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Research Starters - Sociology - FAQs

The following are Frequently Asked Questions about Research Starters - Sociology.

What is Research Starters - Sociology?

Research Starters offer students a starting point for their research. By providing comprehensive summaries of discipline-specific topics, they help students grasp the broad outlines of a subject, realize its real world applications, critically engage it, and locate sources for researching it in greater detail. Most articles are around 3,000 words, making them more in-depth than the average text book or encyclopedia entry, yet short enough to be easily digestible.

Each Research Starter-Sociology contains:

  • Abstract
    The abstract provides a brief summary of the article. It introduces the topic and covers the main points of each article section. Also, it contains the most important keywords appearing in the article to help users locate the articles most relevant to their search.

  • Keywords
    The list of keywords contains words that are especially pertinent to the article. They describe the subtopics and major researchers or theorists discussed in the article and include the vocabulary defined in the Terms & Concepts section of the article. When any of these keywords are entered into the search box, the article will be retrieved.

  • Overview
    The overview introduces the topic by explaining why it is relevant to sociology and what implications it has for stakeholders like counselors, researchers, administrators, students, or parents. When appropriate, the overview may also situate the topic within a specific historical or social context. Finally, the overview describes how the various subtopics discussed in the article relate to one another, helping the reader build a framework for understanding and applying the topic as a whole.

  • Further Insights / Applications
    This section demonstrates how the points discussed in the overview can be applied to everyday study or practice in sociological areas. Here, the reader can find charts, graphs, diagrams, and real life examples that deepen understanding. With more complex, abstract topics, this section may also further develop the points discussed in the overview.

  • Viewpoints / Issues / Discourse
    This section helps the reader develop a critical perspective on the topic by discussing an application’s short-comings or introducing experts’ differing opinions on the topic. Some topics that are more clear-cut may not include this section.

  • Terms & Concepts
    The Terms & Concepts section is a short glossary that helps the reader grasp the key vocabulary associated with the topic. It lists and defines between six and fifteen words and phrases that appear in the article and may be unfamiliar to students. These words and phrases also appear on the keyword list to facilitate searching.

  • Bibliography
    The bibliography lists the sources the author used to write the article. Many of these sources are from EBSCO databases, and students can look here to follow up any questions they may have about the topic.

  • Suggested Reading
    The Suggested Reading section lists at least three additional sources students can turn to for further research. Many of these sources are articles from EBSCO’s SocINDEX database, and hyperlinks are provided to help students locate them quickly and easily. This section may also list print sources that are often referenced in experts’ discussions of the topic.

Which categories and topics are covered in Research Starters - Sociology?

The Research Starters - Sociology articles are broken down into twenty-six categories, each of which contains between four and thirty-five article topics. The categories are:

  1. Aging & Elderly Issues
  2. Culture
  3. Day to Day Social Interaction
  4. Deviance & Social Control
  5. Educational Sociology
  6. Family & Relationships
  7. Global Stratification
  8. History of Sociology
  9. Population, Urbanization & the Environment
  10. Race & Ethnicity
  11. Research Methods
  12. Sex, Gender & Sexuality
  13. Social Change
  14. Social Interaction in Groups & Organizations
  15. Social Issues & Public Policy
  16. Social Movements & Collective Behavior
  17. Socialization
  18. Societies
  19. Society & Technology
  20. Sociological Theory
  21. Sociology & Related Fields
  22. Sociology of Health & Medicine
  23. Sociology of Politics & Government
  24. Sociology of Religion
  25. Stratification & Class in the U.S.
  26. Work & the Economy
How were the Research Starters - Sociology topics chosen?

The Research Starters - Sociology topics were chosen through careful analysis of the course offerings of US & Canadian colleges and universities with leading Sociology programs, e.g., Boston University, Dalhousie, Harvard University, New York University, McGill, McMaster, SUNY Albany, Syracuse University, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, the University of California at Berkeley, University of Wisconsin at Madison and the University of Virginia. In addition, course offerings at two-year colleges were evaluated and analyzed.

Subject matter experts holding advanced degrees in sociology were also consulted to ensure that the articles encompassed current trends and hot topics.

What are the credentials of Research Starters - Sociology writers and subject experts?

The Research Starters - Sociology writers and subject experts are highly qualified professors, higher education administrators, consultants, counselors, and professional writers. They all have significant experience in sociology, in and out of the classroom, and hold advanced degrees in sociology and its various sub-fields.

Which EBSCO databases were used to create the Research Starters - Sociology articles?

The Research Starters - Sociology writers made use of the SocINDEX with Full Text and Academic Search Premier databases. Other databases, such as SPORTDiscus and Humanities International Complete, were also referenced for specialized sub-topics.

Which databases qualify my institution for an extended trial of Research Starters - Sociology?

If your institution is subscribed to one of the following databases, you may be eligible for an extended free trial of Research Starters - Sociology:

  • Academic Search Complete
  • Academic Search Elite
  • Academic Search Premier
  • Academic Source Complete
  • Academic Source Premier
  • Associates Programs Source
  • Associates Programs Source Plus
  • SocIndex
  • SocIndex Priority
  • SocIndex Selective
  • SocIndex with Full Text
  • Sociological Collections
  • Education Research Complete
  • Education Research Index
  • Vocational Studies Complete
  • Vocational Studies Premier

To request your free trial of Research Starters - Sociology, please contact us at

I'm researching a particular topic. Why can't I find any Research Starters articles that cover it?

If you can’t find any articles on a particular topic, try broadening your search terms or searching for related topics. The topic you’re looking for might be subtopic within a larger article.  For example, try searching "Durkheim" instead of “anomie,” or search “marriage patterns” instead of “divorce.” If you still aren’t able to find information on a particular topic, please let us know. We periodically update Research Starters with new articles to stay up to date with developing trends and topics, and welcome our users’ input.