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Sociology Research Guide


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Sarah Dahlen

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Research Help Desk:

  • Phone: (831) 582-3872
  • Text (831) 703-8105
  • Library Hours

Articles & databases

Finding articles & books

Use OneSearch to look for books, articles, videos, and more. 

To find a specific database, visit the Articles and Databases page. 

OneSearch includes books from all 23 CSU campuses, as well as links to request them. Make sure you're signed into your library account to see the request link. 

Additional information about interlibrary loan

Finding additional information

Statistics about the United States are most commonly found on government websites. Enter your search terms in Google, and include the following to limit your search to government websites:

Example search: 

domestic violence statistics

Statistics can also be found at the databases listed below and on the Statistics and Data page.

The Qualitative Data Repository (QDR) has qualitative datasets that can be used for secondary analysis. You can browse the repository as a guest, but you will have to create a free account to access the data. Some datasets are restricted due to the sensitive nature of the data, so look for datasets where the license/data use agreement is "Standard Access." If you are viewing a "Standard Access" dataset and the files appear to be locked, make sure that you are logged in to the site and that you have accepted the user agreement. 

ICPSR (Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research) has an archive of data from the social and behavioral sciences. Some data files are public and others have restricted access. For files that are restricted to member institutions, you may need to be on a CSUMB computer (such as those in the library) to download files. 

Ed Data - Fiscal, demographic, and performance data on California's K-12 schools

ARDA - Association of Religion Data Archives

FRED - Economic data from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Internet Crossroads in Social Science Data - Search or browse University Wisconsin-Madison Libraries' resource for sources of social science data

World Values Survey - Global data on human values and beliefs

General Social Survey - Survey data on American attitudes and social characteristics, from the University of Chicago

Washington Post Police Shootings Database - Tracks fatal police shootings starting in 2015

Search encyclopedias for background information

International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences - Largest reference work ever published for the social and behavioral sciences.

Sociology encyclopedias and dictionaries

Search in online subject encyclopedias

You may need to re-submit your search in the subject encyclopedia

Monterey and San Benito County Homeless Census Reports - Coalition of Homeless Service Providers

2-1-1 Search for Monterey County - Information and referrals to services and resources, including food, clothing, health, housing, etc. Provided by United Way Monterey County. 

Theory & method

These sources may be helpful in identifying a social science theory to apply to your work, in getting an overview of a particular theory, or in identifying scholarly sources about a theory. 

Social Theory: A New Introduction (Murphy, 2021) - This print book is divided into thematic sections (economy, culture, knowledge, social justice, etc.) with each section addressing theories relevant to that theme. 

International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences (Wright, 2015) - This online encyclopedia includes numerous in-depth entries on theories and theorists, along with citations for scholarly sources on each. In addition to entries on single theories (e.g. rational choice theory), there are some entries on groups of related theories (e.g. theories of sexuality). The table of contents is too extensive to browse through, but a search on “theory” brings up a list of relevant results for those who have not yet chosen a theory/framework.

Encyclopedia of Social Theory (Harrrington et al., 2006) - This print encyclopedia has concise, overview-level entries on theories (e.g. systems theory), theorists (e.g. Simone de Beauvoir), and concepts/social issues (e.g. social movements, violence). 

Encyclopedia of Social Theory (Ritzer, 2005) - This two-volume print encyclopedia provides overviews of many theories, theorists, and social concepts, with references to the original scholarly sources. 

Classical Sociological Theory (Calhoun et al., 2002) - This print book compiles the original writings of many theorists whose ideas have informed sociological thinking, including Marx, Durkheim, Weber, Freud, DuBois, and many others. See link for table of contents. 

Anthropological Theories - Practical online guide to anthropological theories written by graduate students at the University of Alabama. 

Anthropological Theory: An Introductory History (McGee & Warms, 2017) - This print book compiles the original writings of many theorists whose ideas have informed anthropological thinking, including Boas, Benedict, Radcliffe-Brown, Geertz, Foucault, and many others. See link for table of contents.

Archaeological Theory: An Introduction (Johnson, 2020) - This print book describes major archaeological theories and includes case studies to show how the theories can be applied.

Social Movements (Staggenborg, 2022) - This print book has a section on theories related to social movements. 

Intersectionality as Critical Social Theory (Hill Collins, 2019)

Sociological Theory for Digital Society: The Codes that Bind Us Together (Schwarz, 2021) - This print book addressed how certain sociological theories/concepts (symbolic interactionism, social capital, power, labor, and social ontology) can be adapted to better suit a digital environment.