Sociology Subject Guide - Library & Learning Resources - City College of San Francisco
Go to the CCSF library's main page Find Books using the library's Catalog Find Articles in periodical & reference databases Search the web Library information, frequently asked questions Go to main CCSF web page

Finding Books

Reserve Books

Subject Headings

Reference Sources

Finding Articles

Web Resources

Evaluating Sources

Citing Sources

Additional Help


Sociology Subject Guide

Subject guides are designed to help students begin the research process, find reputable sources, and save time.

Searching the Library Catalog for Books & Other Materials

To locate books and other materials in CCSF Libraries, select the Library Catalog from the Library's Homepage. You will notice many ways to search, such as Title, Author, Subject, Subject Keyword, etc.

'Sociology, the study of human social behavior, is defined by classes HM through HX in the Library of Congress classification system. In broad terms, these classes cover general and theoretical sociology; social history and conditions; marriage, family and sexual life (including women's studies); secret and other societies and clubs; communities, classes and races; social problems, welfare and criminology; and socialism, communism and utopianism.' --from Collections Overviews (Sociology), Library of Congress.

Examples of subject searches include: parenthood, aging, poverty, capital punishment, fathers, adoption, terrorism, criminal justice, children abuse, sexism, welfare, social movements, minorities, urban renewal, homeless, handicapped. Well-known sociologists include: Emile Durkheim, Nancy J. Chodorow, Karl Mannheim, Simone de Beauvoir, Anthony Giddens, Stuart Hall, Herbert Blumer, Harold Garfinkel, and Max Weber. Enter their last name first when searching for them as authors or subjects.

Reserve Materials

Reserve Materials include books, sample tests, class notes, and other items that instructors put at the library for class use. The check out time is shorter than regular circulating books.

To search for a book on reserve in the Library Catalog, select from the pulldown menu, either Reserve Materials by Course or Reserve Materials by Instructor.

When you have located the materials, write down the Call Number and Title and present this to a staff person at the Circulation Desk.


Browsing the Library Collection

Materials in the Library are shelved by call number according to the Library of Congress classification system. Books are arranged on the shelves by subject. Relevant areas in the collection to find materials on art include:

General Sociology HM
Social History, Problems, and Reform HN
Family, Marriage, Women HQ
Societies and Clubs HS
Cities, Communities, Races HT
Social Service, Welfare, Criminology HV
Socialism, Communism, Utopias, Anarchism HX


Using Key Reference Sources

Reference books provide background information and overviews on a given topic. Some relevant reference books in sociology include:

American Social and Political Movements, 1900-1945: Pursuit of Progress. .
Detroit: St. James, 2000.
D20.H543 2000 Rosenberg Reference

The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Social Psychology..
Oxford, UK: Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, 1995.
HM251.B476 1995 Rosenberg Reference

Dictionary of Medical Sociology. William C. Cockerham
Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1997.
RA418.C655 1997 Rosenberg Reference

Encyclopedia of American Social History.
NY: Scribner, 1993.
HN57.E58 1993 Rosenberg Reference

Encyclopedia of Marriage and the Family.
NY: Macmillan, 1995
HQ9.E52 1995 Rosenberg Reference

Encyclopedia of Sociology.
NY: Macmillan, 1992.
HM17.E5 1992 Rosenberg Reference

The Blackwell Dictionary of Sociology: A User's Guide to Sociological Language.
Allan G. Johnson. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 1995.
HM17.J64 1995 Downtown Reference

Key Sociological Thinkers
NY: New York U, 1998.
HM51.K43 1998 Rosenberg Reference

A Research Guide to Human Sexuality.
Kara Ellynn Lichtenberg. NY: Garland, 1994
HQ21.L55 1994 Rosenberg Reference

Sociology Basics.
Pasadena, CA: Salem, 2000
HM425.S63 2000 John Adams Reference


Searching for Articles in Periodical Databases

Periodical databases group together journal, magazine, and newspaper articles by subject. They also usually provide abstracts (brief summaries) and the full text of the articles. Do you need help identifying the differences between scholarly journal v. popular magazine articles?

Note: Most periodical databases are part of the private, passworded Web, so you will need to have a current CCSF ID card with a barcode to access those that CCSF subscribes to. You get the free barcode from the Library either in person or online.

Infotrac Web
Infotrac is a brand name for several databases with coverage from 1980 to the present. Most useful for art topics are the InfoTrac Expanded Academic ASAPand the Business INdex ASAP. These databases let you limit your results to articles only from scholarly journals by checking the box "Refereed titles."

Proquest Newspapers
Provides full text indexing of the Christian Science Monitor, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street journal, and Washington Post -- Time periods vary.

Ethnic Newswatch
Comprised of newspapers, magazines and journals of the ethnic, minority and native press in America, this unique body of materials covers a wide range of current topics and countless other social, political and educational subjects. More than 200 publications covering 1995 to the present are represented, and searchable in both English and Spanish.

SFPL - Electronic Resources, Magazines, and Newspapers
San Francisco Public Library subscribes to many periodical and reference databases. You must have a San Francisco Public Library card number to access them. Once you have entered your barcode number, select the subject - Art.


Web Resources

Below are some examples of academic/scholarly web sites pertaining to art and art history. If you use a search engine, such as Google, remember to evaluate the quality of the results.

Social Science Gateways on the Net
Extensive resources compiled by the University of California San Diego.

WCSU List: Sociology Internet Resources
Based at Western Connecticut State University it provides ten topic sectors such as culture and society, ethnicity, women, family, criminology, theory, research, and US census. .

Julian Dierkes' Sociology Links
Julian Dierkes’ List of Sociology links at Princeton are mainly US sociology resources. .

Digital Sociological Tour Through Cyberspace The Sociological Tour Through Cyberspace was designed for undergraduate students. .

Online Dictionary of Social Sciences

Elwell’s Glossary of Sociology
By a professor at Murray State University, Kentucky. Glossary contains 450 entries.

Social Science Hub
Aimed at academics, the Social Science Hub, based in Australia, links news, data archives, and search tools around the world

Online Journals

  • Electric Journal of Sociology.
    with articles available on-line and indexed by author, title and date
  • American Journal of Sociology
    One of the two main American sociology journals
  • American Sociological Review
    The other of the two main American sociology journals

Associations and Organizations



Need More Assistance?

Librarians welcome your questions and can help you with your research. For additional help you may go to the Reference Desk at any of the 5 CCSF campus libraries or telephone:

  • Rosenberg Library: 415-452-5543
  • Alice Statler Library: 415-239-3460
  • John Adams Library: 415-561-1946
  • Southeast Campus Library: 415-550-4353
  • Downtown Campus library: 415-267-6513
Electronic Reference Service to CCSF students, faculty, staff and registered community users. Use this service when you are NOT in a CCSF library.

Library and Web Research Workshops
FIfty minute workshops are given throughout the semester on effective methods in searching for books, articles and information on the Internet.

Evaluating and Citing Information Sources
Several useful sources for evaluating the quality of web pages, how to prepare citations for a "Bibliography" or "Works Cited" list, and how to avoid plagiarism.

Purdue's Online Writing Lab
One of the most thorough and easy to navigate writing labs avaialble!

A+ Research and Writing
Hosted by the Internet Public Library.

Writing Process @ CSU
Colorado State University developed these guides which "focus on a range of composing processes as well as issues related to the situations in which writers find themselves."

Send comments or suggestions to:

Suzanne Lo
Subject Selector
(415) 452-5546


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Last updated May 6, 2003