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SA 327: Sociology of Knowledge

Contact info

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

Selected encyclopedias​

For an overview of a topic or to identify key authors, books, journal articles, debates or theories, start with the encyclopedias listed below.

Search tips & techniques

  • Use "or" to combine same concept;   Use "and" to combine different concepts.   
  • When you have only one line search box, then put braces around your synonyms, .eg.:
  • (____________ or __________) AND (__________ or ________)
  • Use an asterisk (*) the truncation symbol, for variation on endings of words, e.g.:
  • child* will find: child, children, childless, childlike.
  • Use "quotation marks" to search for an exact phrase
  • Alternate spellings: use American/Canadian spelling (honour or honor). 
  • Use abbreviations and full words (TV or television)
  • Geographic concepts: From specific to broader ( Vancouver or BC or British Columbia or Canada or North America)
  • Alternate terms: Subject headings/Descriptors/Thesauri words. Thesauri words increase relevancy.
  • Library guide: Search tips for Google and Google Scholar

Search Library Catalogue

Books by an author

(Find / Library catalogue / Author)

Use the Advanced Search, and choose "author/creator" (pull down menu), enter: "Manneheim, Karl"

Books "about" an author

Choose "subject search", and then enter: "Manneheim, Karl"

Search for topics

Keyword search

Search for "topics" using "keywords.

Search the SFU Library Catalogue: Advanced keyword

On each line, enter a "different" concept.

  • "sociology of knowledge"
  • "sociological theory"
  • "social construction" and (knowledge or reality or belief system*) and theor*
  • feminist knowledge"
  • "first nations" and (oral histor* or oral testimon*) and knowledge
  • constructivism and (theor* or critique or critic* or analysis)

TIP: Use "subject headings" found within the library record  of relevant titles to find other useful book titles.

Subject headings

Note:  Sort by "newest first" by pressing the "limit" icon.

Some useful subject headings for this course: 

Journal articles

To find scholarly journal articles, search in the databases for your discipline. 

Selected journals


  • Sociological Abstracts:  to find scholarly articles.    
    • DE "Theory of knowledge"
    • DE "Sociology of knowledge"

​"DE" means "descriptor" or "subject words."  These terms are assigned to articles when the concept is the "main" focus of the article.  

  • Social Sciences Full Text - to find scholarly articles. 
    • Take a look at the "subject" listing at the heading: Knowledge.  
      • Use "Browse" tab
        • Browse by "Authors", "Documents, "Theories"
      •  Combining keywords.  The techniques are a bit different from other databases. 
        • OR (the vertical bar "|") and AND (a space)
      • Use "Search" tab, and choose to search by phrase
      • Click on "Help" tab for details on search techniques
  • Oxford Bibliographies Online
    This database provides critical analysis of key resources published on a topic.
  • Project MUSE Search Humanities and Social Science e-books and journals.
    • Use quotation marks ("") to ensure that the words that your are searching are searched as a phrase, rather than from different parts of the document.  This will increase "relevancy" of your results.
  • JSTOR  Searchable, archival collection of core scholarly arts, humanities and social sciences journals.
    • Use quotation marks ("") to ensure that the words that your are searching are searched as a phrase, rather than from different parts of the document.  This will increase "relevancy" of your results.

News databases

  • Canadian Newsstand   Fulltext of major Canadian and BC newspapers.
  • LexisNexis  International news coverage, business news, legal cases and law reports.  Content is strongly American with significant coverage of Canadian and international topics.

Cited reference search

A "cited reference" search allows you to see who may have cited a book or a journal article that may be significant for your topic.  If something was published, for example, in 2008, you could check to see if anyone since 2008 had used that  source in their research.  This provides you with more recent research on a topic.

More recently,  Sociological Abstracts has also started to add the "cited" link.

  • Google Scholar
    • Enter the details for your "key" book or journal article.  In the results list, find your "key" resource, and then check for the word "cited by" (a link just beneath)
    • Library guide: Search tips for Google and Google Scholar
  • Web of Science: includes the Social Sciences Index. Linked citations to articles on related topics.
    • Try "cited reference" search to find sources referring to your key book/article
      • ​Enter last name, first intial and asterisk (*)
        • ​Manneheim, K*

For a more complete list of  Sociology Databases