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Sociology & Social Work: Topics/Keywords

Classroom Management

Keywords to Try When Searching

Place quotation marks around phrases of more than 1 word when searching. (EX: "intercultural communication") The list below includes topic/keyword ideas for beginning communication research.

  • adopted children
  • child abuse
  • class [poor, rich]
  • class segregation
  • clinical social work
  • deaf
  • disabilities
  • elderly
  • ethnicity
  • feminism
  • gay couples
  • gender identity
  • geographical segregation
  • handicapped
  • homeless
  • interracial marriage
  • low income
  • medical social work
  • mentally ill
  • minorities
  • nationality
  • pop culture
  • race
  • refugees
  • rural families
  • sex discrimination
  • sexual orientation
  • single mothers
  • social movements
  • social work, criminals
  • social work, families
  • social work, minorities
  • social work, elderly
  • social work, homeless
  • sociology of community [society]
  • sociology of food
  • sociology of gender and sexuality
  • sociology of mass media
  • unmarried fathers
  • violence [domestic, family]
  • youth culture

Additional terms affecting sociological topics:

  • attitudes
  • correlation
  • effects
  • influence
  • misconception
  • relationship
  • stereotype

Subject Headings to Try When Searching

When using an EBSCO database to search subject terms, change the "Select a Field" option to indicate "SU Subject Terms."  Place quotation marks around your subject terms as indicated above.

  • ATTITUDE (Psychology)
  • CHILD protection services
  • CHILD welfare
  • CULTURE & Psychology
  • FAMILY services
  • GENDER differences (Psychology)
  • HISTORY of sociology
  • IDENTITY (Psychology)
  • PUBLIC sociology
  • RESEARCH and Development in the Social Sciences and Humanities
  • SOCIAL aspects
  • SOCIAL case work
  • SOCIAL classes
  • SOCIAL justice
  • SOCIAL services
  • SOCIAL WORK education
  • SOCIAL WORK in children
  • SOCIAL WORK practice
  • SOCIAL workers -- Attitudes
  • SOCIOLOGICAL research
  • SOCIOLOGY -- Methodology

Finding and Narrowing a Topic

Find ideas in the syllabus, your text, class discussion, or Google News.

   Narrow down a broad topic by asking yourself
   the 5 W's: who? what? where? when? why?

   As you search the databases, looking at
   subject headings and abstracts can help you
                focus your topic.

Boolean Operators

Using Boolean operators (AND, OR, and NOT) with your keywords will help you narrow or expand your results.

The highlighted middle section represents the use of AND. Searching for poverty AND addiction will give you results with both words present. Therefore, your results are fewer.

Using OR between similar keywords will give you results that include both words. Therefore, your results are greater. A search for teenagers OR adolescents will retrieve either or both terms.

The NOT operator gives you results from only one of your words. Therefore, your results are fewer. Searching for addiction NOT alcohol will eliminate alcohol from the results.

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