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Culture and Society: Finding Articles

A guide to library resources (e.g. books, databases, encyclopedias) related to the sociology of culture.

Special Topics


While SocIndex and Sociological Abstracts are great places to start your search for articles, there are additional databases you might try if you are interested in the intersection between culture and other topics.  


Women's Studies International (1972-present)

Covers the core disciplines in Women's Studies up to the latest scholarship in feminist research.  Nearly 800 sources include: journals, newspapers, newsletters, bulletins, books, book chapters, proceedings, reports, theses, dissertations, NGO studies, and more.  

GenderWatch (1970-present)

GenderWatch is a full-text database that focuses on how gender impacts a variety of subject areas.  It also provides a historical perspective on the evolution of the women's movement and changes in gender roles through scholarly journals, magazines, newspapers, newsletters, regional publications, special reports, etc.

Contemporary Women's Issues (1992-present)

Provides full-text access to global information on women, including journals, newsletters, research reports from non-profit groups, government, and international agencies.    


Chicano Database (1960-present)

Pulls together a materials on Chicano studies from more than 2,400 journals and other resources, including newspapers, books, book chapters, and more.  Focus is on the Mexican-American and Chicano experience, as well as the broader Latino experience of Puerto Ricans, Cuban Americans, and Central American immigrants.  

Black Studies Center

A gateway to Black Studies that includes scholarly essays, recent periodicals, historical newspaper articles, reference books and much more.  It combines essential resources for research and teaching in Black studies, including the Schomburg Studies on the Black Experience, Index to Black Periodicals Full Text, Black Literature Index, and the Chicago Defender historical newspaper from 1912-1975.  

Bibliography of Asian Studies 

Contains 878,085 records on all subjects related to East, Southeast, and South Asian (including East-, Southeast-, and South Asian-Americans).  Includes citations to Western-language periodical articles, monographs, chapters in edited volumes, conference proceedings, and more.  


ERIC (1966-present)

Indexes published and unpublished sources on all aspects of education and educational research. ERIC also indexes library and information science. Incorporates ERIC Digests, full-text reports on topics of current interest in education. Endnote compatible. ED numbers are available in microfiche 411.  


PsycINFO (1807-present)

Covers the professional and academic literature in psychology and related disciplines. Coverage is worldwide and includes references and abstracts to over 1300 journals in over 20 languages, and to English language books and book chapters.

Finding Articles

Key Sociology Databases

The following two databases are the most important for sociology. While there is some overlap between the two, each has unique material.  These databases have direct links to full-text, either through hyperlinks or the "Find it at Emory" button.  

Indexes and abstracts the international literature in sociology and related fields. Covers almost 2000 journals, plus relevant dissertation listings, abstracts of conference papers, and selected books. This is a smaller, more academic database with more foreign language material than SocINDEX. A print edition of this title is available at Ref. HM 1.S6.

Indexes and abstracts over 2500 journals, conference papers, and relevant books and dissertations in sociology and related fields. Includes some popular literature and additional full-text for many (but not all) citations. Provides deep historical coverage for major journals, e.g. American Journal of Sociology is indexed back to 1895.

Other important databases of interest to sociologists: 

Part of the Web of Knowledge, the Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI) is a multidisciplinary database. SSCI allows you to search not only by key words from an article's title but also by authors who have been cited in an article's bibliography. This is called citation searching. If you know a key article on your topic, this is often a very effective way to search. When you first connect to the Web of Knowledge, you can search the entire database or restrict your search to SSCI. Endnote compatible. A print version covering 1969-1993 is available at Ref. Z7161.S65.‚Äč

Tip: On discoverE, click on the articles tab and select "social sciences" from the drop down menu. This will allow you to search Sociological Abstracts, Social Science Abstracts, Social Science Citation Index, Econlit, and Worldwide Political Science Abstracts at the same time.


You can use Browzine to browse by subfield in sociology.  For example, they have a category of journals titled "Culture and Social Structure".  

The Annual Review of Sociology

The Annual Review of Sociology is an excellent source for literature reviews.  Authors are invited by the journal to write on recent research being conducting in their area of expertise.  Often, they conclude their articles by listing problems that remain understudied in the field.  The bibliographies of these articles list important recent work done on the topic and are a great place to start your own literature reviews.  They are also helpful for inspiring your own original questions about culture.  

Spines of print editions of the Annual Review of Sociology. Photo courtesy of Wikicommons.

For example, check out Orlando Patterson's article "Making Sense of Culture" in which he reviews problems in the sociological study of culture.     

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