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This guide provides an overview of sociology resources and materials available through NYU Libraries.

Find Background Info in Reference Sources

Reference works such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks provide background information on a topic. They are especially useful at the beginning of a research project because they can help you:

  • get a broad overview of a topic
  • map the field
  • gather fast facts
  • define terms, theories, and people in an area
  • focus your argument
  • find further readings written by experts in the field

Online Dictionaries

Here is a selection of sociological dictionaries. For additional dictionaries both in print and online, search our online catalog for the subject heading: Sociology -- Dictionaries.

Online Encyclopedias

Here is a selection of general sociological encyclopedias. For additional encyclopedias both in print and online, search our online catalog for the subject headingSociology -- Encyclopedias.

For more online encyclopedias, try searching Credo Reference, which is an online collection of dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks, etc. covering topics from the arts to the sciences and including a large number of sociology reference sources.

Oxford University Press Online