Main Content

SO 342 - Social Inequality


This guide will direct you to resources that will aid in the completion of your assignments for SO 342: Social Inequality. All of these resources can be accessed either on campus or remotely by entering in the S number on the back of your student ID.

If you need any assistance in using these resources or if you are having difficulty in locating information, please contact the Sociology Liaison Librarian.


Book Reviews

Use the resources below for information on how to write a critical book review. Please consult the assignment description provided to you by your professor, the below resources should only be used for guidance and brainstorming.

Reading a Non-Fiction Book to Review It (University of Wisconsin - Madison)
Writing Critical Book Reviews (University of Wisconsin - Madison)
Writing Book Reviews (Indiana University)

Examples of Critical Book Reviews:

Review of:  Privileged Places:  Race, Residence, and the Structure of Opportunity
Review of:  Unequal Childhoods:  Class, Race, and Family Life
Review of:  Age of Independence:  Interracial Unions, Same-Sex Unions and the Changing American Family


Reference Materials

Use reference materials to get an overview of the topic you are researching as well as to understand how sociologists approach your research topic. When using reference materials make note of any words that are used to describe your topic, these words can serve as keywords when it comes time to search for articles in online journal databases. Also, pay attention to the citations located at the end of topic entries, they can be used as a starting point for locating scholarly research.

Individual Reference Titles

21st Century Sociology:  A Reference Handbook

African American National Biography
     Ref E185.96 .A4466 (8 volumes)

Encyclopedia of Gender and Society

Encyclopedia of Race and Racism

Encyclopedia of Social Problems

Encyclopedia of Social Theory

Encyclopedia of Social Welfare History

Encyclopedia of Sociology

Encyclopedia of Urban America:  The Cities and Suburbs

Handbook of North American Indians
     Ref E77 .H25 (16 volumes)

Women in World History:  A Biographical Encyclopedia

Reference Databases

Gale Virtual Reference Library

CREDO Reference

CQ Researcher


Return to top


Books & More

Geisel Library Catalog
Use to locate books housed in Geisel Library. To see what books have recently been added to the Geisel Library collection, consult the New Books webpage and browse by subject area and month.

If you have searched the Geisel Library Catalog but could not locate a book on your topic try searching WorldCat, a database that allows you to search the collections of libraries throughout the United States. If you find a book that you want you can request it through Interlibrary Loan (ILL) by clicking on the "Request Via Interlibrary Loan link" in the book's catalog record. Your book(s) will be available for pickup in the library within 7-14 days. For assistance in using this database please Ask a Librarian.

This library of over 40,000 e-books spans across all scholarly disciplines. Books can either be opened in QuickView for instant viewing or in the ebrary Reader (a downloadable plug-in), which provides enhanced functionality such as the ability to copy/paste, highlight, or take notes in a particular book.

Sample of Available Print and Electronic Books

The Glass Ceiling in the 21st Century:  Understanding Barriers to Gender Equality
More than Just Race:  Being Black and Poor in the Inner City
Same-Sex Marriage:  The Personal and the Political
Technology and Social Inclusion:  Rethinking the Digital Divide
Unequal Ageing:  The Untold Story of Exclusion in Old Age
Urban Outcasts:  A Comparative Sociology of Advanced Marginality


Return to top


Journal Articles

For your research assignments you may need to use both scholarly and non-scholarly resources to fuel the discussion of your topic. For a refresher on the differences between a scholarly and non-scholarly resource please consult our popular vs. scholarly webpage. For any assistance in how to use WebBridge please consult our WebBridge video tutorial or our WebBridge webpage.

Databases for Scholarly Research

Listed below are the core online journal databases for this course. Keep in mind that the library subscribes to a number of subject specific online journal databases, if you are having trouble locating articles you may simply need to use another database. If that is the case, consult the library's Subject Guides, Article Databases page, or contact the Sociology Liaison Librarian who will then guide you toward the appropriate database.

Use to research your topic from a sociological perspective.

Click on the "Advanced Search" tab and limit your search to the "Sociology" discipline. Feel free to select other disciplines that are related to your topic by holding down the control key as you highlight additional fields. If you want, you can also check the box before "Article" to limit your search results to articles only.

Communication and Mass Media Complete
Use to access scholarly research on how the media frames and presents issues related to social inequality.

Project MUSE
Click on "Advanced Article Search" and limit your search to the "Sociology" discipline. Feel free to select other disciplines that are related to your topic by holding down the control key as you highlight additional fields.

Academic Search Premier
It is always a good idea to run your search in Academic Search Premier, just make sure to use it as a supplement to the searches you run in subject specific databases.

Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
Use to gather research on your topic from a political science, public policy perspective.

America:  History and Life
Use to gather historical research on your topic.

Databases for Popular Magazine and Newspaper Articles

In addition to the databases listed below you will also want to consult the Current Events Research Help page to be directed to more library and Internet current event resources.

LexisNexis Academic

Access World News (Trial Database - Trial ends May 2010)

Academic Search Premier
Use the "Periodical" and/or "Newspaper" limiter to limit your search results to popular magazines and newspapers.

Newspaper Source

New Hampshire Index

New York Times   (Historical 1851–2003)

Wall Street Journal


Return to top


Web Resources

Searching the Internet can yield a vast amount of information, but in terms of quality and reliability, your results may be uneven at best. The ease and speed with which individuals can publish information on the web, regardless of accuracy or quality makes it imperative that when doing research on the web you know how to evaluate the information you find. To learn more, see our Evaluating Websites page.

If you locate books or articles on the Internet that you would like to view please check with a reference librarian to see if the items can be located in Geisel Library's print or electronic collection or through Interlibrary Loan.


Statistics are often times necessary when providing evidence of social inequality. In addition to the government, advocacy group, and research foundation websites listed below please make sure to consult our Statistics Research Help page to locate additional resources.

Government Resources

Statistical Abstract
If you need U.S. government statistics but you don't know where to start, try starting with the Statistical Abstract. The Statistical Abstract "is the authoritative and comprehensive summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States." Simply browse by topic to access some of that topic's most popular statistics.

American FactFinder
Use to locate decennial census data and the annual American Community Surveys. Click on "People" to view the available census data for specific demographic groups including the disabled, the aging, and various ethnic groups.

Bureau of Justice Statistics
Search by keyword or browse by topic to locate statistics and reports on crime and justice topics. Look for quick statistics by using the "Quick Facts" tab or look for statistics with explanatory narrative in the "Publications and Products," "Data Analysis," or "Data Collections" tabs. If you need criminal justice statistics make sure to view the Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics, the "must use" resource for locating crime statistics.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention - Data and Statistics
Use this website to locate health related statistics such as birth and mortality rates, immunizations, and incidence of diagnoses by gender, race, and age.

National Center for Education Statistics
Use to locate statistics on education, including early elementary, secondary, and higher education. Click on the "Annual Reports" tab to view their major statistical publications including, The Condition of Education and Digest of Education Statistics.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
The U.S. Bureau of Labor has a wealth of information on their website. To locate statistics on occupations, sector employment, workforce participation, or compensation by region, gender, and ethnicity use to the "Subject Areas" tab. Then try using the "Database and Tables" tab to locate information on the Consumer Price Index.

U.S. Census Bureau:  Disability Statistics
Use to access Census Bureau data associated with disabilities, including briefs, reports, and papers.

Advocacy Group and Research Foundation Resources

AARP Research Center
Use the AARP website to locate information on the aging population. Make sure to use the "Surveys and Statistics" link to browse data by topic and to access the AARP AgeSource/AgeStats database.

Annie E. Casey Foundation
The Annie E. Casey Foundation performs extensive research on the state of the child in the United States. Much of the research focuses on social or community initiatives and their role in improving child development. Publication of note:  Kids Count series.

Gender Stats — World Bank
Use Gender Stats to access statistics on gender issues around the globe. While you can search for statistics by keyword, this website works best if you use their browse by theme or region features.

Kaiser Family Foundation
Use the research published by the Kaiser Family Foundation to locate information on health policy, including data on access to healthcare for the uninsured, the aging, women, and children. Make sure to check out their "Kaiser Polls" to see how the American public feels about these issues.

National Council on Crime and Delinquency
Search for information on crime by using the "Reports" tab in all three of the National Council on Crime and Delinquency divisions:  the National Council on Crime and Delinquency Headquarters, the Children's Research Center Division, and the Center for Young Women and Girls Division.

Pew Research Center
The Pew Research Center conducts and publishes surveys and social science research in a number of areas including: media, politics, demographics, culture, and societal attitudes. To view their research, search the site by topic or publication name.

Population Reference Bureau:  DataFinder
Use Population Reference Bureau's DataFinder to create statistical profiles for countries or regions with variables of your choosing. Data comparison reports can also be created and downloaded into Excel.

The Urban Institute
This research institute publishes research on economic and social policy issues. Their research is best located when browsing by topic, some of their available topics include: immigration, families, poverty, aging, and race, ethnicity and gender issues. Also make sure to use the "Resources" tab to view their Fact Sheets and Issues in Focus which discuss topics such as gay marriage, disabilities, and retirees re-entering the workforce.


Return to top


Citing Sources

Sociology researchers tend to use the ASA (American Sociology Association) citation format. Always check with your professor for the required citation style.

If you need to consult the ASA Style Guide while in the library stop at the reference desk and ask for call number:  Ready Ref HM569 .A54.

  • ASA Format (American Sociological Association) from California State University at Los Angeles (PDF/68KB)
  • Formatting in Sociology from the Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL)

Return to top