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Encyclopedias and handbooks offer good summaries of specific topics, covering major issues and controversies, identifying important theories and scholars, and brief bibliographies of useful works. Handbooks are built from journal article-length chapters that usually provide more context and discussion than encyclopedia articles, and they will have longer bibliographies, too.
HINT! Handbooks often place their bibliographies in a separate chapter at the end of the volume. To work quickly, open the bibliography chapter in a new browser window. You can toggle back and forth from text chapter to bibliography chapter. You'll need to open a third browser window for the PennText Article Finder, too.
"Family & friendship". Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology Online (Wiley Online Library, 2007).
Several dozen articles on family topics, from the leading encyclopedia in the field. Articles will include brief bibliographies.
Wiley Blackwell companion to the sociology of families (Wiley Online Library, 2014)
This handbook provides chapters on family systems around the world, diversity, inequality, and immigration and their effects upon families, family forms, influences, processes, and contexts.
Key concepts in family studies / Jane Ribbens McCarthy & Rosalind Edwards (SAGE Knowledge, 2011).
Not quite an encyclopedia but more than a dictionary, a useful basic reference work that helps to define and clarify specific aspects of the sociology of the family.
Good Reading on Families
The Penn Libraries has an enormous book collection on families and related topics.
Russell Sage Foundation e-books on families
E-books from one of the most prestigious sociology presses. Many Russell Sage Foundation books are built from chapters by leading scholars, including Penn professors.
NOTE! Franklin describes many more Russell Sage Foundation books in paper format. Russell Sage Foundation has only recently started to release e-books. To see print and online titles, click OFF the "Online" limit.
SAGE Knowledge e-books on families
SAGE is a leading independent publisher in the social and behavioral sciences. SAGE Knowledge, their e-book platform, includes reference works as well as scholarly monographs. This Franklin Catalog search result also includes ebooks from SAGE Research Methods, a related database that focuses on social science methodology.
Franklin - the Penn Libraries catalog
Franklin lists books, e-books, journals, e-journals, videos and videostreams, and many more things for your use. Try a few searches, look at the sidebar Subject facet to discover relevant subject headings, then do new Advanced Searches to build clusters of synonyms and related concepts.
To show the range of topics available and to suggest subjects, here's a list of Franklin subject headings
for the SAGE Knowledge e-books on families.
Using Citations to Find Resources
You may already have citations of relevance to the text on which you are working. These resources will help you find an online or print version of the cited work.
Finding journal articles & other scholarly lit
These bibliographies and databases will help you to identify interesting readings on families and related subjects. Some of these databases will provide fulltext, but they should all have PennText Article Finder buttons or links that will point to online fulltext or print versions.
HINT! Try a few test searches, look at titles that catch your attention, read their abstracts and note down their subject headings or descriptors. Then try to build searches using synonyms and clusters of subject headings or descriptors.
Family & Society Studies Worldwide
A specialist bibliographic database, the online successor to Inventory of marriage and family literature combined with some smaller bibliographic databases on Australian families, family violence, and military-family sociology.
Work and Family Commons
An online repository of publications by researchers participating in the Work and Family Researchers Network, based here at Penn. Click on the "Explore" link.
Contemporary Women's Issues
Provides a very interesting mix of scholarly journal articles and gray literature (reports, press releases, and other ephemeral items) on all aspects of womens studies.
Describes the gray literature of public policy, that is, informal thinktank and other research center reports that are often overlooked by SocAbs or FSSW. Provides fulltext and links out to original fulltext. Try pasting this Subject term: "Children, Youth and Families", then adding your own keywords.
A fulltext collection of major scholarly journals, particularly strong in sociology. Includes complete runs (up to five years ago) for Family Relations, International Journal of Sociology of the Family, Journal of Marriage and Family as well as the flagship journal.
CAVEAT JSTOR usually does NOT provide fulltext for a journal's most recent five years. Want current scholarship? Do not look at JSTOR.
Also, JSTOR is a fulltext database. If you're not very careful, then your search results will overwhelm you. Use SocAbs or another bibliographic database.
Finding statistical information
These e-resources will help you find U.S. federal government statistics on families.
ProQuest Statistical Abstract of the United States (Online edition)
The current and ongoing replacement to the U.S. Census Bureau's Stat Abs
, published annually 1789-2012.HINT!
Remember - this is an ABSTRACT of federal statistical publications as well as a factbook. Use its tables to identify federal agencies and their statistical publications that might provide more detail than Stat Abs
Historical Statistics of the United States (Millennial edition)
A many-year cumulative alternative to Stat Abs, produced by Cambridge University Press with the U.S. Census Bureau.
HINT! Take the time to read the essays accompanying the section you're using, and pay extra careful attention to the "Full Documentation" for each table, where variations and peculiarities in the time series will be noted.
Families and Living Arrangements / U.S. Census Bureau
Provides links to government data sources on families, including the American Community Survey and the Decennial Census, the Current Population Survey, and the Survey of Income and Program Participation.
Proquest Statistical Insight
Use this to identify publications with statistics and other data sources, including U.S. federal and state statistical publications. PQSI doesn't always provide a direct URL to the publication, so you might need to Google away or ask for help.
HINT! Start with an "Advanced Search", change a dropdown to "Subject/Index Terms", then "Select from list" - family topics will be found under the headings, "Population and Income" and "Public Welfare and Social Security". After your search is completed, use the sidebar facets.
CAVEAT Don't be worried about overwhelming results. PQSI provides a record for every year a publication is issued - that's a LOT of records! Sort results by year to get a feel for the variety of information available.
National Survey of Family Growth / U.S. Centers for Disease Control
Federal survey of adults 15-44 years old, 1973-present (now annual). Covers family life, marriage and divorce, pregnancy, infertility, use of contraception, and men's and women's health.
HINT! Use the "Key Statistics from NSFG" link for quick access to basic findings. Use the "Bibliography" link to find articles and reports that have used the NSFG.
Librarian & Coordinator of Social Sciences Collections
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