Sociological Abstracts is a library resource (which our library does not subscribe to) that abstracts and indexes the international literature in sociology and related disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences. This resource provides us with a classification schemefor sociological concepts. This classification scheme is represented below. It will help you think in terms of broader umbrella topics and narrower sub-topics. Go through this list, and imagine sub-topics that would fit under these broader umbrellas that you might be interested in. Once you start thinking about the broader topic areas that sociologists study, it will help you start to think of how that might relate to narrower topics you would want to study.
Here's an example from Prof. Fic's work when she was an undergrad Anthro/Soc major.
Broad topic area:
social group identity
My topic idea:
ethnic festivals as a way for "hyphenated" Americans to express their ethnic identity
My research question:
How do Hungarian-Americans use the annual Hungarian Festival held in New Brunswick, NJ to create and maintain their ethnic identity?
New Jersey's Hungarian-American community creates and maintains its Hungarian identity by consuming traditional ethnic foods, goods, and experiences at the annual Hungarian Festival held in New Brunswick each June.
methodology and research technology
methodology (conceptual & epistemological)
models: mathematical & other
computer methods, media, & applications
sociology: history and theory
of professional interest (teaching sociology)
history & present state of sociology
theories, ideas, & systems
macrosociology: analysis of whole societies
comparative & historical sociology
interaction within (small) groups (group processes, space use, leadership, coalitions, & teamwork)
personality & social roles (individual traits, social identity, adjustment, conformism, & deviance)
This reference work has been updated to reflect many changes in society and in the field of sociology in recent years. 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.
The two volumes of this Reference Handbook focus on the corpus of knowledge garnered in traditional areas of sociological inquiry, as well as document the general orientation of the newer and currently emerging areas of sociological inquiry.
The Encyclopedia of Social Problems offers an interdisciplinary perspective into many social issues that are a continuing concern in our lives, whether we confront them on a personal, local, regional, national, or global level. With more than 600 entries, these two volumes cover all of the major theories, approaches, and contemporary issues in social problems and also provide insight into how social conditions get defined as social problems, and the ways different people and organizations view and try to solve them. It provides as comprehensive an approach as possible to this multifaceted field by using experts and scholars from 19 disciplines: anthropology, biology, business, chemistry, communications, criminal justice, demography, economics, education, environmental studies, geography, health, history, languages, political science, psychology, social work, sociology, and women's studies. This work addresses social problems that are fairly new, such as computer crimes and identity theft, and others that are centuries old, such as poverty and prostitution.