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About This Page
This page highlights key reference references in Sociology and Legal Studies, including dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks.
What Are Reference Resources?
Reference resources can be general or discipline-specific. Examples include:
- biographical sources
They often contain foundational information, such as:
- definitions of terms
- verification of factual information
- overviews on your topic
- background information
- research and writing support
They are useful to consult during the early stages of your research and can help you to:
- learn the terminology appropriate for your topic
- understand your topic's broad context
- establish a coherent organizational structure for your work
Sociology Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, etc.
Dictionary of Canadian biography online
The online version of the Dictionary of Canadian Biography/Dictionnaire biographique du Canada (DCB/DBC). New biographies added and updated weekly.
Dictionary of sociology
Has international coverage of terms and concepts; related terms from psychology, economics, anthropology, philosophy, and political science; and material on topics such as cultural studies and identity, mass media, and the Internet, nationalism and McDonaldization.
Dictionary of statistics
Covers a broad range of statistical vocabulary in jargon-free language. It provides concise definitions of terms likely to be encountered by students, of both Statistics and of other disciplines such as politics, medicine, and mathematics.
Dictionary of the social sciences
Designed to make social scientific language comprehensible to general readers. Collecting anthropology, sociology, political science, economics, human geography, cultural studies, and Marxism in one volume, the dictionary presents concise, clearly written definitions of more than 1,500 important terms.
Encyclopedia of crime & justice
"An interdisciplinary source that addresses not only law but also sociology, psychology, history and economics. Entries vary widely from abortion to rape and from family violence to wiretapping, offering a mirror of issues dominating today's headlines."
Encyclopedia of criminology and deviant behavior PRINT ONLY - Dana Porter Library. Reference Collection. Main Floor (NonCirculating) (HV6017 .E53 2001))
A comprehensive work in the field of criminology and sociology. "This unique Encyclopedia is separated into four volumes, covering Historical, Conceptual, and Theoretical Issues and Self Destructive and Disvalues Identity. There are over 550 entries each with 2,000 to 3,500 words covering a multitiude of topics related to criminology, deviant behavior, and other unusual sociological phenomena."
Encyclopedia of human rights
Offers “comprehensive coverage of all aspects of human rights theory, practice, law, and history in over 300 entries signed by leading scholars and human rights experts.”
Encyclopedia of research design
A collection of scholarly entries on “how to plan and conduct empirical research, including the use of both quantitative and qualitative methods”.
Encyclopedia of social and political movements
"Contains over 400 entries exploring social and political movements and related collective phenomena throughout the world."
Encyclopedia of sociology
Includes "articles covering core issues such as race, poverty, violence, economics, pregnancy and abortion have been updated and expanded, and completely new articles have been written on topics such as the Internet, privacy and epidemiology."
Encyclopedia of Sex and Gender
"Addresses issues of sex and gender at the personal and the social level."
Fifty Key Sociologists: The Contemporary Theorists
"Fifty Key Sociologists: The Contemporary Theorists covers the life, work, ideas and impact of some of the most important thinkers in this discipline. Concentrating on figures writing predominantly in the second half of the twentieth century, such as Zygmunt Bauman, Pierre Bourdieu, Judith Butler, Michel Foucault and Claude Lévi-Strauss."
Fifty Key Sociologists: The Formative Theorists
"Covering the life, work, ideas and impact of some of the most significant thinkers in sociology, Fifty Key Sociologists: The Formative Theorists concentrates on figures in the field writing principally in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries."
Handbook of contemporary European social theory
This encyclopedia "maps out the broad and interdisciplinary field of contemporary European social theory. It covers sociological theory, the wider theoretical traditions in the social sciences including cultural and political theory, anthropological theory, social philosophy and social thought in the broadest sense of the term."
International encyclopedia of the social & behavioral sciences
"This Encyclopedia is the first attempt in a generation to map the social and behavioral sciences on a grand scale ... it comprises 4,000 articles, commissioned by 52 Section Editors, and includes 90,000 bibliographic references as well as comprehensive name and subject indexes." Also available in print at the Dana Porter Library, Reference Collection. Main Floor (NonCirculating) (H41 .I58 2001 )
Legal Studies Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, etc.
Ballentine's Law Dictionary
Contains over 40,000 definitions of legal term "based on the actual construction of those terms by courts of last resort, with each case cited to the page on which the definition appears."
Bieber's Dictionary of Legal Abbreviations
This dictionary "facilitates the search for the precise meaning of the abbreviations and acronyms and symbols found in reporters, legal treatises, law reviews, selected documents, loose-leaf services, legal encyclopedias, law dictionaries, legal reference books and citators."
Canadian Legal Words and Phrases
"This source contains legal words and phrases definitions that come from different reliable sources."
Encyclopedia of Legal History
Provides “both historical and contemporary comparisons of the world legal systems.” Traces “legal history from ancient to modern times.”
General Dictionaries and Encyclopedias