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SOCI 004B: Introduction to Social Theory (SC)

Sociology 004B / First-Year Seminar / From Modernity to Postmodernity and Beyond: An Introduction to Social Theory - Braulio Muñoz - Fall 2018

Finding Books on Social Theory (in Tripod)

When you search for a theorist's name, you will probably get a mix of books and articles by this person and ones about their ideas.  Here's how to get more specific and find the kind of information you're looking for.

Use Tripod to find books held by the TriCollege libraries.  You can request books from the other TriCo schools and have them delivered to Swarthmore.

How to Find Books by a Specific Author
  1. Go to Tripod (
  2. Click on the drop-down menu that says "Keyword" and change it to "Author/Creator."
  3. Enter the last name of the author (e.g. Geertz) into the search box and then click search.
  4. On the Search Results page, click the link for "Books and More" (on the left).
  5. At the top of the next page, you'll get a list of authors.  Click on the one you want (e.g. Clifford Geertz) and then you'll see books by that person.
How to Find Books About a Specific Theorist or Theory
What if you want to read other scholars' ideas about a particular theorist's work?  To do this, you search for books where this theorist is the subject rather than the author.

  1. Go to Tripod (
  2. Click on the drop-down menu that says "Keyword" and change it to "Subject."
  3. Enter the last name of the author (e.g. Geertz) into the search box and then click search.
  4. Look under "Books and More" in the left column. Click on the title for a book that seems like it's about this theorist's ideas.
  5. On the page for that specific book, find the "Subjects" links.  Click on the subject link for the theorist you'd like to study.
  6. On the next page, select the subject link you want (hint: look at how many books fall into that subject category).  You'll be brought to a list of relevant books in Tripod.

Finding Essays/Chapters Contained in Anthologies
Sometimes you need to read shorter pieces that are contained within anthologies or collections of different works.  Tripod lets you search through the Tables of Contents of books as well as the book titles.  Here are some tips.

  • If you know the exact title of the piece you want to read (e.g. "Social Theory and the Politics of Identity"), try searching for it in Tripod and enclose the title in double quotes "like this." 
  • To view the table of contents for a book (and see if the specific chapter you need is in there), go to the Tripod page for that book.  Then click on the "Table of Contents" tab - you may have to scroll down to see it.

Still can't find the book you need?  The Tri-Co Libraries might not have it.  You can borrow it from another library and have it sent to you at McCabe - see below.

Finding Books in McCabe

Once you have a call number for a book that's in McCabe, how do you find the book?

Example: HQ518 .L35 2002

1. Use the first letter of the call number to find the floor you need.

- Lower Level= A-E

- 2nd Level= F-K
- 3rd Level= L-Z

(1st/Main Level= Reference and Honors Reserves)

2. Use the wall signs and/or map to find the correct section

Example: You want the section with the HQ books in it.  This is on the 2nd level above the main entrance.

3. Use the rest of the call number to find the correct shelf and the book.

Confused by the call number system?  Read this.


Books Beyond the TriCo Libraries

To find books that are not owned by the TriCo libraries, search by keywords and/or subject headings in WorldCat, and make interlibrary loan or EZ-Borrow requests.  Whenever possible, try to make your interlibrary loan requests early in the semester, to ensure that the books arrive with enough time left to write your paper.

If you know exactly what book you want and you've searched for it in Tripod (unsuccessfully), start off by searching EZBorrow to see if a nearby college library can send it to you at McCabe.