For SERIOUS SOCIAL SCIENTISTS
Want the additional data necessary to fill in all the gaps that newspapers, magazines, textbooks, and instructors fail to give you on an important topic? The web can provide you with instant access to the numbers, tables, and articles that give dimension to any topic on your mind. Below are some of my favorite.
A word of warning: Be sure that any information you get off of your computer screen has itself been screened by other experts in the field. While government websites have their own biases, you can trust most of the data for being what each department says it is. Private websites may give opinions and heavily altered data as "fact" that no reputable sociologist would ever want to rely upon. Be sure you know your site and your data.
Reading the Web
Just because the information is on the web doesn't mean you can access it. A lot of public information can only be read using the Adobe Acrobat Reader. You may download this very useful tool for free by going to http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep.html
That is, statistics on people, like how large the population, where
they live, how much they make, and how many years of school they've had. You
can get aggregate data on counties, cities, or the nation. Some very worthwhile
links here if you want a statistical picture of what the American people are
all about. The
U.S Census Bureau:
State and County Quick Facts : http://quickfacts.census.gov/
Main page for the U.S. Census Bureau: http://www.census.gov/
Some detailed data pages (if you know what you want): http://www.census.gov/population/socdemo/
The U.S. Department of Commerce: Publisher of the U.S. Statistical Abstract. Excellent information on labor, economy, business, education, and many other areas of interest.
Some good info on counties in the U.S. from the Missouri Census Data Center:
Strictly California (finance, economy, demography - you name it). They've made this unnecessarily difficult to search through, but the information is there. Be patient and click a lot.
Information on other nations' population, economy, etc., via the
I think this is self explanatory. Naturally, most information will come from the FBI or the U.S. Department of Justice but you can search out other opinions and data.
Department of Justice and the FBI
The best and most useful statistics are here: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/
Crime and Corrections in California
Information on war policy, politics, and the machines we use. Lots of information from the U.S. Department of Defense, but you may also try other web sites that simply study the issue or have a very specific (pro or con) opinion about it. Naturally, you may want to refer to the national budget and how much is spent on defense.
What the government wants you to know
The following is brought to you by Council for a Livable World with hopes for peace but lots of good information on military budgets, policies, and other data
Jane's, the ultimate in private profit sector media updates on military "toys"
I refer you to the Department of Education, but the Census Bureau (see above) also has a lot of information on education in the United States.
The Department of Education
Education in California
Places to get information, facts, and background data on subjects you're newly interested in. I would say that this is a good quick start, but don't forget the old ink and paper tomes resting in the local library. Naturally, the web link will depend on the specific type of information you're interested in.
Smithsonian Institution: Information and updates relevant to the SI.
The History Channel: great for information on specific topics, events, or people from the past
The National Geographic site is great for natural history, maps, and other info
I only include some of the major players in the field for both physical and mental health. These will at least give you statistics on national and state trends.
National Center for Health Statistics. Morbidity and mortality, births, marriages, and all of the other tasty tidbits associated with life and death. Lots of fun.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They brought you the above, but here's their main web page.
California's Department of Health Services. Just to the right of the top page they provide another link to other health related services, state and national. Takes some digging, but a lot of information can be gotten through this one site.
Department of Health and Human Services
Administration for Children and Families. Part of DHHS, but specifically devoted to welfare, TANF, and the other services sociologists like so much to study.
California Department of Social Services, among other programs.
Human Rights Watch. Keeping an eye on the loss of human rights around the world.
A complex subject, and about as political as you can get. More than a million immigrants and some hundreds of thousands of refugees enter the United States every year, and the most recent 1996 amendments to the Immigration Act haven't made the process simple. Below is only a token link to information on this issue and the people behind it.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (A Bureau of the Department of Homeland Security); best viewed from afar.
U.S. Government actions and policies concerning refugees around the world
Another site dealing with international refugee issues
and of course, here is the site for the United Nation's High Commissioner for Refugees
For those who think of immigration in terms of "race", here's a site that provides links to and information on hate groups, particularly those who think "white is right." Not for the impatient or narrow minded.
As ever, the census bureau (see above) can also give you a lot of information on labor, employment, and other related issues. See below for a couple of other standard sites.
This is the government's main page
But I prefer the following
California State Government site on labor, employment, and industrial relations
Another excellent source for California, and especially for women in California.
Information on population growth, migration, death (morbidity and mortality) and all sorts of other things related to people and this planet.
Population Reference Bureau
Statistical Abstract, principally for the U.S.
Some resources for the sociologist, or community affairs major, looking for academic discussions, data, and current research on topics of social import. From Marx to methodology, you can find it somewhere here.
The SocioWeb: an excellent collection of Sociological Journals and Magazines online
Electronic Journal of Sociology
Data on the Net: links to websites with numeric data ready to download
or, you can try the following collection of data sets and research institutes
Annotated Internet Resources on Sociology
A Better Listing of Internet Resources for the Sociologist (my favorite)
And yet another good list of internet resources for the Sociologist
The Yahoo Page: a collection of sociology sites collected by a top search engine.
Specific topics of interest are listed below: wonderful essays/lectures by Michael Kearl at Trinity University with dozens of networks and cyberlinks within each for you to go off on. I cannot recommend these sites enough. Truly inspirational. Click and enjoy.
Sociological Social Psychology: http://www.trinity.edu/~mkearl/socpsy.html
Social Gerontology: http://www.trinity.edu/~mkearl/geron.html
Marriage and Family Life: http://www.trinity.edu/~mkearl/family.html
Gender and Society: http://www.trinity.edu/~mkearl/gender.html
Race and Ethnicity: http://www.trinity.edu/~mkearl/race.html
Sociology of Death and Dying: http://www.trinity.edu/~mkearl/death.html
Mass Media: http://www.trinity.edu/~mkearl/commun.html
Political Science: http://www.trinity.edu/~mkearl/polisci.html
Health Statistics: http://www.trinity.edu/~mkearl/health.html
Alternet, another view via various journalists across the nation. The most up-to-date of the studies and reviews you can find on issues relevant to modern America.
The Center for Economic and Policy Research. Liberal, but with a lot of good research and publications.
The Urban Institute, a well established non-profit research group studying national policy and the social problems considered most important to our American society.
The Brookings Institution, known for its analysis and critiques of public policy and government institutions.
The Cato Institute, a "non-partisan" research institute dedicated to libertarian politics and timely research to aid in the formulation and implementation of government policy
The Heritage Foundation, known for conservative publications and research interests
The Rand Institute, another well known public policy research group
The Public Policy Institute of California. Good non-partisan research and analysis on issues specific to California by a leading non-profit organization.
The General Accounting Office: The investigative branch of the Federal government. Good for the low down and dirty on Government programs.
Applied Research Center: A left of liberal institute known for researching what mainstream publications don't want to touch, and they naturally come up with the findings you'd expect. Also connected with the Utne Reader.