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Library Research Guides

SOC 100: Introduction to Sociology

A course guide for Soc 100, taught in Winter 2018 by Prof. Terence McGinn.

Encyclopedia of Social Theory

The Encyclopedia of Social Theory offers handbook-like (albeit briefer) entries on cutting-edge topics, such as globalization, consumption, complexity theory, and actor network theory, and it provides state-of-the-art interpretations of long-established theories.

Also, like a dictionary, the entries in this encyclopedia provide basic introductions to key ideas, concepts, schools, and figures in social theory.

Perspectives from sociology, economics, philosophy, anthropology, political science, women's studies, cultural studies, psychoanalysis, and media theory (among others) are presented in this encyclopedia.

Ed. by George Ritzer and Jeffrey N. Stepnisky.


Browse the "Reader's Guide" or search the text of the Encyclopedia to find articles relevant to your topic.

Using Sociological Abstracts to find Theory Articles

Sociological Abstracts

  • The best resource for searching the international literature in sociology and related disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences. Provides abstracts of journal articles and citations to book reviews drawn from over 1,700 serials publications, and also provides abstracts of books, book chapters, dissertations, and conference papers.
  • Go to Advanced Search
  • Top box: enter terms that limit the results to theory pieces. 
    • Use the keyword: theory
    • or, to limit the search and increase the relevance of your results:
    • Copy and paste in the following text:  su(theory) OR pub(theory)
  • Other boxes: enter the terms for your topic. Put phrases in quotes, and put a different topic on each line. If you have multiple terms for a topic, use OR to connect synonyms. 

screenshot of Sociological Abstracts advanced search

su(theory) OR pub(theory)
AND asylum OR asylee
AND immigration OR immigrant


  • Search.  When the results come back, you can limit your results to Scholarly articles and Books under Source Type on the right side of the screen.  
  • Click the article's title to see the full abstract and other information.  Click MGetIt to access the article or find out how to order it.

Additional social theory reference books