Perspectives on Contemporary Issues,
9th Edition

Katherine Anne Ackley

ISBN-13: 9780357946176
Copyright 2025 | Published
448 pages | List Price: USD $0.00

Packed with readings on current and often controversial topics from across the disciplines, Ackley's PERSPECTIVES ON CONTEMPORARY ISSUES, 9th Edition, equips you to think, read and write critically. Part I emphasizes writing and research, with separate chapters on reading critically, the writing process, writing a summary, the critique, argumentation, synthesis requiring documentation and the research paper. Part II consists of sometimes provocative, always intriguing, readings on various topics across the academic disciplines. Each reading is followed by a brief reading quiz for review, questions that help you make a personal connection by applying the topic to your life and questions for the classroom or small-group discussion. Unique "Responding to Visuals" sections prompt you to analyze images.


1. Reading Critically.
"Culture Bundling and Other Obstacles to a Real Gun Control Debate," Ken White.
2. The Writing Process.
“When Good People Do Bad Things,” Anne Trafton.
3. Writing a Summary.
"Dream Machines," Will Wright.
4. Writing a Critique.
"Liberal Arts and the Bottom Line," Lane Wallace.
5. Writing an Argument.
"Why Legalizing Organ Sales Would Help to Save Lives, End Violence," Anthony Gregory.
6. Writing a Synthesis and Documenting Sources.
7. Conducting Research.
8. Writing a Research Paper.
9. Pop Culture and the Arts.
“Is Playing Violent Video Games Related to Teens’ Mental Health?” Danielle Ramo. “How Sci-Fi and Fantasay Change the World,” Monica Jimenez. “Problems in Pop Culture,” Weston Zebbra. “Pop Music: The World’s Most Important Art Form,” Paul McGuiness."Scientists aren't the Only Innovators: We Really Need Artists," Sarah Lewis.
10. Technology and Society.
"Why I just Asked My Students to Put Their Laptops Away," Clay Shirky. “ChatGPT, DALL-E 2 and the Collapse of the Creative Process,” Nir Eisikovits and Alec Stubbs. “ChatGPT is a Plague Upon Education,” Jeremy Weissman. “How ChatGPT Can Improve Education, Not Threaten It,” John Villasenor. “AI Has Social Consequences, but Who Pays the Price?” by Casey Fiesler.
11. Education.
"Critical Thinking? You Need Knowledge," Diane Ravitch. "Excerpt from Why School? A Student in a Community College Basic Skills Program," Mike Rose. "A Liberal Arts Education Has Tremendous Value," E. Bruce Pitman. “These High School ‘Classics’ Have Been Taught for Generations—Could They be on Their Way Out?” Andrew Newman. “Book Bans Reflect Outdated Beliefs About How Children Read,” Trisha Tucker.
12. Public Health.
“The Covid Culture War: At What Point Should Personal Freedom Yield to the Common Good?” Dennis Wagner. “We’re Overlooking a Major Culprit in the Opioid Crisis,” Maia Szalavitz. “Kidneys for Sale: A Reconsideration,” Miriam Schulman. “Social Media is a Public Health Crisis. Let’s Treat It Like One,” Helen Lee Bouygues. “Homelessness: The Overlooked Public Health Crisis,” Sam Goodman.
13. Gender and Identity.
“The Gender Biases That Shape Our Brains,” Melissa Hogenbook. “How Toys Became Gendered,” Megan K. Maas. “Gender Fluidity: What it is and Why Support Matters,” Sabra L. Katz-Wise.“How To Use Gender-Neutral Language, and Why It’s Important to Try,” Kim Elsesser. "Once Upon a Lifetime," Rizi Timane.
14. Equality and Discrimination.
"When I Was White," Sarah Valentine. "The School-to-Prison Pipeline," Marilyn Elias. “Latino Workers are Erased from a Picture-Perfect White World They Help Create,” Héctor Tobar. “Why It Took Me 25 Years to Come to Terms With Being Asian American,” Lindsay Arakawa. “Why are some Americans changing their names?” Kirsten Fermaglich.
15. Human Behavior.
"Revisiting the Stanford Prison Experiment: A Lesson in the Power of Situation," Philip Zimbardo. "The Real Lesson of the Stanford Prison Experiment," Maria Konnikov. "Willpower and Won't Power," Michael Shermer. “Being Copycats Might be Key to Being Human,” Connor Wood. “The Psychology Behind Why We Love (or Hate) Horror,” Haiyang Yang and Kuangjie Zhang.
16. Environmental Studies.
. "Global Warning: Get Up! Stand Up!" Bill McKibben. "The Sixth Extinction," Jeff Corwin. “Reforesting the U.S.: Here's Where We Can Put All Those Trees,” Susan Cook-Patton. “Conservation Scientists Can Train Wild Animals to Avoid Threats, but is it Ethical?” Daniel T. Blumstein, Catherine Price, and Thom Van Dooren. “Throwing Soup on a Van Gogh and Other Ways Young Climate Activists are Making Their Voices Heard,” Shannon Gibson.
17. Marketing and Consumerism.
"Every Nook and Cranny: The Dangerous Spread of Commercialized Culture," Gary Ruskin and Juliet Schor. “Does Capitalism Really Promote Consumerism?” Patrick Carroll. “What is Greenwashing?” Deena Robinson. “Stranger Things, Miller Lite, and the Power of Nostalgia in the Marketplace,” Brittany Hunter. “TikTok’s de-Influencers Tell You What Notto Buy.” Amelia Tait.
18. Glossary.

  • Katherine Anne Ackley

    Katherine Ackley taught in the English Department at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point for 23 years, served as coordinator of the Women's Studies Program for 10 years and assistant dean of Graduate Studies for five years. Her research interests center on women in literature with emphasis on literary representations of women's issues and, more recently, British crime writers. Her books include THE NOVELS OF BARBARA PYM (1989), WOMEN AND VIOLENCE IN LITERATURE: AN ESSAY COLLECTION (1990), MISOGYNY IN LITERATURE: AN ESSAY COLLECTION (1992) and ESSAYS FROM CONTEMPORARY CULTURE (2004, 5th Edition). The author of dozens of published articles, she received more than 20 grants for research and development and was the first woman to receive the UWSP University Scholar Award. Dr. Ackley earned a master's degree in English from Purdue University and a Ph.D. in English from Ball State University.

  • Enhanced learning objectives are integrated throughout, preceding each chapter with a clear set of goals that highlight the key concepts covered. These objectives focus students' attention on the subjects addressed in the chapter and guide them towards achieving specific learning outcomes.

  • All readings are now followed by short quizzes to promote student comprehension and retention of main points and key ideas. These quizzes also reinforce concepts covered in Chapter 1 on critical reading, specifically emphasizing the importance of recalling details of what they have read.

  • A new addition to the end of each chapter is the "Perspectives" section. In Part I, this feature reinforces chapter learning objectives and suggests further activities for students to apply what they have learned. Likewise, each chapter in Part II concludes with writing and research topics that prompt students to reflect on the issues and ideas presented in the readings of that chapter.

  • The text adopts a more relaxed, engaging tone by directly addressing students with the use of "you" and incorporating contractions.

  • Nearly all chapter titles have been revised to align with updated topics and readings. Examples include: "Media Studies" changed to "Technology and Society," "Poverty and Homelessness" to "Public Health," "Gender Studies" to "Gender and Identity" and "Racism and Discrimination" to "Equality and Discrimination."

  • With an increase to five readings per chapter, this edition offers students an even broader range of selections to engage with.

  • The book provides extensive coverage of the writing process in addition to a wealth of readings on contemporary -- and often controversial -- issues that will intrigue students as they relate the topics to their own lives and experiences.

  • Helping students further connect to the essays, each chapter in Part II includes a "Responding to Visuals" section that features two photographs or other images related to the thematic focus of the chapter along with questions on rhetorical strategies and other relevant information.

  • With its extensive coverage of how to read and write critically as well as its detailed guidelines for writing summary, critique, argument, synthesis and research papers, the title equips students with the tools they need to develop and strengthen their reading and writing skills, which they can immediately begin applying to their college courses and well beyond.

Cengage provides a range of supplements that are updated in coordination with the main title selection. For more information about these supplements, contact your Learning Consultant.