Resources in
in the
Princeton University Library

A Research Guide
Flat File Format

"Sociology studies the climate and seasons of our lives..."

       Resources in Sociology 

I. Background
1.What is Sociology?
2. Why Does the Library Matter in the Study of Sociology?
3. How to Use This Guide

II. Getting Started
4.  Main Catalog of Princeton University Library
5.  Remote Access: Library Proxy Server
6.  Princeton Collection / Subject Home Pages

<>III. Core Indexes
7. Sociofile
8.  SocINDEX Full Text
9. Social Sciences Citation Index
10. PAIS
11.  International Bibliography of the Social Sciences
IV.  Full Text Aggregate Sources
12.  JSTOR 
13.  Commercial Aggregate Journals
14.  Newspapers
15.  Books and Encyclopedias
16  Dissertations

V. Topical Sources
17.  Biography and Scholarship
18.  Education
19   Economics
20.  Philosophy / Ethics
21.  History
22.  Religion
23.  Race / Ethnicity
24  Gender

VI.  Other Formats and the Web
25.  Data
26.  Maps, Videos, DVD
27.  Sociology on the INTERNET



I.  Background for Sociological Research

What is Sociology?

Sociology in classical terms often began with polished theories for systems of society covering  economics, education, organization, and certainly social stratification, and sought to fit individuals and groups into those patterms and molds.  With the advent of statistical methods in the 1930s, and twentieth century field studies resulting in landmark publications such as Arensberg and Kimball's Family and Community in Ireland in 1941 and William F. Whyte's Street Corner Society in 1943, Sociology can be said to have made a phase shift and become radically different in two respects.  One was the newly primary importance of data gathered from surveys and extensive field study as essential foundations for sociological theory.    And the second was the validation of the informal society being studied as a legitimate form of social organization, worthy of study, measure, and conclusion.  Today, classical sociology and more recent theory in statistics and field studies provide measures and concepts; the world provides systems and context for sociological enquiry.  Sociology studies people and their behavior in groups from numerous perspectives, including the following areas of specialization:

Comparative and Regional Sociology 
Communications and the Internet 
Economic Sociology 
Historical Sociology

Military Sociology
Narrative Sociology
Political Sociology 
Race and Ethnicity 
Sociology of Culture 
Sociology of Religion 
Social Stratification and Inequality 
Urban Sociology

Background in  Sociological Research
2. Why Does the Library Matter in the Study of Sociology?

Good research is a matter of method, not magic. These methods can be learned, and  learning them is a particularly important part of the field of sociology. As researchers, sociologists are trained to ask empirical questions about the world and systematically collect the data necessary to answer those questions.  In this process, sociologists like all good researchers, rely heavily on research already completed by colleagues in sociology and other fields. To discover what researchers already know about a particular subject, sociologists do "literature reviews" In electronic and on-the-shelf resources, the library provides the framework for research in Sociology
                                                    Advice for sociological research, May 2003 

This guide is designed to lead you through sources necessary to do a comprehensive literature review, and to identify special materials such as numerical data, maps, and alternative formats including video and DVD.  When you are ready to do more specialized research, or at any time that you have questions,  please contact the Sociology Librarian, or if your question is about a particular discipline, contact any of the other Specialists on the staff of the University Library.

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Background for Sociological Research
3.  How to Use This Guide

    In order to begin, it is necessary to identify a topic for a literature review, data analysis, or other research in sociology.  One way to identify  sociological topics is to browse the Annual Review of Sociology, either electronically or in paper in the Social Science Reference Center at HM1 .A857, Vol. 1 (1975)-v. 27 (2001).  Another way is to browse the contents of the current issues of journals in sociology.  The majority of these at Princeton are found shelved by title in the Periodical Reading (PR) area of the Reserve Reading Room on A floor of Firestone Library.  To identify titles, use the Main Catalog, choose Guided search, set Limits to Serial, and also limit by Language such as English and whatever other languages can be read, then enter Sociology into the search box, and choose Subject as the field where this should be found. Browse the contents of those with electronic access.  You can also print out a list of titles of particular interest, and go into the Reserve Reading Room to examine them. 

    It is especially important to use scholarly indexes and other sources in doing research in sociology, and the sources are listed below in the order that we recommend you use them.  Since sociology examines the world around us, many of the observations and concerns of sociology can be found on the open Internet and in general interest and popular publications.  Those can be helpful, but the discipline of sociology draws strength and credibility from the scholarly publications in the field. 

    Translation - to do academic research in sociology, you must use the sources listed on this page, and not rely too heavily on the open Internet or even Google Schlar.  Sociofile and the Main Catalog shown on the source bar along the left of the main page are critical.  It is also wise always to use the next three sources after those, too, and to choose appropriate sources from the rest of the listing depending on your topic. 

    Databases are available through the Library Home Page on any computer on the Princeton University campus network or remotely, from anywhere in the world with access to the Internet, via VPN or the Library Proxy Server.  (For help with VPN or the Proxy Server, go to the Library Home Page and choose Connect from Off Campus, the top item in the second left listing.)   Paper items are found in varioius locations, usually in Firestone,. Check the Main Catalog. Coverage dates given here refer to the date of publication of the article or book, not the time period being studied 

    Warning:  This can be a two or three step operation, unlike the open Internet where you just click on what you want to see and the article or book opens right there.  Be sure to use the Find It At PUL button, also called the SXF button, for the technology which does hte looking-up in this process. Most journals are not in electorinc format, but some still must be found in paper. Most books are still in paper only. The actual journal or book in paper format must be found by walkng to the shelves in Firestone or in a departmental library.  Use the Call Number Listings and Library Maps posted on each floor to find Firestone materials, and ask the staff for help in departmental libraries such as the Art Library or the Lewis Science Library.. For materials Princeton doesn't own, use the Borrow Direct or Interlibrary Loan services.

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II.  Getting Started in Sociological Research

4.  The Main Catalog of Princeton University Library.
    The Main Catalog of Princeton University Library, found at the top of the Library homepage, is essential to finding Princeton's access to the individual journal articles which will be identified in the specialized indexes listed below.  It also is very important in finding books on sociological topics.

    When you have an exact title of a book or a journal, an author's name which should be entered last name, first name, or a call number, the first search screen works well and intuitively.  The subject search on the first page is for the exact and formal Library of Congress term.  Plain language often doesn't work here.

    But to find a book or overall journal which is about a particular topic, you can enter words in everyday terms on the GUIDED search screen.  Be sure to mark "as a phrase" where that is what you mean.  When you locate books and journals on a topic using everyday language, you can then click LONG view, and see what the formal Library of Congress terms are for your topic.  Double clicking on those terms will bring up other books Princeton holds on this subject.  Also, these formal Library of Congress Subject terms can be used in the WorldCat shared catalog of hundreds of libraries.  Materials you identify in this way can be requested through Princeton's Borrow Direct or Interlibrary Loan services.

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Getting Started in Sociological Research
5. Remote Access - Proxy Server and VPN

Databases and most journals are available through the Library Home Page on any computer on the Princeton University campus network or remotely, from anywhere in the world with access to the Internet, via the Library Proxy Server or VPN service..  For help with these, go to the Library Home Page, and follow the link under Research Help, "Connecting From Off Campus."
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Getting Started in Sociological Research
6. Collection and Subject Home Pages and LibGuides for Sociological Research

Home Pages and LibGuides, which are guides both to the fields and to Princeton's holdings, are found among the Collections and Libraries sections on the Library Home Page, and also in the Research Guides   Great strength will be found in both area studies covering various regions of the world, and on subject collections focusing on areas of interest in sociology.  The following pages and Guides are especially relevant in Sociology.
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III.  Core Indexes for Sociological Research

. Sociological Abstracts Online, subscription database, formerly called Sociofile.  The Sociological Abstracts database is the most useful and comprehensive index in the field of Sociology, covering the world's literature in Sociology and related disciplines, both theoretical and applied, covering the years 1952 to date, with monthly updates. Sociological Abstracts indexes over 1,800 journals, abstracts of conference papers presented at various sociological association meetings, dissertations, book reviews, and abstracts of selected sociology books.  Journals are in 30 different languages from about 55 countries, covering sociological topics in fields including anthropology, economics, education, medicine, community development, philosophy, demography, political science, and social psychology.  Journals published by sociological associations, groups, faculties, and institutes, and periodicals containing the term "sociology" in their titles, are abstracted fully, irrespective of language or country of publication.  Non-core journals are screened for articles by sociologists and/or articles of immediate interest or relevance to sociologists. .

Hint : On main search screen, go down to Specify Databases, open list, and add Sociology Sage Full Text as an "additional" database. Although it only contains about 40 titles, which are also indexed in Sociological Abstracts, adding this database produces a finer granalurity to searching: This is described as follows:

Sociology: A SAGE Full-Text Collection includes the full-text of 41 journals published by SAGE and participating societies, some going back to 1967, encompassing over 12,700 articles. Subjects focus on Childhood, Contemporary Sociology, Comparative Sociology, Consumer Culture, Classical Sociology, Ethnic Studies, Gender Studies, Leisure Studies, Social Theory, Sociology of Sport, and Sociology of Work and Employment (Labor Studies).Every bibliographic record links to full-text PDF format.

ADVANCED searching is recommended and using ABSTRACT or another specific search key. Warning: "Anywhere" searches footnotes as well as description of indexed article. Search Examples for Sociological Abstracts include the following:

  •  Gender Bias in ABSTRACT produced some 350 recordss
  • Charter School in ABSTRACT produced some 65 reecords
  •  Charter school* in ABSTRACT produced some 100 records( * replaces any additional characters, to retrieve schools, schooling, and so on.)
  •  Culture Technology in ABSTRACT produced some 50 records
  •  Culture AND Technology produced some 1860 records
  • All author searching is strong. Follow patter shown on search page to enter author's name..

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8.  SocINDEX with Full Text. Subscripton Database.    

SocINDEX is a relatively new database,  created in 2005.  The great strength of SocINDEX is its coverage of modern sociological and closely related topics, with lot of full text in related contemporary fields, such as employment from business, and gender from law. SocNDEX with Full Text provides, expecially for the current world, a very useful broad and thorough coverage of both theoretical and applied work in Sociology and closely related areas. with some coverage of earlier years provided by the full text of some journals, and conference papers from 2000 forward. Although coverage before 2005 is in no way comprehensive, for the current world a powerful tool.. Non English language articles are included, but searching by language must be done by hand, for example "Russian LN" to find materials in the Russian language. Other advanced searches must be entered as special code, and are detailed below.

These include the study of: the following topics.

  • Abortion
  • Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Demography
  • Ethnic Studies
  • Gender Studies
  • Marriage and Family
  • Political Sociology
  • Racial Studies
  • Religion
  • Rural Sociology
  • Social Development
  • Social Psychology
  • Social Structure
  • Social Work
  • Socio-Cultural Anthropology
  • Sociological History
  • Sociological Research
  • Sociological Theory
  • Substance Abuse and Other Addictions
  • Urban Sociology
  • Violence

Contains mreo than 1.5 million records with subject headings from a 20,000 term sociological thesaurus.Includes abstracts for 750 core journals with a few which date back as far back as 1895. Also covered are some 575 related journals, and selected items from another 2,800 journals.Also indexes books, conference papers, and other non-periodical sources Includes cited references .Includes 10,000 Author Profiles including biographical and bibliographic information.

Full text is included for some 350 core journals, with a few dating back as far as 1895, 130 related journals, 700 books and monographs, and 6,800 conference papers. These are largely the last five years of the conference papers of the American Sociological Association.

Hint : Useful searches which must be entered in code include:
      Author Affiliation by phrase         AD Princeton *  
       Author Affliliation by word         AF  Princeton
        Language                                  French    LN 

Others codes are found under the information icon to the right of the search box in the database.

Search Examples:

Gender Bias in ALL FIELDS produced 630 records

  • Gender Bias in ABSTRACT produced 473 records
  • Charter School or Charter School* produced 293 records( * replaces any additional characters, to retrieve schools, schooling, and so on.)
  • Culture Technology in ABSTRACT produced 35 records
  • Culture and technology in ABSTRACT produced 1814 records
  • Culture and Technology in SUBJECT produced 414 records

Core Indexes
9. Social Sciences Citation Index - Web of Knowledge

Social Sciences Citation Index
, subscription database.
The Social Sciences Citation Index is an index with sweeping coverage of the scholarly journal literature and some few books in the social sciences  It is a multidisciplinary database where half of the entries from 1991 forward include abstracts.  It has great strength as an author and title index, and for tracing the use of key books and journals in later scholarly research .  Coverage begins with items published in 1956.

SSCI indexes 1,700 journals spanning 50 disciplines, as well as covering individually selected relevant items from an additional 3,300 of the world's leading scientific and technical journals.  Some 2,800 new articles and 50,000 new cited references are added each week..   SSCI and its companion publications Science Citation Index and the Arts and Humanities Citation Index will be found bundled under the umbrella title Web of Science on the library homepage as will as under its own title.

The great strength of the Social Sciences Citation Index is that it indexes an extremely broad range of articles and books, especially useful in the field of Sociology.  Footnotes and bibliographical references are also given for all of them so relationships among scholarly publications can be more easily traced  forward in time.  Please be mindful that the titles of journal articles in the cited footnotes and bibliographies are NOT given anywhere in the database or the paper form.  Also, authors given names are entered as initials only, and are not consistent for any individual person.  That is, one article or book may be referenced by the last name only, another by the same author may have one initial, while a third may be entered with two or even three initials.  To be more complete, each possible form must be checked.

Some of the disciplines covered include:

  • Anthropology 
  • History 
  • Industrial Relations 
  • Information Science & Library Science 
  • Law
  • Linguistics
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science 
  • Psychiatry
  • Psychology
  • Public Health 
  • Social Issues 
  • Social Work 
  • Sociology
  • Substance Abuse
  • Urban Studies
  • Women's Studies
Search Examples (Searching only Social Science Citation Index and not Science Citation Index or Arts and Humanities Citation Index which are bundled with SSCI in the Web of Science interface.):
  • Gender bias in TOPIC produced some 400 records
  • Gender bias in TITLE only produced some 55 records
  • Culture technology in TOPIC produced some 700 records
  • Culture and technology in TOPIC ALSO produced some 700 records
  • Culture and technology in TITLE only produced some 85 records
  • Charter school in TOPIC produced some 30 records
  • "Charter school* in TOPIC produced some 40 records (*allows other endings such as schools, schooling, and so on.)
  • Keller s* in AUTHOR produced about 170 records.
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Core Indexes
10. PAIS - Public Affairs Information Service

PAIS, subscription database.
    PAIS, the Public Affairs Information Service,  is an essential index in Sociology and indeed in all the social sciences, covering the broadest range of materials and social issues.  It is based on social science holdings of New York Public Library.  It includes journal articles, books, reports, government documents, working papers, an unusually broad range of materials. Although not as many hits will be found here on any given subject as in many other indexes, ones found here are almost always important ones, key to solid coverage of topics in Sociology.  Database begins in 1915 and comes up to date. Hint: Using the "ADVANCED" search option usually works best.

    Recent Search Examples:

    • Gender Bias ANYWHERE produced 78 records
    • Gender Bias in formal subject field - DESCRIPTOR - produced no records
    • Gender Bias in ABSTRACT produced 55 records
    • Culture Technology ANYWHERE produced 18 records
    • Culture and Technology ANYWHERE produced 675 records
    • Culture and Technology in ABSTRACT produced 166 records
    • Charter School in ABSTRACT produced 67 records
    • Charter School* in ABSTRACT produced 193 records (*allows other endings such as schools, schooling, and so on.)
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Core Indexes
  1. 11. International Bibliograpy of the Social Sciences

    International Bibliography of the Social Sciences has the remarkable beginning date of 1951, and so shares with Sociologival Abstracts the ability to search materials for twenty to thirty more years back than most other indexes, and still comes up to the present. It covers a broad range of the Social Sciences,  in the fields of economics, political science, sociology, and anthropology   It is compiled in the library of the London School of Economics and Political Science, which is reputed to be the largest social sicences library in the world today. It is based on an international selection of publications including indexing of over 2000 journals and 7000 books annually. About 30 percent of the records are for materials  in languages other than English, and more than 100 countries and 70 languages are covered. About half of the indexing for journal articles includes an abstract. This database provides citations of journals, books, book reviews, and chapters when multiple authors have worked on a book.

Recent Search Examples::

    •  Gender Bias produced 171 records
    •  Gender Bias in formal subject terms - DESCRIPTOR - produced no records
    •  Charter School produced 45 records
    •  Charter School* produced 91 records (* replaces any additional characters, to retrieve schools, schooling, and so on.)
    • Charter School* in formal subject terms - DESCRIPTOR - produced 15 records
    •  Culture Technology produced 199 records
    •  Culture AND Technology produced 6994 records
    •  Culture AND Technology in DESCRIPTOR produced 2083 records


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IV.  Full Text Aggregate Sources

12. JSTOR - Cooperative Full Text Aggregate Journals

JSTOR, the Journal Storage Project, subscription database.
JSTOR, the electronic journal archive project of the Mellon Foundation,  is an especially useful source of scholarly articles in Sociology. In the fall of 2009, 78 of the more than 1000 journal titles in JSTOR can be searched as a group by "Limiting to Discipline - Sociology." Its highly selective nature yields results from journals that matter. It also has a nearly unique ability to provide those journals in electronic full text from the beginning of publication, sometimes for a hundred years or more, to a "rolling wall" of the last two to five years. In almost all cases, the library will then have electroinic access to the current issues through another service.  

JSTOR can be accessed on the Library Home Page under Articles and Databases. JSTOR can also be searched directly - so long as the search is done from a campus computer, or off-campus using VPN or Proxy server, by going directly to the url


13. Journals:  Commerical Aggregate Sources, subscription databases.
Princeton subscribes to three large aggregate commercial databases holding several thousand journal titles each.  While there is some overlap in titles between these databases, some titles may only be held exclusively in one of them. We are working on adding individual Journal titles from these packages to the Online Catalog, but the process is not complete.

EBSCO Academic Search Premier, subscription database. Covers a broad range of solid trade and academic titles, nearly all full text. Results of a recent search Please n ote: Most articles from the most recent twenty or more years will provide electronic full text, either as a direct link, or by using the FIND IT AT PUL button.

  • Globalization in default fields found some 28,000 hits.
  • Globalization in subject field found some 15,000 hits
  • Globalization AND Gender in default fields finds some 12,000 hits.
  • Globalization AND gender in subject finds about 100 articles.
  • Globalization AND Democracy in subject finds 350 articles.
  • Globalization AND Latin America* in subject finds 120 hits (* finds variant endings)
  • Globalization AND Social Capital in subject finds 16 hits

Wilson OmniFile H..W. Wilson Company, subscription database.  Journals included here matter in serious research - there is little popular context. Results of a recent search included the followikng: Please note: Most articles from the most recent twenty or more years will provide electronic full text, either as a direct link, or by using the FIND IT AT PUL button

  • Globalization in keyword finds 19,500 hits.
  • Globalization in subject finds 4680 articles
  • Globalization AND Gender in subject finds only 2 articles - better to use abstract search - see next:
  • Globalization AND Gender in abstract finds 350 hits.
  • Globalization AND Latin America* in abstract finds 460 hits.
  • Globalization AND Social Capital in abstract finds 195 articles

ProQuest Research Library, subscription database.  Trade, news and general interest as well as academic titles. Results of a recent search included the following.Note: Most articles from the most recent twenty or more years will provide electronic full text, either as a direct link, or by using the FIND IT AT PUL button

  • Globalization in default - Citation and abstract - finds some 31,050 hits, 14,800 in Scholarly Journals
  • Globalization AND Gender in default finds 560 hits , 445 in Scholarly Journals
  • Globalization AND Latin America* finds 875 hits - 435 in Scholarly Journals (* finds variant endings)
  • Globalization AND Social Capital in abstract finds 63 hits, 58 in Scholarly journals

Journals, Reports, Books on the Open Internet. Free databases.
Google Scholar has set a new standard for excellence as a free database on the open Internet by gathering a very broad range of journal articles, books, reports, web pages, conference papers and other materials which are themselves freely available on the open Internet. It also indexes many materials which are not free on the web, but gives them a fairly solid reference, and also provides a live link to local subscription journals. Here at Princeton these can often be located by using the "Find it at PUL" button which appears when Google Scholar is accessed from the Princeton domain. One of the greatest strengths of Google Scholar is its ability to gather a listing of nearly everything that an author has written. It is also strong for obscure topics, For mainstream topics, however, standard databases such as Sociological Abstracts and SocIndex are more useful in finding mateials in a focused way without burying the searcher in "everything including the ktichen stove" searching

Google Scholar, Internet database.  Covers books, reports, working papers, journal articles, web pages, and other formats.

  • Globalization finds 1,160,000 hits,
  • Globalization restricted to "Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities" 495,000 hits.
  • Globalization AND Gender finds 184,000 hits
  • Globalization AND Gender restricted to "Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities" 127,000 hits.
  • Globalization AND Latin America finds 212,000 hits
  • Globalization AND Latin America restricted to "Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities" 97,000 hits.
  • Globalization AND Social Capital finds 458,000 hits
  • Globalization AND Social Capital restricted to "Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities" 232,000 hits.
  • Author Searches: Professor Paul Krugman - 2300 hits; 280 recent; Professor Elaine Showaltcr, 345 hits, 13 recent.
  • Obscure topic: Katrina and "urban legend*" - 135 hits, 91 recent.
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Full Text Sources
14. Newspapers - Full Text Aggregate Sources

 Newspapers:  Aggregate Sources,  subscription databases.
Lexis Academic, Factiva, ProQuest Research Library , and ProQuest Historic Newspapers are databases each of which provide access to the full text of hundreds of newspapers, in additioin to journals.  Although Princeton's cataloging services are moving as quickly as possible to add all the individual titles in these services to the Main Catalog, that process will take some time, and the contents of these aggregate sources change constantly.  Therefore, it is useful to check these services when the full text of a newspaper or journal is wanted.

Some publications are found in several of these sources, such as the Economist of London, while coverage of others is unique to particular databases.  For instance, Princeton holds microfilm for the entire run of the following three newspapers.  However, electronic access to the New York Times, to the Wall Street Journal, and to the historic Washington Post is available only in the following ways.  The electronic coverage of newspapers is NOT reliably shown in the Online Catalog; check the Databases for a more complete listing..

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Full Text and Reference Sources

15. Books and Encyclopedias

Books - Full Text Aggregate Sources
Electronic Books - Digital Collections, many are subscription databases.
The ability to carry out textual analysis of the full text documents ranging from newspaper to articles, chapters and full books enriches the field of sociology.  The Library Home Page E-Books and E-Texts gives a number that are available at Princeton.

However, it is important to note that digital text is a field whose growth is explosive, and difficult to list on a meaningful individual title format in a guide.  Check the library home page, and also talk with a reference librarian in your area of interest about new and developing projects not yet represented here


Encyclopedias a critical tool in the study of Sociology. Ones dealing with particular topics within Sociology can be located here at Princeton by going to the Main Catalog, using the GUIDED search, putting Encyclopedia? Encyclopaedia? in one box, clicking Any of These, and then entering the topic term (s)in the second box. It may be useful to search for these in TITLE, or just in the default KEYWORD.

But the overall field of Sociology is beautikfully dealt with in a series of Encyclopedias published by the broad scholarly community over the last century. Beginning in 1937, each generation of scholars has documented what the Social Sciences mean in the scholarly world of that time. Today, each of these three is a critical source for understanding how that world understood the social sciences, and especially the field of Sociology. The are the following:

•  Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences, editor-in-chief, Edwin R. A. Seligman; associate editor, Alvin Johnson ... New York, The Macmillan company, 1937.
15 v. in 8. 28 cm. (F) 41 .E56 v. 1-8
Orig Pub 1930-1935 in 15 v., (F) and (Recap): H41 .E56
(Not Electronic)

•  International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. David L. Sills, editor. New York, Macmillan, 1968, 19 v. (SXF) and (F) H41.I5
Also Electronic Ed., by subscription.

•  Internationa Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences / editors in chief Neil J. Smelser, Paul B. Baltes. Amsterdam; New York. Elsevier, 2001, 26 v. ill 25 cm.
(SSRC) and (SW) H41 .I58 2001
Also Electronic Ed. by subscription

WIKIPEDIA, The Free Encyclopedia. Open Internet.

Sociology is the scientific or systematic study of human societies. It is a branch of social science (with which it is informally synonymous) that uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop and refine a body of knowledge about human social structure and activity, often with the goal of applying such knowledge to the pursuit of social welfare. Its subject matter ranges from the micro level of face-to-face interaction to the macro level of societies at large.
Wikipedia - Topic Sociology, viewed October 2009.

Wikipedia is an encyclopedia which lives on the web, and has thousands of contributors and editors. In the fall of 2009, it contains more than three million articles. It is a "people's source" in both the best and the worse senses of that term. It can be a great place to check a spelling of an obscure term, or to look for a date or a ready summary statement on just about anything. Since it can be and is written by anyone interested in the topic, it does not carry the weight of authority that comes from a standard encyclopedia, where articles are signed by well known scholars who are authorities in the particluar field. Wikipedia does contain many source notes, some of them to other articles on its own site; but also some that are in standard sources, as would be the case in a good standard encyclopedia. Wikipedia can be a good place to check into, but is not usually considered suitable as a reference in a scholarly publication or other academic environment.

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Full Text Sources
16. Dissertations

Dissertation Abstracts, subscription database.
Dissertation Abstracts is a definitive subject, title, and author index to virtually every American dissertation accepted at an accredited institution since 1861. Selected Masters theses have been included since 1962.  Beginning  with 1988, dissertations from 50 British universities and Worldwide Dissertations (formerly European Dissertations), are included.  Full text is included in .pdf format for all theses for 1997 to the present; there is also full text available for some dissertations for earlier years.  It is important to study the file of the first 24 pages before asking for the entire text, which often goes to several hundred pages.  Dissertations not available here in full text can be ordered through the Interlibrary Loan button on the Library homepage.  Allow extra time for dissertations to come through this process 

It is important to understand that searching for the title of a Dissertation in the Online Catalog at Princeton will not provide a link to this database. It must be searched separately.

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V.  Topical Sources for Sociological Research

17.  Biography and Scholarship
The life course has emerged over the past 30 years as a major research paradigm.  Distinctive themes include the relationship between human lives and a changing society, the timing of lives, linked or interdependent lives, and human agency…  Developmentalists have gained more sensitivity to the interlocking nature of human lives and generations, as well as an informed awareness of individuals as choice makes and agents of their own lives…"
"Time, Human Agency, and Social Change: Perspectives on the Life Course".  Glen H. Elder, Jr. Social Psychology Quarterly, Vol. 57, No. 1. (Mar., 1994), p. 4.  Online on JSTOR September 2003

    The lives of scholars in particular have a great multiplier effect.  Through their own work in research, writing, speaking, and teaching, they shape their disciplines and help others to participate in the scholarship of their worlds.  In order to gather information about a particular scholar, there are three categories of especially useful tools.  These describe the scholar in terms of the following elements.

    • Life:  Biographical, giving details about the person's life. 
    • Writing:  Bibliographical, showing lists of books, journal articles, and other materials which that person has written.
    • Effect:  Citations and holdings, showing who has used that person's work in further scholarly writing, and how many and which libraries hold the person's books.
    Please note that sources are hot-linked below for convenience.  However, they and many others - can also be accessed through the home page of Princeton University Library.  Those which are subscription based are restriced to members of the Princeton University community, who can access these resources from off campus by using VPN or the Lbrary Proxy Server.  Details are available on the library home page under Connecting From Off Campus.

    Biography and Genealogy Master Index, subscription database
    Biography Reference Bank, subscription database
    Literature Resource Cneter, formerly Contemporary Atuhors - subscription database
    Marquis Who's Who, subscription database
    American Men and Women of Science (DR) Q141.A47 
        (In Firestone 's First Floor Trustee Reading Room) 
    Home page of academic department where scholar teaches.
       For example, the departments of Sociology of Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, Berkeley, and so on.  Often has a link to a highly detailed Curriculum Vitae or personal web page which the scholar has prepared.
    Home page of publishers for scholar's books 
      For example, Princeton University Press, University of California Press, and so on 

    Books, articles, and other writings of a scholar are often listed within the sources listed under "Life" above.  In addition, the following are key databases which can also be searched to identify a scholar's work.: 

    Main Catalog of Princeton University Library For books
    WorldCat, union catalog of many libraries.  For books. 
    Sociological Abstracts. Index to sociology journal articles and papers presented at conferences.
    Social Sciences Citation Index.  Part of Web of Knowledge Database. Broad index includes sociological articles and books within many other fields; search by author and follow examples on the search screen EXACTLY.

    Social Sciences Citaton Index  Search by CITED author.
    WorldCat.  Notice the number of libraries holding a particular book.
    Encyclopedia of Sociology, Macmillan - 2000, 2d Ed. [Electroic format.]  Also in paper format at: (SSRC) HM425.E5 2000
    World of Sociology  (SSRC) HM585.W67 2001 .


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18.  Education:  ERIC and Education Full Text subscription databases.
Without a professional school in Education, Princeton does not collect at a comprehensive level many books in education, education documents or education journals.  Therefore it is especially important to use the full text aspect of the two sources listed below to get the text of articles and reports important for your research in Sociology.  If you need journal articles and books in education that Princeton does not hold in paper or electronic format, be sure to allow enough time for Borrow Direct or Interlibrary Loan to acquire them for you.

ERIC, the U.S. Department of Education's Educational Resource Information Center database, indexes ksome two thousand digests of education documents, with full text for most.  It also contains indexes and abstracts, but not full text, from about a thousand educational and education-related journals. The FIND IT AT PUL (SXF) button in a number of instances will bring up an electronic copy.

Education Full Text indexes some 80 core international periodicals, monographs, and yearbooks, with direct full text for articles in about 40 of those journals. The FIND IT AT PUL (SXF) button in a number of instances will bring up further electronic copies, and Interlibrary Loan can be used to acquire others. Topics include a wide range of contemporary education issues, including government funding, instructional media, multicultural education, religious education, student counseling, competency-based education, and information technology..

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Topical Sources
19.  Economics

 Econlit,  subscription database.
The flagship database of the American Economics Association, Econlit is important in both Economic Sociology and in creating an economic context for other Sociological research.  Econlit indexes and provides many full text links to the worldwide scholarly literature in economics and finance, and is comprehensive in the areas of  accounting, capital markets, econometrics, economic forecasting, government regulations, labor economics, monetary theory, urban economics, and spcialized topics such as the economics of agriculture, health systems, indurtrial sectors, and entitlement programs including welfare.   It covers some 600 major economics journals and another 600 collective volumes which include essays, proceedings, and so on, and adds each year references to about  2,000 books, 900 dissertations, 2,000 working papers, and numerous book reviews. It is mostly in English, but includes substantial numbers of entries in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and some other languages.

Econlit is not a full text database, but does provide a SFX link to facilitate finding the actual item.

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Topical Sources
20.  Philosophy / Ethics

Philosophy Sources at Princeton
Princeton offers access to a wide range of important resources in Philosophy. These can inform work in Sociology in several ways. Examination of the philosophical basis for various aspects of sociology can suggest further directions or different patterns for research and exploration.   "The relationship between facts and values is an essential problem in philosophy, political science and sociology. Usually it is held that there is a wide gap between what is and what ought to be, the nature of which, however, is far from clear."    From abstract:  Valer Ambrus, "Max Webers Wertfreiheitspostulat und die naturalistische Begrundung von Normen",  Journal for General Philosophy of Science. (2001; 32(2): 209-236).

Philosopher's Index, subscription database.
The Philosopher's Index, from 1940 to the present, is a central resource in the field, and provides indexing and abstracts from books and journals of philosophy and related fields. It covers the areas of ethics, aesthetics, social philosophy, political philosophy, epistemology, and metaphysic logic as well as material on the philosophy of law, religion, science, history, education, and language.

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Topical Sources
21.  History - American History and Life and Historical Absracts

American History and Life  - AHAL (U.S. and Canada) and  Historical Abstracts - HA (non-U.S. or Canada), subscription databases.

date for AHAL and 1954 to date for HA.  By clicking on CHOOSE DATABASE on the search screen for either database, the other can be chosen and the search re-run. Also, both may be searched together, when that would be useful..

Recent search examples:

  • Gender Bias in ALL FIELDS produced 48 records in AHAL; 28 in HA
  • Gender Bias in ABSTRACT produced 39 records in AHAL; 24 in HA
  • Culture Technology produced 5 records in both AHAL and HA - (but not the same records.)
  • Culture AND Technology in ABSTRACT found 452 records in AHAL; 551 records in HA
  • Charter school in ABSTRACT produced 39 records in AHAL; 1 records in HA (automatically finds other endings such as schools, schooling, and so on.)
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Topical Sources
22.  Religion

Measures on Religion.
Journals on a wide range of sociological topics in religion are included in the ATLA Religion Database, including the full text of  the entire runs of a core collection of more than fifty significant scholarly periodicals in the field of religion, most of which go back to 1949.  ATLAS journals represent a wide selection of Christian traditions (including Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Evangelical, and Pentecostal), Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Shinto, Taoism, Confucianism, and other religious traditions. Ethical issues are also included.  Various databases covering specific religious traditions will be found on the Library HomePage under Databases and Reference Tools.  Enter the keyword RELIGION to examine a list of such sources.

Another valuable reseource for the study of the sociology of religion is the library of the Princeton Theological Seminary, located here in Princeton on the southern edge of the University campus.  Strong holdings there in Liberation Theology will be of special interest for Latin American topics.  Although Princeton Theological Seminary is an independent institution not part of Princeton University, students and faculty of the University have borrowing privileges at the Seminary.  Be sure to go during weekday business hours to arrange for the borrowing card necessary there.

A useful new source for numerical data for religion is the World Christian Database, which is created by a Christian seminary, but thoroughly covers the entire world and all religions and ethnicities.  This group has done a great deal of field work to provide these data, which seem solid.

When dealing with numerical data for religion, it is important to keep in mind the following points.  First of all, the national census of most countries is a foundation for data to measure many aspects of life within that country.  However, since the 1930s when such data was used to identify particular religious groups for persecution, many countries including the U.S. have not included questions on religion in the national census.  An interesting modern twist, interpreted by some observers as a protest against being asked such a question by the government, is that some 20 percent of New Zealanders responded "Jedi Knight" to the religion question of their year 2000 national  census. In the counts for the 2001 British census, enough British citizens  responded "Jedi Knight" that the fictional religion of characters in the Star Wars science fiction films had to be  given its own census code, 896, although the British Census office would not  acknowledge "Jedi" as an "official  religion".   All of this goes to demonstrate that religion in census reports is not  necessarily reported at all, or reliable when reported. Morever, counts from various established religious bodies often overlap.  For these reasons care must taken in using figures on religion.  All of the sources listed below count a wide range of faith groups, even though they may be compiled by a particular church or religious group.

With all of that in mind, in addition to the World Christian Database, some  important paper sources are:

  •  Yearbook of American and Canadian churches.  Annual.  1939 to present, Princeton lacks some scattered early years.  Published by the National Council of the Churches of Christ, USA.   Title varies.  Location:  Current vol (DR), Prior  (F)  BR513 .Y4 (1973 - present)   (F) 5500.345 (1939-1972)
  • Religion in America, annual, based on Gallup surveys.Princeton, N.J. : American Institute of Public Opinion, Location:Firestone Library (F) BR513 .R46  Library Has:  1971 - 1992-1994; 1996
  • World Christian encyclopedia : a comparative survey of churches and religions in the modern world /.  2nd ed.  Oxford ; New York : Oxford Univ.Press   2001. Location: (DR)  Oversize BR157 .W67 2001.  v. 1. Countries : religionists, churches, ministries     v. 2.Segments : religions, peoples, languages, cities, topics.  Note that this volume is produced by a Christian group but covers all faiths in the world in its counts and analysis.
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Topical Sources
23.  Race / Ethnicity

Chicano Database, subscription database.
The Chicano Database is a comprehensive index of scholarly articles, book chapters, and other materials dealing with ethnic populations in the U.S. from throughout Latin America.  Its cross-border identity makes it a key tool in the study of the effects on social groups of globalization in the region.  This is especially true since its coverage goes far beyond Mexico from which it derives its name.  In addition to Mexico, there is strong coverage for ethnic populations from Puerto Rico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, and other countries in Latin American from 1992 to date.  Broad coverage for Mexican origin populations goes back to the early 1960s, with selective references from the early 1900s.  The Chicano Database also includes the Spanish Mental Health Database, covering psychological, sociological, and educational literature.  The FIND IT AT PUL (SXF) button can be used to locate the full text of materials found here. Those not held here can be ordered through the Interlibrary Loan service.

Recent search examples:

  • Gender AND Bias in KEYWORD found 9 records
  • Immigrant AND School in KEYWORD produced 19 records.
  • Immigration AND Age in KEYWORD found 37 records
  • Border AND Famil* in KEYWORD found 38 records
  • NAFTA AND gender found 2 hits, NASTA AND women found 4 hits

Ethnic Newswatch, subscription database.
Ethnic Newswatch is a full text database of many ethnic publications in the U.S. covering 1960 to date.  Many of these publications will not be found anywhere else.   Note that the entire database is focused on ethnic issues, and gender issues within that context.  Topics below are found within that context and are for all available years. Also note that a LOCALE can be a strong part of a search in this database, such as Philadelkphia in the example below. However - the locale may be a "false drop" since a locale search for Princeton finds items relating to those teaching at Princeton University or affiiliated with the Institute for Advanced Study, and not be really about matters happening in the community of Princeton.

Recent Search Examples

  • Gender Bias in CITATION AND FULL TEXT (Default search) found 537 records.
  • Gender bias in SUBJECT produced no records.
  • Culture technology in CITATION AND FULL TEXT produced 14 records.
  • Culture AND Technology in CITATION AND FULL TEXT found 468 records.
  • Charter School in CITATION AND FULL TEXT found 5817 records
  • Charter School AND Philadelphia, both in CITATION AND FULL TEXT, found 394 records.


International Index to Black Periodicals subscription database.
International Index to Black Periodicals, part of the journals collections from the Schomberg Black Studies Center in New York, is made up of current and retrospective bibliographic citations and abstracts from scholarly journals and newsletters from the United States, Africa and the Caribbean--and full-text coverage of core Black Studies periodicals. . For publications which are not full text, a thorough abstract is included for all publications from 1998 to date. The database covers a wide array of humanities and social science disciplines including art, cultural criticism, economics, education, health, history, language and literature, law, philosophy, politics, religion, and sociology among others.  For titles not included as direct full text, the FIND IT AT PUL (SXF) button can be used to navigate to electronic full text or location of paper copies of some journals. Interlibrary Loan can supply titles Princeton does not hold..

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Topical Sources
24.  Gender and Women's Issues

GenderWatch,subscription database.
GenderWatch is a full text database which contains unique and diverse publications on gender concerns, especially those focusing on women, and gay and lesbian issues.  Coverage focuses on how gender impacts a broad spectrum of subject areas. With archival material dating back to 1970, GenderWatch is a repository of an important historical perspective on the evolution of both the women's movement and major changes in gender roles. Covers some 200 journal and newsletter titles; some older materials, most from 1990 and forward.  These materials are not otherwise available in most cases.

Gender Studies Database ,
subscription database.
Gender Studies Database indexes core disciplines and relates them to the latest scholarship in both gender and feminist research. It is especially useful in finding articles from a feminist and other gender perspectives.  The time period for the database begins before 1972 and comes up to the present.  Subjects which are especially strong are sociology, history, political science, political economy, public policy, international relations, arts, humanities, business and education. The database covers some 800 key sources which include journals, newspapers, newsletters, bulletins, books, book chapters, proceedings, reports, theses, dissertations, NGO studies, important websites & web documents, and grey literature. Over 2,000 periodical sources are represented.  Special topics include the following:

    Gender Studies - Theory & History 
         Art, Language & Culture 
         Literary Criticism 
         Political/Social Activism 
         Mental & Physical Health 
         Violence & Abusive Relationships 
         Prejudice & Gender Discrimination 
         Law & Legislation 
         Psychology & Body Image 
         Developing Countries 
         Marriage & Divorce 
         Women In Development 
         Women And The Media 

        Women's Rights & Suffrage 
         Women's Liberation Movement 
         Sexuality & Sexology 
         Reproductive Rights 
         Social Welfare & Socioeconomics 
         Employment, Workplace Harassment 
         Family & Relationships 
         Racial/Ethnic Studies 
         Girl Studies 
         Modern Period 
         Victorian Period 
         Historical Studies

LGBT Life, subscription database.
Covering Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender matters, the database LGBT Life provides both indexing and full text for the publication LGBT Life, and some 50 other key and historically significant journals, magazines, and regional newspapers, as well as many full text monographs.

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VI.  Other Formats and the Web for Sociological Research

25  Data for Sociological Anaysis
    The Data and Statistical Services Department within the Social Science Reference Center provides extensive  files of data already held here at Princeton.  Also, data is acquired from any source in the world for Princeton  faculty and students.  Princeton's Data Reference Librarian, on the staff of the Social Science Reference Center, can help identify what is needed.  Two statistical consultants who support statistical analysis, interpretation, and presentation are also on staff  in SSRC.
    • The U.S. Census has gathered demographic, social, and economic information for the population of the United States since 1790, varying in content and detail over time.  In the U.S. and in many other countries, census data is one of the  richest sources of numerical information available for sociological analysis.
    • One useful way to measure attitude and perception is through public opinion surveys.  For esample:

      Polling the Nations is a full text  opinion database on the Library Home Page. 

    ipoll databank (Roper)  (1935+) "Registration is required but is free for IPOLL. IPOLL does not include outside the USA. International holdings are available but must be searched for as separate files. Comprehensive, up-to-date source for national public opinion. The database is a full-text retrieval system updated daily and organized at the question-level, providing tools to sift through nearly a half million questions asked on national public opinion surveys since 1935." -- from the Library homepage


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Other Formats and the Web
26.  Maps, Videos, DVDs

 Holdings of maps in both paper and digital  formats are especially strong at Princeton.

  • The Map Library in Fine Halll is one of the largest cartographic collections at an academic institution, with a large collection of contemporary (post 1918) maps in political, physical, and cultural geography Current road maps and atlases for all countries and major cities are available as well. The collection is also strong in geoscience, topographic, and bathymetric maps charts.  In addition, staff in the Map Collection is happy to acquire on request any maps not already held.
  • The Digital Map and Geospatrial Information Center is located in the Geosciences and Map Library  in Guyot Hall.  The Center provides access to geospatial data, digital map services and geographic information systems, (GIS) for computer based mapping and analysis.  Also provided are reference  assistance, research consultation, and instruction for all levels of user experience.  Data of interest  in Sociology such as that from the U.S. Census can be related to physical geography here.
  •  Princeton's Historical Maps Collection is found in the Visual Materials Division of the Rare Books  and Special Collections  Department in Firestone Library.  The Collection of Historic Maps contains  some 40,000 pre-1919 sheet maps and charts, from  all parts of the world, especially Europe and the Americas

Videos, Laserdiscs, and DVDs

Princeton's Video Library includes several thousand videos, DVD's, and laserdiscs.  It is located in the Humanitiies Resource Center in 011 East Pyne.  Records for these materials are found in the Main Catalog of  the University Library with the location symbols LRC or VIDL.  Searches for videos can be enhanced in the Main Catalog by using the Guided mode, and then Limiting the search to Video format.  The Sociology Selector especially welcomes recommendations for titles relevant to Sociology to be added to the video collections.  Send email to

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Other Formats and the Web
27.  Sociology on the Internet

The Web is a wondrous place, full of sources beyond imagination for the study of sociological issues.  However, two issues must be kept in mind for successful integration of web sources into serious scholarly work.  One is that in the same way that one must be careful to note the authorship and publishers of materials in print or traditional electronic format, the source of Internet materials is very important.  And the second is that it is always worthwhile to explore non-net sources, and to be sure that net searches are comprehensive.  One good way to do this is talk with subject and reference librarians at Princeton who continue to provide support for scholarly research including the new technologies.   Check the list of Subjects and Specialists from the library staff on the library homepage, or found as the entire back page of the Library broadsheet publication Getting Started available at any reference desk.  We look forward to working with you. 

Internet searching can rely on a number of good search engines. 

Some of the most useful sites for Sociology include: 
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Page last updated 14 March 2012 in the Princeton University Library.
Comments and suggestions for this page are always welcome and can be addressed to