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A guide to the print and electronic resources available in the social sciences.
Last Updated: Jan 12, 2018 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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What is Sociology?

Sociology is defined most broadly as the study of society. It is part of the broader area of social sciences. Sociology explores topics such as social class and social mobility, cultures, religions, organizations, criminality, education, and marriage and family issues. Students who major in sociology can pursue careers in research, social work, criminal justice, health services, and business, to name just a few broad areas.


Hot Topics

As society evolves, so do the topics that are of interest to experts in the field of Sociology. Some "hot topics" in sociological research include...

  • Social media - The rapid increase in the participation in, and reliance on social media for our networking needs has caused intriguing changes in the way we interact on a personal and societal level.
  • Broadcast media - Advertisers as well as mainstream news sources continue to find new ways to influence the way we think, act, and buy. Media's impact on society is an ongoing topic of interest to social researchers as well as profiteers.
  • Family finances - As job losses mount, families that were once financially secure find themselves in unique and difficult circumstances. How does this effect the family dynamic?
  • Religion and faith - Trends point toward both an increase in church attendance and a decrease in the number of people who identify with a particular religion. How to explain the contradictions? And what do these trends mean for American society?

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Top Sources

Search these databases for articles from journals, magazines, and newspapers.

  • Opposing Viewpoints
    Provides contextual information and opinions on hundreds of today's hottest social issues. Features continuously updated viewpoint articles, topic overviews, full-text periodicals, primary source documents, and media files.
  • Social Science Journals
    A definitive resource, providing full-text access to nearly 600 social sciences journals, covering topics such as urban studies, family studies, and international relations. Coverage extends from 1994 to the present.
  • Psychology & Behavioral Sciences Collection
    A comprehensive database covering topics in emotional and behavioral characteristics, psychiatry & psychology, mental processes, anthropology, and observational & experimental methods. Offers full text coverage for nearly 400 journals.
  • Academic Search Complete
    An extensive, interdisciplinary database offering 8500 full-text periodicals. Coverage includes more than 100 years of full-text, full-image content.
  • Newsbank
    A comprehensive news collection that covers issues and events at the local, regional, national and international level. Coverage includes print and online-only newspapers, blogs, newswires, journals, broadcast transcripts and videos.

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