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Sociology Guide: Background Information

Reference Materials

Reference books are things like encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, or other works that contain facts and background information. They are a good place to start in your research. They are often organized alphabetically, and beginning in the index (located in the back of the book) is a helpful to finding just what you need. The books below are just a handful of options. Choose a tab and click on the link for more information.

Oxford Reference

You can use the database, Oxford Reference, for online encyclopedias, dictionaries, and overviews.

To Browse:

You can search in the search box in the upper right of the screen for "Sociology" to browse relevant titles.

To Search Directly for Your Topic

You can search in the search box in the upper right of the screen using you keywords and limit to Sociology. To do so, run the search with your keywords. On the results page, look to the limiters menu on the left. Expand the subcategories under "Social sciences" by clicking on the small + sign. Then select "Sociology".

Limiting to Available Materials:

Note that some materials in this database are not available in full text. If you see a red lock beside a title it means we do not have access. You can filter these out of the results by checking only "Unlocked" and "Free" in the limiters menu on the left side of the screen under "By Availability".

Sage Knowledge

Sage Knowledge is a database we have been granted temporary access to due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can search with a keyword in the search box or browse by subject and format type below.

Reference Books

Look for eBook in the call number for those available online.


Look for eBook in the call number for those available online


Look for eBook in the call number for those available online.


Look for eBook in the call number for those available online.


Look for eBook in the call number for those available online.


Look for eBook in the call number for those available online.