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Resources in Sociology and interdisciplinary areas to start your research

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Societal Issues that make us cringe can be hard to understand, analyze, and explain.

What are the motives behind these undertakings? Mainly power, money, greed, psychological disorders, diseases, or other systematic uprisings? There is an entirely dark underbelly of society that deals in human rights infringements, bombings for hire, public shootings, and instigating a coup or genocide; just to name a few.

How to research these societal themes: Research the political balance over time. Research the social pressures in that part of the world. Research the NGO's in the region and the data they've collected. Research the involvement with other nations. Research the population growth. Research the crime rates, locations, and timing. You can take your topic and detail the problem, but from what circumstances did it arise? 

School Shootings & Gun Violence

Interactive Report 2019: School Shootings - - New York Times

Changing Roles: Fight if You Must - - New York Times

Human Trafficking 

Definition: Human trafficking involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. Every year, millions of men, women, and children are trafficked worldwide – including right here in the United States. It can happen in any community and victims can be any age, race, gender, or nationality. Traffickers might use violence, manipulation, or false promises of well-paying jobs or romantic relationships to lure victims into trafficking situations. 

Source: Homeland Security (DHS) Blue Campaign

Mass Shootings

There doesn't seem to a be concrete definition of what is considered a mass shooting in America or abroad. The term that is universally established for the perpetrator of an ongoing mass shooting will be referred to as an active shooter. See the following organizations for related definitions. 

Investigative Assistance for Violent Crimes Act of 2012 

Gun Violence Archive


There is a growing interest in gender violence and making it well known, including the United Nations. One phenomenon pointed out in the 2020 Open Access book Data Feminism, is the response called Ni Una Menos, a collective from Latin American tracking violence and death among female populations. Especially poignant is the work from Maria Salguero, “”Yo te nombro: El Mapa de los Feminicidios en México” (“I name you: The Map of Feminicides in Mexico“ that brings access and information to the often buried information of violence against women and girls. 

Book Highlights

Xinjiang Year Zero

Since 2017, the Chinese authorities have detained hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other Muslim minorities in 'reeducation camps' in China's northwestern Xinjiang autonomous region.

Fighting the US Youth Sex Trade

Examines how politically and ideologically diverse activists joined together to change perceptions and public policies on youth involvement in the sex trade over time, reframing 'juvenile prostitution' of the 1970s as 'commercial sexual exploitation of children' in the 1990s, and then as 'domestic minor sex trafficking' in the 2000s.

Evil in the modern world : international and interdisciplinary perspectives

States that evil is endemic and a non-trivial element in society. Discusses topics that are less covered, such as evil in the area of law, sports and on the internet. Integrates perspectives from social science, cultural studies and psychology

Knowing about Genocide

Focusing on Armenians and Turks, he examines strategies of silencing, denial, and acknowledgment in everyday interaction, public rituals, law, and politics. Drawing on interviews, ethnographic accounts, documents, and eyewitness testimony, Savelsberg illuminates the social processes that drive dueling versions of history.

Until We Have Won Our Liberty

At a time when many democracies are under strain around the world, this book shines new light on the signal achievements of one of the contemporary era's most closely watched transitions away from minority rule. South Africa's democratic development has been messy, fiercely contested, and sometimes violent.

Decolonizing Methodologies

To the colonized, the term 'research' is conflated with European colonialism; the ways in which academic research has been implicated in the throes of imperialism remains a painful memory. This book explores intersections of imperialism and research - specifically, the ways in which imperialism is embedded in disciplines of knowledge and tradition as 'regimes of truth.' Concepts such as 'discovery' and 'claiming' are discussed and an argument presented that the decolonization of research methods will help to reclaim control over indigenous ways of knowing and being.