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Sociology Collection

Sarah Hogan
Sociology Bibliographer

Collection Overview

The sociology collection supports  teaching and undergraduate and graduate research needs of both faculty and students in the Sociology Department and the entire university community. The collection is strong in social theory, methodology, social organization, social structure and data and social psychology. The collection mirrors the development and transformation of American sociology from the dominance of the Chicago School of Sociology to a broader, changing discipline today.  Areas of collection strength include social policy, social economy, and social justice. The collection is rich in material on political sociology and social movements, social change and policy planning, criminology, deviance and social control, race and ethnic relations, social psychology, community and family, social stratification, religion and society, medical sociology, complex organizations, and social problems of the economy.  The library still collects very broadly to keep current with research trends and demands. The collection includes broad areas such as gender, race, class, health care and medical sociology, development sociology of emerging nations, globalization, social movements, inequality in society such as labor, race and ethnicity.  The library acquires material on major institutional and organizational settings such as professions, jobs and work, environment and organizations, political sociology, trends in family sociology, sociology of education, sociology of religion, sociology of science, sport, mass media institutions, social process and change, which includes spatial processes, deviance and social control. A strong philosophy collection further expands the resources available for sociology study and research. | View selected resources ยป

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Interdisciplinary Elements of the Subject Area
Frequently the subject areas of this collection relate to history (social history, popular culture), philosophy, psychology, political science, economics, business management, nursing and health sciences, education, gender and women's studies, international and cross cultural studies.

Formats and Types of Materials
Although half of the collection is in print format, materials are collected in other formats such as electronic, DVDs, microforms, audiovisuals and datafiles.  Since Boston College is a member of ICPSR (Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research), and subscribes to Roper Center for Public Opinion Research database it is positioned to provide numerous datafiles to researchers. The library collects research level monographs and serials in print and microformats.  Reference sources (indexes and abstracts, dictionaries, handbooks, statistical sources, book catalogs, bibliographies ) in paper, electronic access to full text articles, or microform format are purchased extensively.  Since Boston College is a U.S. government depository library, it collects or provides electronic access to all relevant government documents, technical reports, and annual reports. Proceedings of symposia, international congresses, etc. are collected broadly.  Dissertations and Theses - Full Text (ProQuest) database provides access to theses and dissertations. The full text of dissertations published since 1997 is also available for download.  For the most part, the library does not acquire textbooks for any given courses.  Yet some textbooks are valuable as reference and research works.  In such cases, the library will acquire these selectively upon request. The collection has been strengthened by faculty gifts from prominent sociologists: Lewis A. Coser, Everett C. Hughes, and Benedict S. Alper. Manuscripts and rare items are housed in the John J. Burns Library of Rare Books and Special Collections and for the most part the donor's books are housed in the O'Neill Library circulating collection.

English is the primary language of the collection although some material is acquired in other languages including French, German and Spanish.

Geographic Area Coverage
The primary focus is on the United States.  Since the beginning of this century, the Chicago School has dominated American sociology.  Sociology materials on social conditions will be covered in the policies of history and political science.  Interest in European (French, British and German) schools of thought and research centers has emerged in the theoretical areas of sociology.  In addition, Latin American, African, and Asian sources are collected.

Time Periods
The primary emphasis of the collection is twentieth century materials, with purchases of significant nineteenth century works made whenever possible as the budget permits.

Dates of Publication
Emphasis is on acquiring current material published after 1960. Selective retrospective purchasing is carried out and may involve reprints, microform or electronic access rather than the original format.