Category Archives: Sociology

Need help with finding statistics?

Seeing Through Statistics by Jessica M. Utts

Main 2nd Floor – QA276.12 .U88 2015

‘Tis the season – it’s the end-of-the-semester-paper-crunch time! If you are writing a research paper and need statistics and data to support your argument, the library can help you.

Are you a business major or taking a sociology class that requires you to do quantitative analysis? Or maybe you just need one more excellent source to finish off your paper? Check out the Datasets and Statistics Research Guide, easily accessed from the library homepage.

Here you’ll find many free resources that cover governmental statistics and census info, scientific datasets, social surveys and indicators, financial information, and more. You will also see a list of books under each discipline that will guide you on how to use and analyze statistics effectively.

As always, if you have any questions about accessing and using data, stop by the Reference Desk and ask a librarian for help.

Undergraduate Research Week: April 23 – 29

The university library plays a critical role in undergraduate (or any level) of research. Here at Macdonald-Kelce we celebrate UT’s emphasis on the importance of undergraduate research. This means we are able to offer you higher quality collections with a more in depth focus on research methods. Many of our librarians have subject specific expertise – don’t hesitate to ask us for help.

A week long schedule of events honoring the achievements (your achievements!) made in undergraduate research is coming up in April. Symposia include many of the colleges at UT: College of Natural and Health Sciences (CNHS), Sykes College of Business, College of Social Sciences, Mathematics, and Education (CSSME), the Honors Program, and a Human Rights Conference. Read more about it in the March Insighter.

New Arrivals: Our Punitive Society and Race to Incarcerate

As of 2010 the Bureau of Justice Statistics estimated 2,266,800 persons were incarcerated in jails and state and federal prisons with another 4,887,900 on parole and probation.  While that number represents a small decline from previous years the United States continues to lead the world in the amount of people it imprisons.  If you are interesting in exploring this issue further check out these new arrivals to the library’s collection:

From the Publisher: “In this revised edition of his seminal book on race, class, and the criminal justice system…Including newly written material on recent developments under the Bush administration and updated statistics, graphs, and charts throughout, the book tells the tragic story of runaway growth in the number of prisons and jails and the over reliance on imprisonment to stem problems of economic and social development…”

From the Publisher: “This brand new text identifies the macroeconomic forces relevant to imprisonment—poverty and political powerlessness—and explores viable and humane alternatives to our current incarceration binge.”

New Arrivals: Beyond Barbie and Mortal Combat: New Perspectives on Gender and Gaming

From the publisher’s book description: “Ten years after the groundbreaking From Barbie to Mortal Kombat highlighted the ways gender stereotyping and related social and economic issues permeate digital game play, the number of women and girl gamers has risen considerably. Despite this, gender disparities remain in gaming. Women may be warriors in World of Warcraft, but they are also scantily clad “booth babes” whose sex appeal is used to promote games at trade shows.

“Player-generated content has revolutionized gaming, but few games marketed to girls allow “modding” (game modifications made by players). Gender equity, the contributors to Beyond Barbie and Mortal Kombat argue, requires more than increasing the overall numbers of female players. Beyond Barbie and Mortal Kombat brings together new media theorists, game designers, educators, psychologists, and industry professionals, including some of the contributors to the earlier volume, to look at how gender intersects with the broader contexts of digital games today: gaming, game industry and design, and serious games.

“The contributors discuss the rise of massively multiplayer online games (MMOs) and the experience of girl and women players in gaming communities; the still male-dominated gaming industry and the need for different perspectives in game design; and gender concerns related to emerging serious games (games meant not only to entertain but also to educate, persuade, or change behavior). In today’s game-packed digital landscape, there is an even greater need for games that offer motivating, challenging, and enriching contexts for play to a more diverse population of players.”

Reference Question of the Week: How do I find information on food cultures?

How can I find information on different food cultures?

Every culture has different ways of cultivating, preparing, consuming, and sharing food. What you eat is determined by your cultural surroundings, as is when you eat, how you eat, and with whom you eat. Learning about the cultural expectations surrounding food helps shine a light on different ways of living.

To learn more about food cultures first check the online catalog to see if we have a book on the food of the culture that interests you. Using ‘food’ and ‘culture’ as my search terms I immediately hit on a series of e-books (you must be logged into Esearch to access the content of these titles):

Food culture in the Mediterranean [electronic resource] by Carol Helstosky.
Food culture in France [electronic resource] by Julia Abramson.
Food culture in Great Britain [electronic resource] by Laura Mason.
Food culture in China [electronic resource] by Jacqueline M. Newman.
Food culture in Italy [electronic resource] by Fabio Parasecoli.
Food culture in India [electronic resource] by Colleen Taylor Sen.
Food culture in sub-Saharan Africa [electronic resource] by Fran Osseo-Asare.
Food culture in Russia and Central Asia [electronic resource] by Glenn R. Mack and Asele Surina.
Food culture in South America [electronic resource] by José Rafael Lovera ; translated by Ainoa Larrauri.
Food culture in Mexico [electronic resource] by Janet Long-Solís and Luis Alberto Vargas.
Food culture in the Near East, Middle East, and North Africa [electronic resource] by Peter Heine.
Food culture in Japan [electronic resource] by Michael Ashkenazi and Jeanne Jacob.
Food culture in Spain [electronic resource] by F. Xavier Medina.
Food culture in the Caribbean by Lynn Marie Houston.
Food culture in Scandinavia by Henry Notaker.

You might also want to look through an encyclopedia like —

Encyclopedia of food and culture [electronic resource] by Solomon H. Katz, editor in chief & William Woys Weaver, associate editor.

Or, some of these reference books located in the Global Issues Carrel (the table full of books immediately to your right upon entering the library):

The Ethnic Food Lover Companion: understanding the cuisines of the world.
The Oxford companion to Food, 2nd ed.
The Cambridge World History of Food, V. 1 & V. 2
What The World Eats
Food & Culture

Searching for food cultures is one of the times when generating synonyms really pays off. In addition to food, be sure to search for cuisine, and culinary. In addition to food culture, be sure to search for food habits, and/or cooking. You might also consider browsing our shelves. Most food culture books will be found under the TX call number. (Call numbers are the alpha-numeric code we place on the spine of every book. Our collection is alphabetized by the letters on the spines of the books.)

If you want to start with different types of food you can also start with books. We have a variety of books covering foods like sugar, coffee, pizza, vanilla, cod, salt, garlic, and pie.

Some of the databases to start with are World Folklife and Folklore, Academic Search Complete, ProQuest, Sage, JSTOR, SocIndex, Social Sciences, Daily Life Online, and ScienceDirect. Be sure you are logged into Esearch to access these databases.

Intro to Sociology Handout

You can find the Intro to Sociology handout at our Libguides link. (While you’re there check out the rest of our Research Guides. Be sure to hit All Guides to see them all.)

Or, since I’m here, I might as well paste it into the post:

Sociology Resources @ Macdonald Kelce Library

How to access academic databases

The Macdonald Kelce Library offers numerous databases for your use, accessible from the library’s homepage ( In the left column under Resources, click on ESearch, and login with your Spartans Domain. You are now authenticated to use all of the UT databases, even if you are off campus.

Ebsco Databases
The following Ebsco databases specializing in Sociology Resources can be searched at the same time. Simply click on Academic Source Complete at the top of the Esearch page, click on choose databases, check the box next to SocIndex and Social Sciences Full Text, and click OK.

Other Databases:
Oxford Journals Full text articles in the social sciences (can limit search to social science journals).

Sage Premier (can limit search to social sciences and humanities, or sociology).

ProQuest Articles in the social sciences, humanities and more.

JSTOR Articles in sociology, philosophy, African American Studies, and more.

Project Muse Articles in cultural studies, sociology, political science, gender studies, and more.

How to access online sociology journals
In Ejournals, you can search by subject. First choose Social Sciences, and then you can select journals under Sociology and Social History.

Sociology subject portal
From the Library’s homepage (, under the Collections column, click on Subject Portals. You will find Sociology in the left column ( Here you will find links to databases, journals, websites, and books that are related to the field of Sociology.

Narrow your search for more relevant results
In most databases, you can limit your keywords to show up in the abstract or title, which will help you to find more relevant articles. You can also limit searches to full text only, or scholarly or peer reviewed articles.

Find related articles on a specific topic
Look at the subjects and keywords the databases use to tag an article. Many times, you will also see a list of keywords under the abstract of an article that the author has created, revealing the main concepts. Using these keywords in a search can help you to find related articles. Also, referring to a relevant article’s works cited page can be useful.

How to locate an article using a citation
Locate the journal title in the citation, and then go to the Ejournals Search (you must be logged into Esearch). This will enable you to see if the library owns the journal, and if so, what database the journal is held in, and for what date range. For example, to track down this article:

Martin, K. (1998). Becoming a gendered body: Practices of preschools. American Sociological Review, 63, 494-511.

Type in American Sociological Review into Ejournals to show these holdings:

from 02/01/1936 to 1 year ago in SocINDEX with Full Text
from 02/01/1936 to 12/31/2009 in JSTOR Arts & Sciences I Archive Collection
from 02/01/1988 to 1 year ago in ABI/INFORM Complete, ABI/INFORM Global, Nursing & Allied Health Source, ProQuest Research Library and Psychology Journals
from 02/01/2004 to present in SAGE Premier 2012

The publication year is 1998, so the SocIndex database should have this article. After clicking the link, the article can be located by year, and then volume (63), or by clicking on “search within this publication” and using the article title (“Becoming a gendered body…”) in the search box.

How to cite
The library has a webpage ( that provides several links to excellent resources on in-text citations and works cited pages. You’ll also find information on how to build a thesis statement, avoid plagiarism, outline your paper, and much more.

Refworks is an online research management, writing and collaboration tool. It is designed to help researchers gather, manage, store and share all types of information, as well as generate citations and bibliographies. Sign up for a free account on the Library’s website.