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This updated Fifth Edition of Scott Sernau?s acclaimed text provides a sociological framework for analyzing inequality within the United States in the context of global stratification and a rapidly changing world economy. With insightful analysis, the text provides an accessible introduction to stratification systems and the structural and personal realities of growing class divides. Using examples drawn straight from today?s headlines, Sernau explores each dimension of inequality as he analyzes the relationship between changing global power and growing inequalities within countries. Throughout, a focus on social action and community engagement encourages students to become involved, active learners in the classroom and engaged citizens in their communities.