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Resources for Sociology

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Sociology, the study of social relationships and social processes, is a diverse field which includes family research, social change, community research, aging, and many other subfields. This guide lists major library resources for sociology research. It is not complete; please don't hesitate to ask a librarian for help if you aren't finding what you need.

You may also find the guides to Criminal Justice and Women's Studies useful for sociological topics.

Table of Contents:

Indexes and Databases
  • Academic Search Premier
    The world's largest academic multi-disciplinary database, Academic Search Premier indexes nearly 8,050 publications and provides full text for nearly 4,600, including more than 3,500 peer-reviewed journals. Coverage also includes many newspapers and popular magazines and spans virtually every area of academic study since 1975. Updated daily. Access is provided by the Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM). View our Academic Search Premier tutorial.
    1975-present; updated daily
  • Annual Review of Sociology
    Annual volume of review essays that examine an issue in depth and provide a review of relevant research.
  • Catalog of U.S. Government Publications
    an online version of the Monthly Catalog of U.S. Government Documents, covering publications from 1994 to May 2005. Note, many of these documents are not in our collection. The documents we receive currently are in the library catalog. To find documents published before 1994, consult the print version of the Monthly Catalog (Ref Gov Docs Z 1223 .A18; you may do well to consult a reference librarian since this catalog is quite difficult to use.)
  • Public Affairs Index
    Covers global contemporary public policy issues, ranging from public health, the environment, housing, human and civil rights, to international conflict and natural disasters. Draws on scholarly publications, conference papers, government documents and reference works.
    1972-present; updated weekly
  • ProQuest Statistical Insight
    Includes summaries of statistical publications and searches and displays tables of statistical data. Statistical Insight includes links to the full-text of selected publications and government web sites, including the information contained in the Statistical Abstract of the United States.
  • Web of Science (Web of Knowledge)
    The Science Citation Index Expanded, the Social Sciences Citation Index, and the Arts & Humanities Citation Index of the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI). Besides indexing a wide range of journals in the sciences, social sciences, and history, this resource allows you to search for articles that cite a specific author or published work. Coverage from 1997 to the present. Click on the "Web of Science" tab to limit your search to one or more specific citation databases.
Reference Works
  • Dictionaries
    • Dictionary of Sociology
      Oxford University Press 3rd edition
      Compiled by an expert team of sociologists under the editorship of Gordon Marshall and John Scott, this dictionary spans an international range of terms, methods, and concepts. Fully revised and up to date, the third edition includes biographies of key figures, such as Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, and entries on topics ranging from environmental determinism to orientalism. Also included are entries on related terms from psychology, economics, anthropology, philosophy, and political science, as well as real-life examples of theories in practice.
  • Encyclopedias
    • Encyclopedia of Social Theory
      Thousand Oaks, CA: A Sage 2005
      Covers both theories and theorists, classical and cutting-edge. Quite useful for decoding complex theoretical positions and providing key formative works.
      • Location(s): Ref HM 425 .E47 2005
    • Encyclopedia of Sociology
      Macmillan 2000 2nd edition
      This set provides up-to-date and scholarly discussions of topics in the field such as class and race, ethnicity, economic sociology, and social structure. Each article is written by a specialist and all have excellent bibliographies.
      • Location(s): Ref HM425 .E5 2000
      5 vols.
    • International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences
      Macmillan Reference 2008 2nd edition
      A massive encyclopedia of social sciences topics, with each article written by an expert. Very useful for reviewing key theorists and learning how the social sciences have approached topics from a research angle.
      • Location(s): Ref H 40 .A2 I5 2008 (9 vols)
    • Sage Encyclopedia of Social Science Research Methods
      Thousand Oaks: Sage 2004
      A thorough treatment of a variety of research methods and tools, covering definitions of terms, topical essays on concepts, and overviews of specific methods, outlining their nature, history, application, and reasons to choose one method over another. Both qualitative and quantitative methods and concepts are included.
      • Location(s): Ref H 62 .L456 2004
    • Social Science Encyclopedia
      London: Routledge 2004 3rd ed. edition
      Covers controversies and common assumptions in the fields of social science, including anthropology, psychology, economics, sociology, political theory, and gender studies. Contributors are drawn from many disciplines and represent perspectives from the US, the UK and beyond.
      • Location(s): Ref H 41 .S63 2004
  • Special Topics
    • Adolescence in America: an Encyclopedia
      Santa Barbara California: ABC-CLIO 2001
      Provides articles on topics related to adolescence. Topics include academic achievement, depression, gender differences, juvenile crime, peer pressure, self-esteem and television.
      • Location(s): Ref HQ796.A33244 2001
    • Growing Up: A Cross-Cultural Encyclopedia
      Santa Barbara: ABC-Clio 1995
      Offers articles on a wide variety of topics relating to childhood, examining the different ways cultures raise children. Topics addressed include adoption, competition and cooperation, developmental stages, fatherhood, language acquisition, parenting styles, sex (gender) identity, and parents' preference for boy or girl children.
      • Location(s): Ref HQ767.84 .B76 1995
    • Encyclopedia of Aging
      New York: Springer 2001
      Covers topics related to aging in brief articles.
      • Location(s): Ref HQ1061 .E53 2001
    • Encyclopedia of Drugs, Alcohol, and Addictive Behavior
      Macmillan 2001 3rd edition
      Includes articles on crime and alcohol, crime and drugs, legal aspects of drug abuse, specific drugs, physiological aspects of addiction, and more.
      • Location(s): Ref HV 5804 .E53 2009
      4 vols.
    • Encyclopedia of Family Life
      Pasadena, California: Salem Press 1999
      Offers articles on various topics concerning family issues. Articles define terms, and cover historical trends and events, health, people, laws, organizations, etc.
      • Location(s): Ref HQ534.E53 1999
    • Encyclopedia of Food and Culture
      New York: Scribner 2003
      A wide-ranging exploration of food and its cultural significance worldwide.
      • Location(s): Ref GT 2850 .E53 2003
    • Encyclopedia of Homelessness
      Sage 2004
      Presents articles that describe patterns of homelessness, historically and in the contemporary world, causes, legal issues, advocacy, legislation, issues facing the homeless, research, and the extent and nature of homelessness in cities and countries around the world. Includes a number of primary source documents.
      • Location(s): Ref HV 4493 .E53 2004
      2 vols.
    • Encyclopedia of Urban America: The Cities and the Suburbs
      Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO 1998
      Entries cover people, major cities and suburbs and topics and issues related to cities and suburbs. Entries include topics such as "apartment buildings", "hospitals" "public housing" and "white flight".
      • Location(s): Ref HT123.E5 1998
      2 vols.
    • Gay Histories and Cultures: An Encyclopedia
      New York: Garland 2000
      Half of the encyclopedia contains biographies of prominent current and historical gay figures, but the work also contains articles related to culture, cultural identities, education, law, politics, psychology, sociology and theory.
      • Location(s): Ref HQ75.13.G37 2000
    • Lesbian Histories and Cultures: An Encyclopedia
      New York: Garland 2000
      Half of the encyclopedia contains biographies of prominent current and historical lesbian figures, the volume also contains articles related to culture, cultural identities, education, law, politics, psychology, sociology and theory.
      • Location(s): Ref HQ75.5.L4395 2000
    • International Encyclopedia of Marriage and Family
      New York: Macmillan 2003 2nd ed. edition
      Surveys patterns in marriage and family life throughout the world, covering topics such as intimacy, intergenerational relations, family policy, gender, and sexuality, as well as coverage of family life in fifty countries.
      • Location(s): Ref HQ 9 .E52 2003
      4 vols.
    • Violence in America
      Scribner 1999
      Explores the various facets of violence in nearly 600 articles on historical events, types of violence, research on violence, social issues, violence in the arts and popular culture, etc.
      • Location(s): Ref HN 90 .V5 V5474 1999
      3 vols.
  • Social History
    • Encyclopedia of American Social History
      New York: Scribner's 1993
      Filling in the holes left in conventional political/biographical history sources, this set covers topics such as religion, class, gender, race, popular culture, regionalism, and everyday life from pre-Columbian to modern times in lengthy and well-documented articles.
      • Location(s): Ref HN 57 .E58 1993 (3 vols.)
    • Encyclopedia of European Social History from 1350 to 2000
      New York: Scribner 2001
      6 vols. Offers substantial, well-documented survey essays on topics such as social change, urban and rural life, gender, popular culture, religion, and everyday life.
      • Location(s): Ref HN373 .E63 2001
Browsing for Books
Books are shelved in general subject categories using the Library of Congress classification system. You may want to supplement your use of the catalog with browsing shelf areas for your topic. Below is a brief listing of some of the subject locations in the field of sociology.
  • H Social Sciences - General
  • HA Statistics
  • HM Sociology
  • HN Social history, social problems, social reform
  • HQ The family. Marriage. Women
    • 12-449 Sexuality
    • 503-1064 Marriage and the family
    • 1101-2030 Women, Feminism
    • 1121-1154 history
    • 1180 Women's Studies
    • 1236 Women and the state
    • 1381 Women and Economics
    • 1393 Women and Religion
    • 1402 - 1870.5 Women in regions or countries
  • HT Communities, classes, races
    • 101-384 Urban Society
    • 390-395 Regional Planning
    • 401-485 Rural sociology
    • 601-1445 Classes
    • 1501-1595 Races
  • HV Social pathology; social and public welfare; criminology
    • 597-4959 Protection, Assistance, Relief
    • 5001-5720 Alcoholism
    • 5800-5840 Drug Abuse
    • 6001-9920 Criminology


Print journals are housed in the periodicals collection on the first floor of the library.
  • American Sociological Review
  • Contemporary Drug Problems
  • Contemporary Sociology
  • Feminist Studies
  • Journal of Anthropological Research
  • Journal of the History of Sexuality
  • Language in Society
  • Social Forces
  • Social Psychology Quarterly
  • General
    • Internet Crossroads in Social Science Data 2007
      Offers over 700 annotated links to data sources available on the Internet. Searchable by keyword or browseable by category, the site includes links to government and non-government sites concerned with domestic and international economics and labor, health, education, geography and history, politics, sociology, and demography. From the Data and Program Library Service, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
    • SocioSite 1996-2007
      A host of links arranged in 18 categories and, within those categories, by country. Of particular note are the sections on sociologists, subjects in sociology, and data archives. Maintained at the University of Amsterdam by Albert Benschop.
    • Intute: Social Science 2006
      A selective, annotated catalog of thousands of Web sites in the social sciences, hosted in the United Kingdom. Users can browse by topic and region or search by keyword. Each entry has been reviewed and is annotated. The focus is on quality sites that provide information directly, rather than link to other sites. An excellent resource for international social science data.
  • Social Services and Policy
    • Social Work and Social Services Web Sites
      A no-frills directory of links covering topics such as families, health care, poverty, crisis intervention, and welfare. From the George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis.
    • Urban Institute 2006
      A non-partisan organization devoted to research on economic and social policy. Includes a wealth of reports by topic as well as analysis of issues.
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