James H. Thomason Library

Sociology 201

Introduction to Sociology

Background Information


The Paris Crowd, Felix Edouard Vallotton,
woodcut, 1892.
Bridgeman Art Library Archive [CREDO Reference]

  Specialized Reference Databases
Locating Books
Locating Articles
  Article Databases
  Key Journals
  Journal Finder
Locating Statistical Resources
  Print Sources
  Online Sources
Web Sites
  General Sites
  Professional Associations
Get Help

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Background Information:    
Dictionaries   back to top

The Blackwell Dictionary of Sociology [CREDO Reference], Blackwell, 2000.

The Cambridge Dictionary of Sociology, Cambridge University Press, 2006.
Main Level, Reference: R 301.03 C144C

Dictionary of Demography, Blackwell Publishers, 1988.
Main Level, Reference: R 304.60321 P926D

Dictionary of Sociology [Oxford Reference Online], Oxford University Press, 2005.

Dictionary of the Social Sciences [Oxford Reference Online], Oxford University Press, 2002.

A Dictionary of Statistics [Oxford Reference Online], Oxford University Press, 2006.

A Dictionary of Statistics and Methodology: A Nontechnical Guide for the Social Sciences,SAGE Publications, 1993.
Main Level, Reference: R 300.15195 V868D

The Encyclopedic Dictionary of Sociology, Dushkin, c1991.
Main Level, Reference: R 301.03 En195E

Online Dictionary of the Social Sciences [Athabasca University]

Encyclopedias   back to top

Encyclopedia of Sociology,  Macmillan, 2000.
Main Level, Reference: R 301.03 En19E2 [5 vols]

The Sage Encyclopedia of Social Science Research Methods [SAGE eReference], SAGE Publications, 2004.

Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology [Blackwell Reference Online], Blackwell Publishing, 2007.
Definitions and explanations of key concepts written by leading scholars in the field of sociology with sophisticated cross-referencing and searching.

Blackwell Encyclopedia of Social Psychology, Blackwell, 1995.
Main Level, Reference: R 302.03 B568B

Encyclopedia of American Social History, Scribner, c1993.
Main Level, Reference: R 301.0973 En19E
[3 vols]

Encyclopedia of Community [SAGE eReference], SAGE Publications, 2003.  

Encyclopedia of Crime and Punishment [SAGE eReference], SAGE Publications, 2002.

Encyclopedia of Cultural Anthropology, Holt, 1996.
Main Level, Reference: R 305.803 En19E [4 vols]

Encyclopedia of Measurement and Statistics
[SAGE eReference], SAGE Publications, 2006.

  Encyclopedia of Crime and Punishment Bookcover

Encyclopedia of Murder & Violent Crime [SAGE eReference], SAGE Publications, 2003.

Encyclopedia of Population [Gale Virtual Reference Library], Macmillan, 2003.
Also available in print, Main Level, Reference: R 304.603 En19E [2 vols]
Designed to encompass the large-scale changes in emphasis and research directions in population studies during the last 20 years, topics covered include: rapid demographic expansion in poor countries; low fertility rates and problems of old-age support; the environmental impact of a dense population; the press for expanded reproductive rights; and much more.

Encyclopedia of Prisons & Correctional Facilities [SAGE eReference], SAGE Publications, 2005.

Encyclopedia of Social Theory [SAGE eReference], SAGE Publications, 2004.

Encyclopedia of the Peoples of the World, Holt, 1993.
Main Level, Reference: R 305.8003 En19E
Includes population figures, location, language, religion, main economic occupations and some history on contemporary peoples and ethnic groups of the world. Index includes alternate spellings, alternate names, and cross-references to additional information.

Encyclopedia of Urban Cultures: Cities and Cultures around the World, Grolier, 2002.
Main Level, Reference: R 307.7603 En19E [4 vols]

Encyclopedia of Women and Gender: Sex Similarities and Differences and the Impact of Society on Gender [CREDO Reference] , Academic Press, 2001.  
Also available in print, Main Level, Reference: R 305.403 En19E [2 vols]

Encyclopedia of World Cultures, G. K. Hall, 1996.
Main Level, Reference: R 306.097 En19E [10 vols]
Choose volume by continent or area. In-depth information on nationalities and ethnic groups.

Encyclopedia of World Poverty [SAGE eReference], SAGE Publications, 2006.

International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, Macmillan, 1968.
Main Level, Reference: R 300.3 In8I [18 vols]

Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily Life, Gale, 1998.
Main Level, Reference: R 305.8003 W893W [4 vols]

  Encyclopedia of World Poverty Bookcover

Handbooks   back to top

ASA Style Guide, American Sociological Association, 3rd ed., 2007.
Main Level, Reference: R 808.0663 Am35A  [at Reference Desk]

Handbook of Aging and the Social Sciences. [CREDO Reference] 6th ed., Elsevier Pub., 2006.

International Handbook of Sociology, SAGE Publications, 2000. 
Upper Level: 301 In8I4

The Sage Handbook of Quantitative Methodology for the Social Sciences, SAGE Publications, 2004.
Upper Level: 001.42 Sa18S

Thesaurus of Sociological Indexing Terms, Cambridge Scientific Abstracts, 1999.
Main Level, Reference: R 025.49301 T343T

21st Century Sociology: A Reference Handbook [SAGE eReference], SAGE Publications, 2006. Two volume set, with 106 essays by leading authorities, offers a wide representation of sociology and its subfields.

World of Sociology [CREDO Reference], Gale, 2002.
A comprehensive, subject-specific guide to the concepts, theories, discoveries, developments and pioneers related to the field of sociology. Coverage includes alphabetically arranged topical essays, definitions and biographies.


Specialized Reference Databases   back to top

A world leader in providing country specific geopolitical intelligence on each of the countries of the world with demographic, political, economic, business, cultural and environmental information in the form of Country ReviewsTM, daily news coverage from several regional news services for every country, CountryWatch Data, the CountryWatch Map Gallery, the weekly Political Intelligence Briefing and the associated Intelligence Wire.

Oxford African American Studies Center, Oxford University Press.
Includes core reference works and other key resources from Oxford's reference program, images, primary sources with specially written commentaries, charts, tables, and maps to enhance this reference content.


Locating Books   back to top


Use the online catalog to locate books in Thomason Library. You can search by author, title, keyword, or subject.

  • Search for a person, as AUTHOR or SUBJECT, with last name, first name:              

Durkheim, Emile [as AUTHOR]

  Durkheim, Emile [as SUBJECT]  
  • SUBJECT searching requires use of Library of Congress subject headings. The terms below are examples of subject headings related to sociology:
  Criminology Sex Role

Social Problems

  Family Policy


  • Materials relevant to the study of sociology may also be found by specifying the era or dates, geographic area, or the material type in which you are interested:
  Demography--United States--Case Studies    
  Dual Career Families--United States--Longitudinal Studies  
  Urbanization--Southern States--History--19th century  

Subject searching is an effective and precise method of searching the catalog, however, KEYWORD searching has benefits, also.

  • Try a KEYWORD search if you are unsure of the exact title or the correct subject heading to use. Search using two or three of the most significant words from the title or subject you are trying to find. Place phrases in "quotation marks."

  • Connect words with AND, OR, NOT to focus your search.
  • Try truncation at the end of a word stem to retrieve singular, plural, and other variations of the word.  Use an asterisk (*) to truncate from 1 to 5 characters. Use a double asterisk (**) to include word endings with an unlimited number of characters.
KEYWORD Searching Tips

· Add * to the root of a word to truncate or expand
a term:

observ*= observe, observed, observation, observational, etc.
recidivis*= recidivist, recidivists, recidivism

· Use AND between words to narrow your search:
educational attainment AND religiosity

· Use OR between words to expand your search and
group words with parentheses:

unobtrusive or observ*

aged OR elderly

Nest OR terms in parenthesis ( ) if used in same search box with an AND term
(aged OR elderly) AND social conditions


Try KEYWORD searching with ThomCat, other library catalogs & library databases

PASCAL Catalog

If you need books in addition to those found at Thomason Library, try your search here for books in other academic libraries in SC. Through PASCAL Delivers, you can order books online for delivery within 3-4 working days. This service for current PC students, faculty, and staff is a project of PASCAL- Partnership Among SC Academic Libraries. Borrowers will be notified by e-mail when requested items arrive at Thomason Library. Click here for searching and ordering tips.

WorldCat – A catalog of books and materials at libraries worldwide. Try searching here to find ALL books available on a topic. Materials available at Thomason Library are highlighted and others can be borrowed through ILL or searched in the PASCAL Catalog.

Interlibrary Loan - ILL is available to PC students, faculty and staff in order to share resources between libraries. Click link for instructions.

Locating Articles:   back to top
Article Databases back to top

The following journal databases are available to PC students, faculty, and staff from on- and off-campus locations.  Search using terms dealing with your topic.

 Sociological Abstracts Journals (in Academic Search Complete) [EBSCOhost]

Archival database of full-text articles from scholarly journals including behavioral science titles, as well as other disciplines.

Project MUSE Basic Undergraduate Collection
Full-text articles from scholarly journals. Provides coverage of journals in the behavioral sciences as well as other disciplines.

Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection [EBSCOhost]
Covers topics such as emotional and behavioral characteristics, psychiatry, psychology, mental processes, anthropology, and observational and experimental methods.

PsycINFO [EBSCOhost]
Citations and abstracts of resources for research in psychology and related disciplines. Includes social psychology titles.

Full-text articles, primarily from the American Psychological Association’s journals.  Includes some social psychology titles.

Key Journals   back to top

 American Journal of Sociology
Presents work on the theory, methods, practice, and history of sociology. Also publishes articles on the application of perspectives from other social sciences: psychology, anthropology, statistics, economics, education, history, and political science.

American Sociological Review
The flagship journal of the American Sociological Association publishes works of interest to the discipline in general, new theoretical developments, results of research that advance understanding of fundamental social processes, and important methodological innovations. All areas of sociology are represented.

Annual Review of Sociology 
Each volume of this series contains articles in essay form which trace the progress of research inthat field during a given year.

British Journal of Sociology     

Presents articles that contribute to the scientific literature in population studies of general interest to demographers; research in social sciences, geography, biology and public health, research notes and commentary.

International Journal of Public Opinion Research
A source of informed analysis and comment for professionals and academics, this refereed journal is a comparative, multidisciplinary forum serving the international community, including original articles, review articles, surveys of recent developments in the field, book reviews and notes section, and journal abstracts, from the World Association for Public Opinion.

Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion
Spanning religion, sociology, political science, and psychology, this quarterly publication of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion offers research on national and international issues.

Journal of Marriage and the Family
Features original research and theory, research interpretation and reviews, and critical discussion concerning all aspects of marriage, other forms of close relationships, and families.

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Papers on the nature and dynamics of interactions and social relationships, including interpersonal attraction, communication, emotion, and relationship development, and on group and organizational processes such as social influence, group decision making and task performance, intergroup relations, and aggression, pro-social behavior and other types of social behavior.

Journal of Population Research

A peer-reviewed, international journal which publishes papers on demography and population-related issues. The Journal is published twice a yearand is a publication of the Australian Population Association.

The Journal of Social Psychology
Articles on experimental, empirical and field studies of groups, cultural effects, cross-national problems, language and ethnicity, cross-cultural notes and briefly reported replications and refinements.

Policy Review
A forum for conservative debate on the major political issues of our time published by the Heritage Foundation.

Population and Development Review 
Population and Development Review is essential reading to keep abreast of population studies, research on the interrelationships between population and socioeconomic change, and related thinking on public policy. Its interests span both developed and developing countries, theoretical advances as well as empirical analyses and case studies, a broad range of disciplinary approaches, and concern with historical as well as present-day problems.

Public Opinion Quarterly 
Publishes important theoretical contributions to opinion and communication research, analyses of current public opinion, and investigations of methodological issues involved in survey validity, including questionnaire construction, interviewing and interviewers, sampling strategy, and mode of administration.

Rural Sociology

A forum for cutting edge research exploring inter-disciplinary approaches to emerging issues, new approaches to older questions and material, and policy relevant discussions of rural development, environmental impacts, the structure of food and agricultural production, rural-urban linkages, community revitalization, and rural demographic changes.

Sex Roles: A Journal of Research  
Original research articles and theoretical papers concerned with gender role socialization, perceptions, and attitudes while presenting recent developments in developmental, cognitive, and social-personality factors in childhood; acquisition, maintenance, and impact of stereotypes; social contexts; personal and interpersonal relationships; sexual preference; and research methodological issues.

Social Forces
A journal of social research highlighting sociological inquiry but also exploring realms shared with social psychology, anthropology, political science, history, and economics. The journal's intended academic readers include sociologists, social psychologists, criminologists, economists, political scientists, anthropologists, and students of urban studies, race/ethnic relations, and religious studies

Social Policy
Includes articles on topics such as labor unions, women's issues, social welfare, urban planning, economic policy, education & the media, gay & lesbian issues, and management.

Social Problems
Published by the Society for the Study of Social Problems to promote research on, and serious examination of, problems of social life.

Social Psychology Quarterly
Publishes theoretical and empirical papers on the link between the individual and society, including the study of the relations of individuals to one another, as well as to groups and institutions. It also includes the study of intra-individual processes insofar as they substantially influence or are influenced by social structure and process.

Social Research 
Articles and review articles in all areas of social research, and occasional issues on a common theme, published by the New School for Social Research.

Social Science Quarterly
Publishes current research on a broad range of topics including political science, sociology, economics, history, social work, geography, international studies, and women's studies.

Attempts to further the understanding and use of social sciences through significant research, informative commentaries and analyses of controversial problems in American society.

Sociological Forum 
Sociological Forum is the flagship journal of the Eastern Sociological Society. The journal is peer reviewed and committed to publishing high quality, cutting edge research on substantive issues of fundamental importance to the study of society. The journal's mission is broad in scope, encompassing empirical works (both quantitative and qualitative in nature), as well as works that develop theories, concepts, and methodological strategies. All areas of sociology and related fields are welcomed in Sociological Forum, as the journal strives to create a site of learning and exchange for scholars and students of the social sciences.

Sociological Inquiry
Sociological Inquiry (SI) is committed to the exploration of the human condition in all of its social and cultural complexity.Itspapers challenge us to look anew at traditional areas or identify novel areas for investigation.SI publishes boththeoretical and empirical work as are the varied research methods in the study of social and cultural life.

Sociological Methods & Research  
Each quarterly issue of SMR/Sociological Methods & Research brings you empirically based articles from a variety of perspectives, exploring research methods that are applicable to a wide range of fields, including: anthropology, criminology, demography, economics, education, management, political science, psychology, sociology. 

Sociological Quarterly   
Covers a wide range of topics in the field of sociology, including new theoretical developments, results of research that advance fundamental understanding of social processes, and methodological innovation. Published by the Midwest Sociological Society.

Sociological Spectrum  
A refereed interdisciplinary social science journal that publishes theoretical, methodological, quantitative, qualitative substantive research in the areas of sociology, social psychology, anthropology, and political science. Published by the Mid-South Sociological Association.

Sociological Theory   
Published for the American Sociological Association, this journal covers the full range of sociological theory - from ethnomethodology to world systems analysis, from commentaries on the classics to the latest cutting-edge ideas, and from re-examinations of neglected theorists to metatheoretical inquiries.

Sociology  (A journal of the British Sociological Association)
The oldest sociological journal in Great Britain, publishing theoretical research and empirical studies in the fields of sociology, social anthropology, cultural studies, and social policy.

Sociology and Social Research 
Library has print volumes for 1964-1992 only (title ceased publication in 1992).

Sociology of Education 
Research examining all stages and all types of education at the individual, institutional, and organizational levels.

Journal Finder   back to top

Journal Finder provides access to PC's electronic and print journals, magazines, and newspapers in one convenient location.

Browse Journal Finder by title or subject. When browsing or searching, you can read articles from any journal that is available in the group of database results. Choose a database in this group based on the dates available and the time frame in which you are interested.

Locating Statistical Resources   back to top
Print Sources   back to top

County & City Data Book, U.S. Dept. of Commerce, 2007.
Main Level, Reference: R 317.3 Un3C2 2007. 
Provides demographic data on population, personal income/earnings, crime, housing, educational attainment, poverty, etc. at the county level and city level (pop.25,000 or above).
Also available online at County & City Data Book. Choose online publication or previous edition.

Statistical Abstract of the United States, GPO, 1997-current issue.
Main Level, Ready Reference: R 317.3 Un3
Published by the U.S. Census Bureau, provides a summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States.
Also available online at Statistical Abstract of the United States. Browse sections of the Abstract on the left or use search box on the right.

Online Sources   back to top

American FactFinder [U.S. Census Bureau]
Site provides information on demographics, census data, data sets, and other facts about America's population.

ARDA (Association for Religion Data Archives)  [Social Science Research Institute, Penn State University]
The ARDA Data Archive is a collection of surveys, polls, & other data submitted by researchers and made available online by the ARDA. There are nearly 400 data files included in the ARDA collection. You can browse files by category, alphabetically, view by newest, most popular categories, or search for a file. Once you select a file you can preview the results, read about how the data were collected, review the survey questions asked, save selected survey questions to your own file, and/or download the data file

Bureau of Justice Statistics  [U.S. Department of Justice]
Categories include Crime & Victims, Law Enforcement, Criminal Offenders, Courts and Sentencing, Corrections, and Special Topics.

The Center for Spatially Integrated Social Science [University of California, Santa Barbara]
The CSISS mission recognizes the growing significance of space, spatiality, location, and place in social science research. It seeks to develop unrestricted access to tools and perspectives that will advance the spatial analytic capabilities of researchers throughout the social science.

DataFerrett [DataWeb Partnership at the U.S. Census Bureau]

DataFerrett helps you locate and retrieve the data you need across the Internet to your desktop or system, regardless of where the data resides. You can create a chart or graph for a visual presentation into an html page. It can be installed as an application on your desktop or use a java applet with an internet browser.

FedStats [U.S. Government]  
Statistics at state, county, and national levels from over 100 federal agencies.

New! Gapminder: Unveiling the Beauty of Statistics for a Fact Based World View [Ola Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnlund, and Hans Rosling]

Dramatic visual presentation of data and statistical time series. Founded in 2005, Gapminder is registered as a Swedish foundation. The Web site allows comparison of countries by displaying charts and maps on the fly for some 500 indicators (relating to health, income, education, energy, the environment, technology, and more). This free resource draws data from traditional sources, such as the United Nations, World Bank, and OECD. Use the Gapminder 2.5-minute tutorial and Gapminder becomes easy to navigate: drop-down menus are available for each chart axis, grid symbols take users to data tables, and "trails" allow tracking of an individual country's progress.  Charts are color-coded by region to make comparison easier, and users may select multiple countries for comparison. CHOICE Reviews Online 2/2011

General Social Survey (GSS) [National Science Foundation]
The GSS is the largest project funded by the Sociology Program of the National Science Foundation. Except for the U.S.Census, the GSS is the most frequently analyzed source of information in the social sciences.

International Data Base [U.S. Census Bureau]
The IDB is a computerized data bank containing statistical tables of demographic data for countries and regions of the world.

Internet Crossroads in Social Science Data [Data and Information Services Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison]
DISC collection includes major surveys from a variety of distributors, U.S. government data, and locally produced archival datasets. The collection is cross-disciplinary, reflecting research interests in the social sciences. Longitudinal surveys, macroeconomic indicators, election studies, population studies, socialization patterns, poverty measures, labor force participation, public opinion polls, education and health data, and local/national/international governmental statistics are among the subjects represented.

POPLINE [K4Health Project at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health ]
he world's largest database on reproductive health, containing citations with abstracts to scientific articles, reports, books, and unpublished reports in the field of population, family planning, and related health issues. POPLINE contains nearly 360,000 records and has been maintained since 1973 by the INFO Project (formerly Population Information Program). The majority of items are published from 1970 to the present, however, there are selected citations dating back to 1827. Includes the POPLINE Thesaurus, a controlled vocabulary of 2,400+ terms used to index documents in the database. POPLINE's special features include links to free, fulltext documents; the ability to limit your search to peer-reviewed journal articles.

PRB Datafinder [Population Reference Bureau]
PRB’s DataFinder allows users to search for population and data, selecting from a number of variables including education, employment, environmental conditions, etc.

The Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics Online [U.S. Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics]
Brings together data from more than 200 sources about many aspects of criminal justice in the United States. These data are displayed in over 600 tables. Currently this site presents Sourcebook 2003, the 31st edition. Check the What's New? page where new tables are added or existing tables updated with the latest data.

South Carolina Statistical Abstract [South Carolina Budget and Control Board, Office of Research and Statistics]  
This state publication is a comprehensive reference source for demographic and economic data pertinent to South Carolina.

Statistical Abstract of the United States [U.S. Census Bureau]
A summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States.
Also available Main Level, Ready Reference: R 317.3 Un3

Survey Documentation and Analysis [University of California Berkeley]

Uniform Crime Reports  [Federal Bureau of Investigation]
Includes: Crime in the United States, Hate Crime Statistics, and Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted. 

Web Sites   back to top
General Sites   back to top

Dead Sociologists’ Index  [Larry R. Ridener, Radford Univ.]
Includes excerpts from the works of sixteen major sociologists, along with biographical information.

New site! ICPSR: Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research

An impressive gateway to more than 500,000 downloadable digital files of statistical data related to the social sciences. Linear and graphic links on the main page lead to sections for locating and analyzing data; obtaining instructions on archiving data with ICPSR; viewing information on collaborative efforts with other groups; and accessing teaching resources. Allows for keyword searching by full text, title, author or investigator, and summaries. Users may browse files by topic, geographic area via interactive maps, investigators, series and updates, and additions...and sort results by relevance, alphabetically, by date or by time period. The Teaching and Learning section provides access to a wide range of resources for undergraduates, graduate students, and teachers. Highly recommended, CHOICE Reviews Online, Jan 2012

Intute: Sociology  [ Resource Discovery Network]
This service aims to identify and evaluate resources to meet the needs of researchers, students and librarians in higher and further education. Resources are organized in categories that reflect current research interests in British sociology.

An independent, nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity providing pros and cons on diverse controversial topics with facts and quotations from thousands of experts. Their mission is "Promoting critical thinking, education, and informed citizenship by presenting controversial issues in a straightforward, nonpartisan primarily pro-con format." Click on one of their 20 issues [death penalty, felon voting, immigration, sex and gender] to get started.

Sociology Timeline from 1600 [Ed Stephan]
Significant events from 1600-1990's, with multiple links to information about people, texts and movements.

SPSS Starter Kit   [UCLA Academic Technology Services]
A site with resources designed to develop the skills needed to conduct common analyses in SPSS.

Professional Associations   back to top

American Sociological Association
ASA homepage includes information on the Association, including its Code of Ethics, and information on careers, graduate schools, publications, etc.

Eastern Sociological Society

Midwest Sociological Society

Society for Personality and Social Psychology

Society for the Study of Social Problems

Southern Sociological Society

Southern Demographic Association


Get Help   back to top
Stop by the
Reference Desk

Sara Rowe 833-8313
Dan Lee 833-8437


Hours: 8.30 am - 10 pm for research questions & assistance. Personal appointments also available.
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