"The function of sociology, as of every science, is to reveal that which is hidden." - Pierre Bourdieu
This introduction offers sources and tips for navigating the library's range of materials in sociology. Sociology can be interdisciplinary, so if you're struggling to find something, you might also want to check out the guides for anthropology, psychology, social welfare or economics--or contact your librarian!
Don't have much time and need to get started quickly?
1. Search our library catalog to find books, ebooks, and DVDs in the library.
4. Search for your topic + "social aspects," "sociological aspects," or "sociology of" on Google Scholar.
5. If you find a key article, type the title on Google Scholar and click "cited by" to see who else is using that work.
1. Have a question, or a fuzzy idea. What social and cultural factors influence the decision to text while operating a vehicle? is great. Why do people text while driving is a good place to start, as well.
2. Browse encyclopedias or Wikipedia to get a quick overview, or search a general database like Academic Search Complete and read an article or two to learn what’s out there on your topic.
3. Come up with a list of words to search in our sociology databases. Don't be afraid to search for related topics like mobile phone use, distracted driving, etc. Synonyms are your friends!
4. Know how Google Scholar + library catalogs and databases work, and try each one for a major project.
5. Download and read a few related articles. Their mention of other articles will give you ideas for other resources.
6. You probably won't find the perfect article. No one else is going to make your argument for you in a single article. Instead, you'll need to combine ideas from other authors on related topics or cultures to make your own argument for how societies are the way they are. That's sociology!
7. Get help. Use the 20-minute rule. If you're still struggling after 20 minutes of searching, email a librarian for an appointment.