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Getting Started in Sociology Research: Welcome!

Strategies for Connecting with Sociological Resources in a Focused Way

Getting HELP

VISIT A REFERENCE DESK No appointment needed. All of the Princeton libraries have them. The usual hours for the Firestone reference desk are Monday-Friday 11am-5pm, Sunday 2pm-6pm.

CHAT September - May: Connect instantly with a librarian on Sundays from 6pm-11pm, Mon-Wed 1pm-11pm, Thur 1pm-9pm and Saturday 1pm-5pm.

SMS/Text This service is available the same hours as the CHAT service above.  Text 246246 and start your message with libchatpul

E-MAIL Get a response from a librarian within 24 hours, year round  - often more quickly

APPOINTMENT Make an appointment with Sociology Librarian.  Email

Guide to Research

IAn excellent overall guide to academic library research has been written by Princeton's Senior Reference Librarian, Mary W. George. 

Elements of library research: what every student needs to know / Mary W. George. 2008, Princeton University more background about the library research process and how to adapt it to the variety of complex research projects. Elements of library research  It is found in electronic full text through the Library's Catalog, and also in paper copies in several locations.  

About this Research Guide

in the Princeton University Library 

Sociology examines the everyday world, and the extraordinary world, and finds evidence for causation and relationships in what people do, and what happens to them, because they have a particular identity, fall into a particular group, at a particular place, and at a particular time.  Sociology creates a rational and even scientific framework, and keeps that study from drifting off into gossip, or journalism, or op-ed opining.   A more elegant description is found in the International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences:

Sociology, commonly defined as the scientific study of social relations, social institutions, and societies, is characterized by a great diversity of ways of conceiving its objectives, uses, styles, and methods. One type of sociologist sees it as having a mainly informative function: producing data and analyses oriented toward decision makers. Another type sees its function rather as critical: identifying the defects of societies. A third type sees sociology as having the main objective of explaining social phenomena. The three orientations characterize contemporary as well as classical sociology. Also sociologists endorse a variety of methodological and theoretical orientations…
Boudon, R.   “Sociology:  Overview”, in the International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, pp. 14581-14585.  1st ed. Amsterdam:  Elsevier, 2001.  Viewed online June 2011.

The library at Princeton provides a wealth of theory, analysis, case studies, and data archives for sociological research.  Basic tools are identified in this Guide, and individual consultation is also available with any of the subject specialists on the Library staff.  Our goal is to help you focus your research  to get the most useful tools and materials, and to do your work in a way that is efficient, saving as much time as is practical. 

Please let me know how I can be of assistance in your research.

By the way - an exhaustive guide to sociological resources at Princeton - and beyond - is available on the DETAILED tab above.

Susan White
Sociology Librarian


Subject Guide

Susan White's picture
Susan White
Susan Bennett White
Firestone Library

First Steps

Princeton University Library is a treasure house of resources for research in all aspects of Sociology. In this guide we identify a core group, and suggest several useful ways to delve into them. To Begin:  

  •       Work through sources listed here. and/or
  •       Make an appointment with any of us for guidance.

In any case, we always available to help with specific queries:

Susan White
    Sociology Librarian
Arthur Miller
   Research Services Librarian
Ashley Faulkner
    Quantitative Research Librarian