Overviews of Social Factors
The theme of social conditions encompasses many potential topics:
- Aging in popular culture, through literature, film, jokes, proverbs, and tropes
- Culture and conditions of institutions for care, including asylums, workhouses, nursing homes, and hospice
- History of public assistance laws and programs
- Challenges in accessing social services
- Public opinions about age, aging, and the role of old people in society
- Retirement and changing definitions of appropriate retirement age
- Planning for retirement, medical needs, and death; financial stability or anxiety
When you are searching for books and articles on your topic, try to separate the topic into two or three major concepts. Then take each concept and brainstorm several synonyms. These will be your key words that you can connect together for a powerful Boolean search. You might also want to consider historical period, geographic location, and the resource formats and methods you're most interested in.
For more information on locating appropriate databases to find articles, see the Journal Articles tab. For more information on locating relevant books, see the Books tab.
Using Subject Headings
Subject Headings are the way librarians catalog items in a very precise way. Because a great many words and phrases can describe a particular item, it’s important to have a controlled vocabulary we all agree on to best organize items. You can always locate an item’s subjects in the record on Tripod or Worldcat (or any other catalog) as well as in the bibliographic matter in the front of a book. Here are some possibilities for subject headings relating to social conditions: