Instructors often ask students to find “scholarly”, “academic”, or “peer reviewed” sources of information for their research. These terms all refer to the same type of information – sources based on in-depth research, and are considered higher in quality and more reliable for your research. These sources can range from chapters within books or entire books, or journal articles, but all have common characteristics that can help you recognize that type of information.
General Purpose (Popular)
Sociology is the scientific study of human social behavior. As the study of humans in their collective aspect, sociology is concerned with all group activities—economic, social, political, and religious.
Sociologists study such areas as bureaucracy, community, deviant behavior, family, public opinion, social change, social mobility, social stratification, and such specific problems as crime, divorce, child abuse, and substance addiction. Sociology tries to determine the laws governing human behavior in social contexts; it is sometimes distinguished as a general social science from the special social sciences, such as economics and political science, which confine themselves to a selected group of social facts or relations.
-- In The Columbia Encyclopedia, Columbia University Press, 2008. Retrieved from Credo Reference.
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