Society and Culture

General Resources for Senior Students

  • You may also find links in the guides for Community and Family Studies (in TAS), Aboriginal Studies, Legal Studies and Studies of Religion (in HSIE) useful.
  • Use the Information Skills Process (ISP) on the Research page to guide you.
  • Browse the non-fiction shelves: 340s, 200-290s – religions; 300s – social sciences; 305 – social groups; 306 – culture and institutions; 307 – communities; 340s – law; 360s – social problems and services; 390s – customs; 640s – cookery; 700s – art, architecture, textiles; 800s – literature;  914-919 – geography/travel specific countries; 940-990s – specific countries/overview/history.
  • For audio visual resources search ClickView by subject heading, series or title. ClickView can be accessed when you are at home. Restrictions apply based on age/rating.

Oliver Catalogue

  • Search the CTHS Library Oliver catalogue using subject terms such as culture, environment, identity, feminism, gender, globalization, human rights, power, etc. Add sub-headings such as research, case studies, analysis, social change, environmental aspects, etc..
  • Search Series: Issues in Society (hard copy and/or electronic copy, downloadable), Current Social Issues (some searchable contents pages).
  • Expand your search to Trove by running a search in Oliver, click other providers and select Trove.
  • Expand your search to Hornsby Library resources by running a search in Oliver, click other providers and select Hornsby Shire Library. If you are a member of Hornsby Library you can borrow their items.
  • Expand your search to Macquarie University library resources by running a search in Oliver, click other providers and select Macquarie University Library. You can access their hard copy resources onsite but will be unable to borrow.

Subscriptions and Newspapers


  • Search World Book Online Advanced or Timelines. This is a reliable starting point for research if you don’t know much about the topic.


  • State Library of NSW databases require you to sign up for free membership. Choose a database by name. General Society and Culture databases with which to start your research are:
    • Academic Search Complete (EBSCO)
    • Informit
    • Informit Families & Society Collection
    • Informit Humanities and Social Sciences Collection
    • ProQuest Central – a broad range of content types and subjects
    • OECD iLibrary – statistical databases, books and periodicals from the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development
  • Hornsby Library databases require you to sign up for free membership.

Internet Resources

  • Insight – View full episodes of the SBS Insight program. The episodes examine a variety of social issues with experts and first person stories.
  • The Spinney Press: Web links for students – Links to NGOs, Government departments, organisations and support networks for common social issues.
  • The Conversation – Informed news analysis and commentary, free to read and republish. Good for an overview of many topics.
  • Australian Bureau of Statistics
  • ABS: Australian Social Trends, 2014
  • Australian Institute of Health and Welfare – Search: aging and disabilities, families and children, indigenous Australians, etc.
  • Australian Government: Community Information Summaries – Provides a broad range of statistical data (2016 Census) for people born in more than 100 birthplaces.
  • SBS Cultural Atlas: Countries – To inform and educate the public in cross-cultural attitudes, practices, norms, behaviours and communications; to enhance social cohesion in Australia, improve outcomes for individuals and organisations operating in an increasingly culturally diverse society.
  • ABC Law Report – Informative, jargon-free stories about law reform, legal education, test cases, miscarriages of justice and legal culture.
  • ABC Religion and Ethics – Religious reporting and analysis, ethical discussion and philosophical discovery, and inspiring stories of faith and belief.
  • United Nations – Issues confronting humanity in the 21st century; peace/security, climate change, sustainable development, human rights, disarmament, terrorism, humanitarian/health emergencies, gender equality, governance, food production, etc.
  • OECD – Global statistics, policies and research involving the economic and social well-being of people around the world.
  • TED Talks: Topics  – Activism, identity, immigration, justice, refugees, social change, social media, youth, etc.
  • ABC: Life matters – Relationships, family, parenting, education, work, health and consumer issues.
  • Making multicultural Australia for the 21st century – Developed by Office of the BOS NSW, NSW DET, UTS, Australian Multicultural Foundation, Australia Council for the Arts, Migration Heritage Centre, Arts Victoria, Queensland Government, State Government Victoria.
  • APO: Analysis & Policy Observatory – Materials both broad and focused on public policy and analysis, e.g. family violence, First Peoples, sustainable urban precincts, etc.
  • Writing a Literature Review
  • Pew Research Center – Issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world using public opinion polling, demographic research, content analysis and other data-driven social science research.

Bibliographies and Citations

  • Ask your teacher for requirements; keep records up to date – retrospectively is difficult as URLs frequently change or disappear.
  • Bibliography Generator – General bibliography generator, choose the style you need.

Evaluating Websites