has been recognition that social stratification is a central part of all human organization (Lenski 1966). In his Politics, in 350 BCE, Aristotle wrote of the natural ranking of free people and slaves. More recently, ...