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SA 231: Sociology of Families

Contact info

For Library research help, please contact Moninder Lalli, Librarian for Sociology / Anthropology by email () or Ask a librarian.


Search tips & techniques

  • Use "or" to combine same concept;   Use "and" to combine different concepts.   
    • Use asterisk (*) the truncation symbol, for variation on endings of words (child* will find: child, children, childless, childlike).           "$, ?, *, !" are common truncation symbols. Most use asterisk.
    • Use "quotation marks" to search for an exact phrase
  • When using one line search box, also put braces "()" around your synonyms.  E.g. (elderly or seniors or aged)
  • Alternate spellings: use American/Canadian spelling (honour or honor).  Use abbreviations and full words (TV or television)
  • Geographic concepts: Specific to broader ( Vancouver or BC or British Columbia or Canada or North America)
  • Alternate terms: Subject headings/Descriptors/Thesauri words (youth or adolescents or teenagers or young adults);
    • Thesauri words increase relevancy.
  • If there is only "one-line search box", try using combining different concepts in the following way:
    • (____________ or __________) AND (__________ or ________)

Selected encyclopedias

Get an overview of a topic.  Use encyclopedias, handbooks or textbook for overviews, definitions, and to identify key authors and ideas.  

Research question

How does divorce affect children in later life?

Identify the main concepts:

"Divorce" is one, "children in later life" is another, and "affect" is perhaps a third.

It is not really "children" that we are looking at, but when they become adults, what is the effect at that time
So, perhaps "adults" or "adult children" would work better.
Also, the term "later life" might work on its own.

divorce AND (impact* OR effect*) AND "adult children"

Find books in the Library

Library Catalogue search guide | Catalogue search tips

Search the SFU Library Catalogue: Advanced keyword

Combine different concepts using AND
Combine same concepts using OR
quotation marksto search for a phrase
Use brackets for synonyms
Use asterisk (*) for different endings of words

Note:  For Catalogue Search, when combining concepts, use CAPITAL letters ( "OR", "AND")

  • childcare AND canad*
  • (family OR families) AND (gay OR lesbian)
  • (family OR families) AND  (poor OR low income)
  • (family OR families) and (immigrant OR ethni*) AND canad*
  • divorce AND families
  • parent* AND divorce
  • (women OR gender) AND  (paid OR unpaid) AND canad*

Look at the titles in the "results list" and for those books that look relevant, click on their subject headings.

Browse by subject

Browse by subject

  • Child Care -- Canada
  • Child Care -- Government policy -- Canada
  • Day Care Centers -- Canada
  • Divorce -- Canada
  • Families
  • Families -- Canada
  • Family policy -- Canada
  • Families -- Philippines
  • Gay parents
  • Immigrant Families -- Canada
  • Single Parent Families
  • Work and family -- Canada
  • Working mothers -- Canada

Journal articles

How to find journal articles tutorial

For a more complete list of  Sociology databases
If the full text of the article is not available, use the "Get@SFU" link to find it.

Recommended databases

Try the same search strategy that you had used in the Library Catalogue.

For the Canadian angle, try

  • CBCA Complete -  Canadian content. News and popular magazine articles as well as academic journal articles.
      Limit to "Scholarly" articles
  • Canadian Newsstream -- fulltext of Canadian newspapers

Government and statistics

British Columbia

       Check out the tabs at the top