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Sociology 3650: Sociology of Disasters: Subject

Value of encyclopedias

Encyclopedias are great for:

  •  locating authoritative, high quality information

  •  choosing a topic

  •  educating yourself quickly

  •  gaining background information easily (major ideas, theories, events, people)

  •  identifying variant spellings, vocabulary, terminology

  •  finding a bibliography (list of selected, important  references for further reading)


Online encyclopedia collections

Sage Reference Online

A searchable database of hundreds of reference books covering the social sciences including such areas as economics, gender, race, history, politics, psychology, research methods, social policy, sociology and urban studies.


  • Encyclopedia of Crisis Management
  • Encyclopedia of Disaster Relief
  • Encyclopedia of Environment and Society
  • Encyclopedia of Human Development

Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL)

Provides searchable full-text e-book versions of many reference works, including multi-volume encyclopedias, handbooks, dictionaries, etc. in a wide range of subject areas including environment, history, law, multicultural studies, science, and social sciences.


  • Dictionary of American History
  • Encyclopedia of Sociology
  • International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences

Wikipedia: Watch Out!

 Wikipedia can be very helpful in providing information about all kinds of topics, including detailed lists of disasters, classified by type. The footnotes and lists of external links provided at the end of many articles may lead to useful scholarly material.

CAUTION: The text of each article is not always accurate or authoritative.  Articles often reflect personal opinion and controversial interpretations of events and issues.  Authors might not have a strong academic background in the subject matter of the articles they contribute.  

Sociology encyclopedias

Encyclopedias with articles on disaster related issues

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