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Sociology Subject Guide


The Sociology Subject Guide is intended to provide an introduction to sociology research resources. If you need in-depth assistance or if you have questions about any of the resources or services mentioned in the guide please contact the Sociology Liaison Librarian.

Other guides that may be of interest to those studying sociology include:

Current Events
Ethnic Studies
Gender Studies
Government Publications


Select Reference Resources

Electronic Reference Databases

Use the following electronic reference databases instead of wikipedia; these resources are full of quality information and are as easy to use as wikipedia.

The following resources are restricted to the Saint Anselm College community.

Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL)

Oxford Reference Online (ORO)

Credo Reference

CQ Researcher

Individual Reference Titles

Sociology (General)

21st Century Sociology: A Reference Handbook
     Gale Virtual Reference Library
Dictionary of Sociology
     Oxford Reference Online
Dictionary of the Social Sciences
     Oxford Reference Online
Encyclopedia of Sociology
     Ref HM425.E5 (print version)
Encyclopedia of Social Problems
     Gale Virtual Reference Library
Encyclopedia of Social Psychology
     Gale Virtual Reference Library
Encyclopedia of Social Theory
     Gale Virtual Reference Library
Key Concepts in Critical Social Theory
     Ref HM511 .C77

Social History

Encyclopedia of Activism and Social Justice
     Ref HM671 .E53 (3 vols.)
Encyclopedia of American Social History
     Ref HN57 .E58 (3 vols.)
Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered History in America
     Gale Virtual Reference Library
Encyclopedia of Social Welfare History in North America
Encyclopedia of European Social History from 1350 to 2000
     Ref HN373 .E63
Encyclopedia of American Social Movements
     Ref HN57 .E594

Special Topics

Education and Sociology: An Encyclopedia
     Ref LC189.95 .E38
Encyclopedia of Aging
     Gale Virtual Reference Library
Encyclopedia of Children, Adolescents and the Media
     Gale Virtual Reference Library
Encyclopedia of Gender and Society
     Gale Virtual Reference Library
Encyclopedia of Homelessness
     Ref HV4493 .E53
Encyclopedia of Race and Racism
     Gale Virtual Reference Library
Encyclopedia of Sex and Gender
     Gale Virtual Reference Library
Encyclopedia of Urban America: The Cities and Suburbs
     Credo Reference
Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace, and Conflict
     Credo Reference
Encyclopedia of Women and Gender
     Credo Reference
Encyclopedia of World Poverty
     Gale Virtual Reference Library
Handbook of Aging and the Social Sciences
     Ref HQ1061 .H336
Handbook of Environmental Sociology
     Credo Reference
International Encyclopedia of Adolescence
     Ref HQ796 .I58
International Encyclopedia of Marriage and Family
     Gale Virtual Reference Library
International Encyclopedia of Men and Masculinities
     Ref HQ1090 .I58

Research Methods

Encyclopedia of Measurement & Statistics
     Ref HA29 .S2363
Encyclopedia of Survey Research Methods
     Gale Virtual Reference Library
SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research
     Ref H62 .H2455
Survey Kit
     Ref HN29 .S724


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Find Journal Articles


CrossSearch  Sociology

  What does this box search?                                  Advanced Search

Search the following databases to locate journal articles in the field of sociology. Many of the databases will require you to use WebBridge to locate the full text of an article. To learn how to use WebBridge, please watch our video tutorial (3.5 mins; includes audio).

If you would like to browse Geisel Library's collection of sociology related print and electronic full text journals go to Journal Finder's Social Sciences Journals listing and scroll down until you see the heading for Sociology.

Core Sociology Databases

SocINDEX, the core sociology database on campus, indexes over 590 academic journals, monographs, and conference papers related to the field of sociology. With thousands of full-text articles available, SocINDEX is an essential tool for researching how your topic has been examined by sociologists.

Academic Search Premier
Academic Search Premier indexes articles from a wide range of disciplines including the social sciences, humanities, and the hard sciences such as chemistry or biology. This is a good resource with which to begin your research, especially on a topic that is inter-disciplinary.

ProQuest Central
This interdisciplinary database contains a variety of publication types from all disciplines, as a result the search results may seem overwhelming at first. To limit your results try one of the following options: click on the "Scholarly Journals" tab to view only scholarly articles or limit your search to smaller collections like ProQuest Social Science Journals (scholarly and trade publications in the social sciences) by selecting a collection from the Database drop-down menu.

Search here for full-text articles from major journals in the humanities and social sciences, including Annual Review of Sociology, American Journal of Sociology, and the Sociological Quarterly. Coverage is generally from the beginning of publication to within 5 years of the current issue.

Sage Journals Online
To search all journals available through our subscription package limit your search to "SAGE Content Available to Me." To see a list of available journal titles, click the Browse tab and select "SAGE Content Available to Me."

Special Topic Databases

Below is a list of popular sociology related databases, depending on your topic you may need to consult other subject specific databases. For assistance in choosing a database feel free to contact the sociology liaison librarian or view our article databases page.

Communication and Mass Media Complete (CMMC)
Use CMMC to research the role that media plays in society.

Criminal Justice Abstracts
Use Criminal Justice Abstracts to locate research on various aspects of criminology; you will need to use WebBridge to locate articles in full text.

Use ERIC to locate articles that focus on the topic of education.

Even though their primary use is for psychology research, PsycINFO and PsycARTICLES do index a number of journals in the field of sociology. Depending on your topic, it can be helpful and at times necessary to see how the field of psychology is researching your topic.

Worldwide Political Science Abstracts (WPSA)
Use WPSA to research topics relating to political science including public and social policy on the domestic and international levels; you will need to use WebBridge to locate articles in full text.


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Find Books

Geisel Library Catalog
Search the library catalog to locate books in Geisel Library. Most sociology books are located on the Upper Level of the library in the H through HX sections.

To see what new sociology titles have been added to Geisel Library's collection go to the New Materials webpage and click on the link for Sociology & Psychology titles. Acquisitions for the most recent month are listed at the top of the page; to view previous acquisitions click on the months at the bottom of the page.

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. When you locate a title of interest, click on the ILL icon in the book's catalog record to request the item through interlibrary loan. 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 thousands of 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.
Access restricted to the Saint Anselm College community. 


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Selected Websites

Searching the World Wide Web 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 you know how to evaluate the information you find on the Internet. To learn more, see our guide on Evaluating Websites.

One word of caution: never purchase an article found on the Internet, always check with a Reference Librarian to see if the article can be located in Geisel Library's print or electronic collection or through Interlibrary Loan.

Web Portals

Use the following web portals to locate sociological information on the Internet. Content will vary in terms of scope and content.

Free Resources for Program Evaluation and Social Research Methods
Gene Shackman P.H.D., hosted by the International Consortium for the Advancement of Academic Publication
This site links to free online books, manuals, and articles on how to do social research, including surveys, interviews, and observations.

Global Social Change Research Project
Gene Shackman P.H.D., hosted by the International Consortium for the Advancement of Academic Publication
Use this site to access World Social Change reports as well as reports about long term changes in political, economic, and social systems.

Research Resources for the Social Sciences
Craig McKie, of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario
Use this website to search for Internet resources by sociological topic including: demographics, economics, women's studies, and more.

Social Science Information System at the University of Amsterdam
This website is unique for its international scope and for its Subject Areas link which directs you to resources on fairly specialized subject categories such as Activism, Men's Issues, and Sport.

Statistics Resources

The following websites are only a sampling of the statistical resources you may want to consult when searching for statistical information. In addition to the web sites listed below make sure to consult the Statistics Research Help page and the Government Publications Research Help page.

American FactFinder
Through American FactFinder you can pull up U.S. census data on various geographic regions including state, county, city, or census tract as well as industry and economic reports. If you need historical census data try Historical Statistics of the United States.

DataFinder: Population Reference Bureau
Through DataFinder you can create a statistical profile according to a specific country or region with variables of your choice. Data comparison reports can also be created and downloaded into Excel.

FedStats is a gateway to statistical information published by over 100 agencies, sub-agencies, and quasi-government agencies of the U.S. federal government; search the website by subject, geographic region, or government agency. gathers statistics from a variety of statistical sources such as the CIA World Factbook, the United Nations, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), presenting them in an easy-to-use graphical format.

University of Aukland Library
Use this website to locate official statistical resources for countries on the web. You can browse for statistics by country, region, or topic.

The United Nations has a wealth of statistical information available on its website, nearly all of it being available for free on the Internet. Statistics can be located by keyword or by browsing specific UN databases or country profiles.

UNICEF Statistics Page
Use the Customized Statistical Tables feature on UNICEF's website to generate downloadable tables of country-level data on a variety of social and economic indicators; available statistics have a particular focus on children's issues such as education, malnourishment, and immunization.

World Development Indicators and Global Development Finance (WDIO)
This database from the World Bank contains country-by-country time series data on over 1,000 economic and social indicators, including macroeconomic variables such as GDP, inflation, national debt and savings.
Access restricted to the Saint Anselm College community.

Think Tanks/Research Foundations/Advocacy Groups

Research Report Aggregators

Use the following websites to locate electronically published research written by various think tanks, policy institutions, non-governmental organizations, non-for-profits, and research foundations. All of the websites are searchable by keyword or browsable by subject area or research institution.


Policy Archive
Center for Governmental Studies and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Library

Policy Library


Use the following resources to locate research organizations that may be producing research on your topic or in your subject area.

Directory of non-for-profit organizations

Internet Crossroads in the Social Sciences
Data and Program Library Service (DPLS) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

World Directory of Think Tanks
National Institute for Research Advancement

Heritage Foundation

Think Tank Directory
Project VoteSmart

Think Tanks Directory
Harvard University-John F. Kennedy School of Government

Washington Information Directory
Congressional Quarterly
F192.3 .W33 Ready Reference (ask at the reference desk)

Public Opinion & Survey Resources

Gallup Brain
Use Gallup Brain to access "125,000 questions and responses from more than 3.5 million people interview by The Gallup Poll since 1935." Gallup Brain supplements other Gallup publications owned or made accessible by Geisel Library.
Access restricted to Saint Anselm College community.

General Social Survey (GSS)
Developed by the National Opinion Research Center in 1972 to monitor social change in America, the GSS allows researchers to analyze change in U.S. societal opinions over time. Variables are searchable by keyword or by browsing through its alphabetic list of subjects.

International Social Survey (ISS)
The ISS bridges the U.S. focused GSS with similar surveys conducted by governments and research firms in the international community. Click on the archive and data link to access the ISS.

Use LexisNexis to locate surveys and polls published in newspapers and magazines. To do so: Click on the "+" next to "Hide options..."; Select "Subject" from "Section" drop-down; Type "polls" into "terms" box; Click "Add to Search." Access restricted to Saint Anselm College community.

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.

Professional Associations

The following list of associations is only a sampling of the international, national, and regional professional associations that exist to support sociologists. Only those associations that have a wealth of information on their websites have been included in this list. Other sociology related professional associations exist; contact the Sociology Liaison Librarian if you are having trouble locating a professional association in your subject or geographic area.

American Sociological Association

International Sociological Association

National Association of Social Workers

New England Sociological Association

Society for the Study of Social Problems


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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.


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