Sociological Abstracts is a tremendous resource, but sometimes your subject will straddle its boundaries. If you're working on family topics, you will want to search Family & Society Studies Worldwide. If it's social psychology, PsycINFO will be important. General or nonsubject databases might also be useful, either for their special features (ISI Web of Science) or for the formats they cover (ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Fulltext and Ethnic NewsWATCH).
Newspapers can be an excellent source of information on local ethnic events and issues, as well as providing perspectives on national topics. Newspaper databases are oriented toward fulltext searching, which can lead to overwhelming results. Aim for proper nouns (e.g., personal or organization names) and look for headline + lead paragraph field codes.
Doctoral dissertations are book-length works of original research. (Some dissertations, typically in economics and demography, are collections of article-length research reports.) Dissertations are particularly useful for several reasons:
ISI Web of Science - also known as "The citation indexes", including Science Citation Index and Social Sciences Citation Index - is all about article bibliographies. As the database covers a wide range of subjects (it's strongest in the life sciences), your citation chasing will return broader results than similar tools in SocAbs.
Got an article you really like?
As the database covers a wide range of subjects (it's strongest in the life sciences), your citation chasing will return broader results than similar tools in PsycINFO.
Got a methodology, tool, or technique you want to see applied to your topic?
When in doubt, ask for help. Cited reference searching in ISI Web of Science can be tricky.