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Department of Sociology

Carol Anne Germain, Subject Librarian

I. General Purpose

The University Libraries' sociology collection supports undergraduate and graduate (to the Ph.D. level) degree programs and faculty research. The doctoral program emphasizes sociological theory, research methodology, and the application of sociological knowledge to substantive specializations. The department also offers a certificate program in demography and a communication specialization in the doctoral program. Sociological materials are utilized extensively by the programs at Rockefeller College, students enrolled in the M.A. program in Social Studies, and by the Women's Studies and Africana Studies programs.

Within the department, faculty and program interests address diverse areas, such as deviance and crime, organizations and work, urbans and community sociology, social demography (including family, gender, and aging), race and ethnicity, and quantitative and qualitative methods in the social sciences.

II. Subject and Language Modifiers

Languages: The primary language of the sociology collection is English. Materials in western European languages are acquired selectively.

Geographical Areas: The United States and Canada form the focus of collection emphasis, although there has been a growing interest in China in recent years. Materials dealing with other areas of the world are acquired if they are of interest for reasons other than geographical setting (e.g. theory, methodology, etc.). Significant comparative studies are also acquired.

Chronological Periods: Primarily the twentieth century.

III. Description of Materials Collected

Types of Materials Collected: Books, monographic series and journals are the primary components of the Libraries' collections which support sociology. Translations into English of important classical and contemporary works in sociology are acquired. Works on military sociology or rural sociology are acquired on a very selective basis. Dissertations are ordered only upon request when they deal with subjects of major departmental research interest.

United States government documents, particularly statistical sources and the U.S. Census, are of considerable importance to sociology. They are acquired by the Government Documents Subject Librarian. International, state and local government documents are also of importance and are acquired on a more selective basis.

Newsletters may be acquired, but will be retained and bound very selectively.

The University is a member of the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), an archive of machine-readable social science data at the University of Michigan. Faculty and graduate students in sociology are among the heaviest users of ICPSR materials. Print codebooks for many of the ICPSR studies (primarily those issued prior to 2003) are housed in the University Libraries; many of those corresponding tapes are housed in the Computing Services Center. Currently data may be downloaded electronically from ICPSR by individual faculty and students for thier use.

Indexes, abstracts, dictionaries, etc., relevant to sociology are housed in the reference area in accordance with the Reference Department collection policy. Of special importance to sociologists are the indexing and abstracting services (Sociological Abstracts, PAIS, etc.) and the various government and non-government statistical series.

Types of Materials Excluded: Basic textbooks and collections of previously printed articles are generally not acquired. Article reprints and preprints are not kept.

IV. Subject and Collection Levels [Collection Level Descriptions]

Instructional Support Level, Advanced:

Sociological theory and methodology
Social psychology
Sociology of the family
Sociology of sexual behavior
Social movements, collective behavior and public opinion
Social organization, including industrial sociology
Political sociology
Sociology of culture and the arts
Sociology of science
Sociology of medicine/public health
Sociology of occupations and professions
Urban sociology
Social gerontology
Demography and human ecology
Comparative and historical sociology
Sociology of gender
Race and ethnicity

Basic Information Level, Advanced:

History of sociology
Military sociology
Sociology of education
Sociology of leisure
Sociology of religion

Topics for which the University Libraries' primary collections are in the Dewey Library:

sociology of law; penology and correctional problems; criminology; social work; social welfare; delinquency; sociological aspects of alcoholism and drug abuse; social and policy aspects of aging.

V. Other Significant Collections and Resource Sharing

Close coordination is maintained between the Dewey Library's collections, which serve the Schools of Criminal Justice and Social Welfare and the Ringle Institute of Gerontology, and the University Library's collections in sociology. There is some very selective duplication of reference books, books required for reserve, titles on social policy and planning, and major sociological studies of aging and criminology, but, in general, titles housed in one library are not duplicated in the other. In addition, the University Libraries' collection in support of sociology is complemented by the resources available through the Center for Social and Demographic Analysis (CSDA) and the Lewis Mumford Center for Comparative Urban and Regional Research.

The departments of psychology and sociology share a program focus in social psychology. Much of the material acquired in this field is used by both departments; it may be selected by either subject librarian, depending upon the focus of the particular item.

Works which focus specifically on women and feminism are generally acquired by the Women's Studies Subject Librarian.

January 2009

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