Sociology: Comparative Countries & Cultures Research - LPC Library Research Guide

The following resources include both printed reference sources, check-out books and many interesting Internet sites on other countries and cultures of interest to sociology students. Do not forget to use the LPC Library Homepage with links to especially useful electronic print resources. Useful databases are Ethnic NewsWatch, GenderWatch, and CountryWatch. In addition, America's Newspapers (NewsBank), Academic Search Complete (EBSCO), and Health Source (EBSCO) described below will be helpful.

Countries and Cultures Encyclopedias

Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience. Ref DT14.A37435 2005 v. 1-5

Countries and Their Cultures. Ref GN307.C68 2001 v.1-4

CultureGrams: The Nations Around Us. Ref GT150.C85 2006 v. 1-4

Dictionary of the Social Sciences. Ref H41.D53 2002.   Books like this are sometimes useful for finding information about your social indicators.

Encyclopedia of Britain. Ref DA1.E52 1999

Encyclopedia of Contempoary German Culture. Ref DD290.26.E53 1999

Encyclopedia of Irish History and Culture. Ref DA912.E53 2004 v.1-2

Encyclopedia of Modern Asia. Ref DS4.L48 2002 v.1-6

Encyclopedia of Contemporary Japanese Culture. Ref DS822.5.E516 2001

Encyclopedia of Russian History. Ref DK14.E53 2004 v.1-4

Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. Ref DS43.E53 2004 v.1-4

Encyclopedia of the World's Minorities. Ref GN495.4.E63 2005 v.1-3

Encyclopedia of the World's Nations. Ref G63.K874 2002 v. 1-3

Encyclopedia of World Cultures. Ref GN307.E53 1996 v.1-10

Europa World Year Book. Ref JN1.E85 2000 v. 1 & 2

Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World. Ref DS35.53.O95 1995

South America, Central America and the Caribbean 2000. 8th ed. Ref F1401.S68 2000

World Factbook, 2005 . Ref G59.W67 2005

Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations. Ref G63.W67 1998 v.1-5


Subject Encyclopedias

African Development Indicators 2002. Ref HC800.A475 2002

Asian Pacific American Heritage: A Companion to Literature and Arts. Ref PS153.A84.A87 1999

Child Labor: A World History Companion. Ref HD6231.H63 1999. "Presents overviews of child labor in specific countries and world regions [and] ...such subjects as the effects of work on children's education, the economic forces driving the exploitation of minors, campaigns and legislation against child employment..."

The Continuum Complete International Encyclopedia of Sexuality. HQ21.I68 2003

Cross-cultural Perspectives on Human Sexuality. Ref HQ16.C27 1998

Encyclopedia of Food and Culture. Ref GT2850.E53 2003 v. 1-3.  "...Offers information on all aspects of food in human culture, from Stone Age nutrition to the future of food, ... encompassing the history, science and health, anthropology, psychology, sociology, etc."

Encyclopedia of Genocide and Crimes against Humanity. Ref HV6322.7.E532 2005 v. 1-2

Encyclopedia of Marriage and the Family. Ref HQ9.E52 1995

Encyclopedia of Social Issues. Ref HN57.E59 1997 v.1-6

Encyclopedia of Urban Cultures: Cities and Cultures around the World. Ref HT108.5.E53 2002 v.1-4

Garland Encyclopedia of World Music. Africa.  South America.  Mexico.  Central America.  Caribbean.  Southeast Asia.  South Asia (Indian Subcontinent; Australia and the Pacific Islands).  Europe.  United States & Canada.  General Perspectives & Reference Tools. Ref ML100.G16 1998 v.1- 5, 8-10. CDs accompany each volume.

Governments of the World: A Global Guide to Citizens' Rights and Responsibilities. Ref JA61.G645 2006 v. 1-3

Health and Illness: A Cross-Cultural Encyclopedia. Ref R733.L477 1997

Health in the Americas: 2002 Edition. Ref RA407.5.L3.P18 2002.  Volume I examines "...issues dealing with leading health indicators, ranging from mortality and changes in life expectancy to the relationship between health and income disbribution. [It] ...also analyzes current health conditions and overall health trends, including those pertaining to disease prevention and control, health promotion, environmnetal protection ... Volume II presents an updated analysis of the health conditions in each of the countries and territories in the Americas."

History of World Trade since 1450. Ref HF1379.H574 2006 v.1-2

International Encyclopedia of Marriage and Family. Ref HQ9.E52 2003 v.1-4.  "A compendium surveying the shared patterns and amazing variation in marriage and family life in a rapidly changing multicultural world. Presents 'knowldege about marriages, families, and human relationships and about the psychological, cultural, and societal forces that influence them.'"

Man, Myth & Magic: the Illustrated Encyclopedia of Mythology, Religion and the Unknown. Ref BF1407.M34 1995 v.1-21

Nutrition and Health in Developing Countries. Ref RA645.N87.N847 2001

The State of Women in the World Atlas. Ref G1046.E1.S4 2000

Statistical Handbook on the World's Children. Ref HQ767.9.K38 2002.  International statistical material on children, organized into 8 sections: demography, education, health and nutrition, disease, AIDS, economics, family and social life, and crime

Women in the Third World: A Reference Handbook. Ref HQ1870.9.K58 1997

Women in the Third World: An Encyclopedia of Contemporary Issues. Ref HQ1870.9.W6548 1998.

Women's Health and Development: A Global Challenge. Ref RA408.W65.W65 1993

World Education Encyclopedia: A Survey of Educational Systems Worldwide. 2nd ed. Ref LB15.W87 2001 v.1-3

World of Health. Ref R130.5.W67 2000

Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily Life. Ref GN333.W67 1998 v.1-4

Worldmark Encyclopedia of Religious Practices. Ref BL80.3.W67 2006 v. 1-3

World's Women 2000: Trends and Statistics. Ref HQ1154.W95 2000

You Eat What You Are: People, Culture and Food Traditions. 2nd ed. Ref GT2850.B37 1999


Check-Out Series and Titles

Area Handbook Series

Search the library catalog for "area handbook and Albania" or "country study and Albania", for example, to find an area study on a Albania.

Searching for a country by subject, such as Albania, would also result in the above title.

To find a list of all the country studies that LPC owns, search "by series" for "area handbook series."

Global Studies...

China: A Global Studies Handbook. DS706.C4893 2003

India: A Global Studies Handbook. DS407.B63 2004

Indonesia: A Global Studies Handbook. DS615.L36 2003

Japan: A Global Studies Handbook. DS806.E45 2002

The Koreas: A Global Studies Handbook. DS902.C65 2002

Nepal and Bangladesh: A Global Studies Handbook. DS393.4.S55 2002

The Philippines: A Global Studies Handbook. DS655.W66 2006

Thailand: A Global Studies Handbook. DS563.5.H63 2004

Vietnam: A Global Studies Handbook. DS556.3.W66 2002

Global Studies: India and South Asia. 3rd ed. DS341.3.N67 1997.

Global Studies: Middle East. 6th ed. DS62.4.S63 1996

Global Studies: Western Europe. 5th ed. G D424.W37 1997

History Atlas...

The History Atlas of Africa. G2446.S1.K3 1998

The History Atlas of Asia. G2201.S1.B25 1998

The History Atlas of Europe. G1797.21.S1.B3 1998

The History Atlas of North America. G1106.S1.D3 1998

The History Atlas of South America. G1701.S1.E4 1998


Middle East: An Anthropological Approach. GN635.N42.E38

Dress and Identity. GT524.D74 1995 "...A fascinating collection of readings to illustrate the importance of dress both as a means of communication and in the development and maintenance of identity [in a variety of cultures]."

Love and Sex in Twelve Cultures. GN484.3.E5 1989

Material World: A Global Family Portrait. GN406.M45 1994

Same Sex, Different Cultures: Exploring Gay & Lesbian Lives.. GN484.35.H47 1997

Women in Developing Economies: Making Visible the Invisible. HQ1240.5.D44.W662 1993.   Includes Caribbean region, Tunisia, Ghana, Colombia, and India

Women in Society: Australia, Brazil, Britain, China, Egypt, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa. HQ1154.W880 1992-1994.

Women in the Material World. HQ1381 D35 1996


Journal, Magazine, & Newspaper Articles in Electronic Print Resources

Use the following electronic print resources to find magazine and newspaper articles on countries and their cultures. Use the name of your country and the issue you are researching for keyword searches, such as "Latvia and health."

Academic Search Complete (EBSCO) – Provides full text for more than 4,600 scholarly publications, including full text for more than 3,500 peer-reviewed journals. Coverage spans virtually every area of academic study and offers information dating as far back as 1975. Contains maps in the Image Database.

America's Newspapers (NewsBank) – This database contains the full-text of articles published in national, regional, and local papers, such as The Valley Times, Sacramento Bee, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, New York Times, Washington Post, and many more. The large regional or national papers will provide the most international information on countries.

CountryWatch – This databases contains political, economic, and business information, as well as maps for countries.

CQ Researcher – Explores a single "hot" issue in the news in depth each week. Topics from social and teen issues to environment, health, education and science and technology in an archive dataing back to 1991.

Ethnic NewsWatch and GenderWatch (ProQuest) – These databases contain articles with a broad diversity of perspectives and viewpoints from newspapers, magazines, and journals (ethnic, minority, and native press and those focusing on the impact of gender in culture and society). All the articles indexed are available in full-text.

Health Source (EBSCO) – Contains health information with information on many health topics including the medical sciences, food sciences and nutrition, childcare, sports medicine and general health.


Miscellaneous Internet Resources


The LPC Library's electronic print resources, Academic Search Premier Image Database, CountryWatch and Americana Online contain good maps. In addition, the following sites also have country maps:

Xpeditions(GOOD MAPS) - nearly 600 printable page-size maps designed for printing and copying from National Geographic. Click on Atlas Maps, click on the area of the world in which you are interested, then choose a country from the drop-down list "select one". You may customize your maps with more detail or country borders on or off.

Altapedia Online - Full color physical and political maps and key facts and statistics on countries of the world

GeographyIQ - online world atlas with maps

World of Maps - Die Welt der Karten - "Maps, spacial data and GIS on the Internet - and how to find them. Links to catalogues of map holdings, map collections and map archives, map curatorship and map history, map institutions, map events and many others ...."



Use the LPC Library Homepage to find links to the reference databases that the library purchases which give good information on countries, including, EBSCO databases, Ethnic NewsWatch, and Gender Watch

AdmiNet - non-profit organisation delivering general information about governmental authorities and public services

Background Notes - latest information, country information released after Jan. 20, 2001

Background Notes - older information: country information released prior to Jan. 20, 2001. Once you click on this link, you must scroll down to find the older country links

BUBL LINK / Catalogue of Internet Resources: Countries - "a quick, user-friendly lead into key resources by country.

BUBL LINK / Catalogue of Internet Resources: Sociology - "a quick, user-friendly lead into key resources by country. Other major subject areas covered

CalPhotos: People and Culture - nearly 500 photographs of people and their culture from around the globe - statistical reports on the status of U.S. children, including population and family characteristics, economic security, health, behavior and social environment, and education

Country Studies/Area Handbooks - "presents a description and analysis of the historical setting and the social, economic, political, and national security systems and institutions of countries throughout the world and examines the interrelationships of those systems and the ways they are shaped by cultural factors" Country Briefings - news stories, fact sheets, and links to official government sites for countries from Algeria to Vietnam; useful with Background Notes and the World Factbook

Education for All - assessment reports on the basic education in 180 countries, which contain some of this information: funding, issues and goals, statistics on enrollment, literacy, educational levels of teachers, academic and vocational education, evaluation of early childhood, primary, and secondary instruction

GeographyIQ - "an online world atlas packed with geographic, economic, political, historical and cultural information"

Global Educational Database (GED) - United States Agency for International Development reports on primary, secondary, and tertiary education from statistics by UNESCO and USAID's Demographic and Health Surveys; includes numbers of teachers, numbers of female teachers, percentage of female teachers, and teacher-student ratios

MSU Global Access - briefly annotated collection of 4,000+ sites "to help people learn about the world - its regions and peoples and important international issues."

PovertyNet - contains a collection of reports and data on world poverty and quotes from a study in which the poor of sixty countries describe their lives - World Bank

Social Science Data Archives - a searchable collection of databases, with some annotations, arranged by country. There is also a category for worldwide databases, and users can browse in over 150 subject areas.

SOSIG: Social Science Information Gateway - categories of business, economics, education, environmental sciences and issues, ethnology, ethnography and anthropology, European studies, geography, government and public administration, law, philosophy, politics, psychology, social science general, social welfare, sociology, statistics, and women studies lead to thousands of resources on the Internet

Statistical Resources on the Web - A directory of the best resources for world-wide statistics on the Web and the place to start when you want to find a good source for statistics on most topics

UNEP.Net Environment Network - country and regional profiles, an atlas of environmentally protected areas, nuclear power sites worldwide, global coastal statistics, greenhouse gas emissions and projections, a digital map plotting coral reefs worldwide, nationally designated protected areas, global forest and wildfire status reports...

UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization

UNICEF - United Nation's Children Fund, the "leading advocate for children’s rights, active in 158 countries and territories around the world." Click on Information by Country

USAID - (United States Agency for International Development) "has been the principal U.S. agency to extend assistance to countries recovering from disaster, trying to escape poverty, and engaging in democratic reforms".

Women's Human Rights Resources - Women's issues covered at this site are education, equality, feminist theory, health, labor and employment, marriage and family, political rights, property law, housing, prostitution, race and gender, religion, and violence. Consists of citations of articles with abstracts and annotations or full text from UN publications, reports from non-governmental organizations, international conventions/treaties, and more; and annotated links

World Fact Book - the "Factbook was created as an annual summary and update to the encyclopedic National Intelligence Survey" compiled by the CIA

Citation of Sources

LPC Library Guide to APA - Includes examples of most used resources on the webpage, links to the fill-in printed templates for the most common resources, and a link to NoodleBib, an online reference list composer.

Many of these links were found through Librarians' Internet Index and the annotations were adapted from the LII list (Copyright 2006 by Librarians' Internet Index,


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Page last modified: February 05, 2014