Collection Selector

General Purpose of the Collection

The collection consists of monographs, reference and bibliographic works, and holdings of major periodicals. Included are the works of prominent sociologists, reports of sociological research, works on the history of the discipline, and works on sociology methodology. Both primary and secondary sources are included in the collection. The Sociology collection supports the research interests of the faculty and the undergraduate and graduate curriculum needs of the Sociology Department in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GRS). The collection also supports, in part, the African American Studies; American and New England Studies; East Asian Interdisciplinary Studies; European Interdisciplinary Studies; Latin American Interdisciplinary Studies; Muslim Studies;  and Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality  Studies programs (CAS/GRS); the Practical Theology PhD program in the School of Theology; several Metropolitan College programs; and the broad, general and interdisciplinary interests of the Boston University community in terms of contemporary society.

The University offers a BA, an MA, and a PhD in Sociology. In addition to the PhD program in Sociology, the Department of Sociology and the School of Social Work offer an interdisciplinary PhD program in Sociology and Social Work. The Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program offers a graduate certificate in Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies. Metropolitan College offers an undergraduate certificate in Criminal Justice; a BS in Criminal Justice, a BS in Sociology, a BS in Urban Affairs, a Master’s in City Planning (MCP), a Master’s in Criminal Justice (MCJ), an online Master’s in Criminal Justice, and a Master’s in Urban Affairs (MUA).

The research and teaching interests of the Sociology Department faculty include community and urban sociology; comparative and historical sociology; culture; economic sociology; education; family and life cycle; globalization and development; international migration; medical sociology; mental illness; organizations; political sociology and nationalism; race and ethnicity; religion; sex and gender; social change; social networks; and theory.

The Sociology Department has working relationships with the African-American Studies Center; the African Studies Center; the American and New England Studies Program; the Boston University Center for the Study of Asia; the Boston University Center for the Study of Europe; the Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies; the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future; the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies; the Initiative on Cities; the Institute for the Study of Muslim Societies and Civilizations; the Institute on Culture, Religion and World Affairs; the School of Public Health; the School of Social Work; the School of Theology; and the Social Science and Religion Network at Boston University.

Scope of Coverage

Languages collected (primary and selective) or excluded
Works are collected primarily in English. Foreign language materials are acquired very selectively.
Geographical areas covered by the collections in terms of intellectual content, publication sources, or both, and specific areas excluded, as appropriate
Works are collected for all parts of the world with the exception of Africa, which is collected by the African Studies selectors. The main emphasis of the collection, however, reflects the work of Western scholars and publications of North American and European publishers.
Chronological periods covered by the collection in terms of intellectual content, movements or schools, and specific periods excluded, as appropriate
While there are no restrictions with respect to intellectual content, movements, or schools, the primary emphasis of the collection is on contemporary society. Works on the history of sociology and sociological theory are also acquired.
Chronological periods collected in terms of publication dates, and specific periods excluded, as appropriate
The emphasis of the collection is on current publications; historical publications are acquired very selectively.

General Subject Boundaries and Library Locations

The subject scope of the Sociology collection is primarily determined by the following call number ranges.


  • GN 495.4-496 : Ethnic Groups
  • HM : Sociology (General)
  • HN : Social History, Social Conditions, Social Problems, and Social Reform
  • HQ : The Family, Marriage, Women, Lifeskills, Lifestyle
  • HS : Societies: Secret, Benevolent, etc.
  • HT : Communities, Classes, and Races
  • HV 5001-9960 : Criminology
  • Z 1361 : United States, Ethnic Groups Bibliography
  • Z 5118 & Z 5703 : Criminology Bibliography
  • Z 7161-7166 : Social Sciences Bibliography
  • Z 7961-7965 : Women Bibliography
  • Z 8001-8999 : Personal Bibliography

Collected selectively:

  • BL 60 : Religion and Sociology
  • E 184-185 : United States Ethnic Groups
  • GV : Recreation, Leisure (Social Aspects)
  • HD : Sociology of Work, Industrial Sociology
  • P 40 : Sociolinguistics
  • P 99.5 : Nonverbal Communication
  • RA 418 : Social Medicine

With the exception of works on industrial sociology, which are housed primarily in the Pardee Management Library, all items are housed in or are available through Mugar Memorial Library.

Related subjects and Interdisciplinary Relationships

African Studies
Works pertaining to African family, social history, society, sociology, and women are acquired by the African Studies selectors.
Works pertaining to ancient Greek and Roman family and society are acquired by the Classics Selector.
Materials on communication (HM 1201-1216), mass media (HN 90 .M3), propaganda (HM 1231), public opinion (HM 1236, HN90 .P8), public relations (HM 1221), and publicity (HM 1226) are acquired by the Communication Selector.
The Sociology Selector works with the Education Selector in the acquisition of materials on sports, leisure, and recreation. Works on the social aspects of sports and leisure are selectively acquired by the Sociology Selector. The Education and Sociology selectors consult on the selection of works on the sociology of education.
Works on gerontology (HQ 1060-1064) are acquired by the Gerontology Selector.
Health Sciences
The Sociology and Health Sciences selectors collaborate on the acquisition of materials pertaining to social medicine.
Materials on sociolinguistics (P 40) and nonverbal communication (P 99.5) are selectively acquired by the Sociology Selector.
The Sociology Selector selectively acquires materials on industrial sociology and the sociology of work. The Management Selector selectively collects works on leadership (HM 1261), fraud, corrupt practices, Ponzi schemes, and commercial crimes (HV 6691-6698).
Political Science
The subject of immigration and emigration is covered by Sociology as it relates to particular ethnic groups (E 184), although material falling in the JV classification is primarily acquired by the Political Science Selector. Sociology also collects in related areas such as terrorism (HV 6430 – HV 6433.88), race relations (GN 495.4-496, HT 1501-1595), and criminology (HV 5000-9960), all of which have political aspects.
The Sociology Selector is responsible for collecting publications on social psychology that fall in the HM classification; The Psychology Selector collects those that fall in the BF classification.
The Sociology Selector selectively acquires works pertaining to the sociology of religion.
Social Work
Works on social welfare (HV 1-4999), including adoption, animal rights, homelessness, refugees, and social work, are acquired by the Social Work Selector. Sociological works on refugee groups are selectively acquired by the Sociology Selector.

Types of Materials

Books, periodicals, and reference materials, including atlases, indexes and abstracts, dictionaries and encyclopedias, handbooks, bibliographies, and directories.
Collected Selectively
Electronic resources, proceedings, microforms, government publications, and dissertations and theses.
Not Collected
Newspapers, textbooks, juvenile literature, popular materials, and maps.