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A selective guide to reference works in Sociology that goes beyond the basics. Includes dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks, guides to the literature, bibliographies, finding books, using indexes, annual reviews, style guides, and other resources.
Bibliographies are lists of works organized around a topic, while guides to the literature are systematic introductions to the literature of a field.
Literature reviews are a handy way to get quickly into the scholarly literature. A typical literature-review article will provide a narrative that identifies and describes dozens of journal articles and books.
A collection of more than 150 bibliographic essays on individual sociological topics. Each essay provides a list of 100 or so classic works and interesting works as well as textbooks, reference and data sources, and journals organized by subtopics. Related OBO areas include anthropology, criminology, communication, Latino studies, and social work.
Print only. 3rd ed. Libraries Unlimited, 2005. A one-volume work that lists and describes books, journals, and databases useful for sociological research. As more and more reference works convert to online access, this work has become a little dated.
1975-present. Ann Rev Sociol articles are lengthy literature reviews with BIG bibliographies. Useful for both the text summary and the citations for further reading. The Annual Reviews website includes other useful journals covering anthropology, psychology, law and economics, political science.
2007-present. A monthly bulletin of new research in all areas of sociological research. Not exactly a literature review journal, but it provides articles that expose new and interesting subject matters and methodologies.
Print only. SAGE, 1991. Describes major longitudinal studies, their primary publications, and secondary publications using data from the studies. Particularly useful for discovering important research projects that may have slipped from the recent scholarly discourse.
Print only. Transaction Publishers, 2004.
One example of a specialized bibliography focusing on a single topic. Other examples can be found using this Franklin:Catalog "Keyword Expert" search: subject:(sociology AND bibliography)
Encyclopedias and Dictionaries
Use dictionaries and encyclopedias to learn quickly about the state of research on your topic. A good encyclopedia article should describe major themes, current research fronts, and controversial areas; it should also provide a brief bibliography of classic, important, or definitive works on your topic.
Print only. New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2000. The second edition of the first multivolume interdisciplinary and international sociology encyclopedia. Medium-length articles with extensive bibliographies. Lacks biographical entries; instead, subject index identifies individuals.
An excellent survey of contemporary social service and policy, welfare, and support. Articles include policy information, bibliographies, and glossaries of jargon. Combining the current online version with ts many and frequent print updates since its 1929 origin in the Social Work Year Book provide snapshots of contemporary U.S. and international social policy and related topics.
Oxford University Press, 2012. A collection of more than 450 brief articles on chronological periods, everyday life, movements and social reform, social order, migration, work and leisure, gender and family, and more. Rather than browse or search, start with the "Topical Outline of Entries". This work does not quite supersede the classic Encyclopedia of American social history (Scribners, 1993).
Abridged translation of Boudon, Raymond and Francois Bourricaud, Dictionnaire critique de la sociologie, 1st ed. (1982) and 2nd ed. (1986). The French-language 3rd ed (Paris: Presses universitaires de France, 1990) is at Van Pelt: HM17 .B68 1990
Online. c1991-1996. Entries describe specific cultures. Ethnonyms, demography, economy, kinship, marital and family organization, political organization, and religion are described. Includes bibliographies and maps.
Wiley-Blackwell, 2018. More than 810 entries on major theories, theorists, schools of thought, disciplines, debates, doctrines, and methodologies. Updates Encyclopedia of social theory / George Ritzer, ed. (SAGE, 2005).
Springer, 2014. Recent multivolume reference work covering the field of regional science comprehensively, including areas such as regional housing and labor markets, regional economic growth, innovation and regional economic development, new and evolutionary economic geography, location and interaction, the environment and natural resources, spatial analysis and geo-computation as well as spatial statistics and econometrics.
Good one-volume handbooks on general topics in sociology, either in print or online. Titles include major social theorists, medical sociology, political sociology, and social movements.
Handbooks generally offer chapters on specific aspects of a topic. As a collection of essays, the handbook's chapters should provide a broad overview of the state of research; individually, chapters may be narrowly focused.
Online. Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. Comprehensive survey grouped around major themes, with bibliographical references. See the 2001 Blackwell companion to medical sociology for summaries of regional or national health care practices around the world.
Routledge, 2013. Chapters on key theories, with emphasis on interdisciplinarity. Routledge Handbooks : Sociology, which includes Routledge Handbooks, Ashgate Handbooks and Companions, CRC Press, and other imprints, tend to be more discursive than the Wiley-Blackwell or SAGE handbook series.
Elsevier, 2006. A major international work presenting lengthy articles on population dynamics and the components of population change, determinants of fertility, mortality, and migration, consequences of demographic change, population theories, population policy. Emphasizes research tools and methodologies in demography.
Routledge, 2007. Based upon a 2003 conference on measurement Issues in family demography, this work's chapters present measurement tools and methodological issues in researching many subtopics in family demography.