From Library Journal
More of a dictionary than an encyclopedia, this one-volume paperback update to the first edition (LJ 4/15/86) comprises 600 entries, 90 percent of which are new or substantially revised to reflect recent developments and approaches in the social sciences, e.g., feminism, postmodernism, sociobiology, environmental and evolutionary economics, and cultural studies. Contributors, mostly scholars from the United Kingdom and the United States, are aiming at an audience of scholars and social scientists who need a handy desk reference for quick overviews of terms, concepts, movements, and individuals from disciplines outside or adjoining their own fields. The entries are of high quality in terms of content, but inevitably any one-volume work that attempts to cover all the social sciences will have gaps: for example, there's an entry on semantics but no entries for the equally important linguistic subfields of phonology and syntax. Readers needing in-depth treatment of topics will be better served by the multivolume encyclopedias that cover individual disciplines in the social sciences, the true heirs to the venerable Encyclopedia of Social Sciences (1930) and the International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences (1968). All libraries that missed the hardcover should purchase this inexpensive paperback edition.AMarc Meola, Temple Univ. Lib., Philadelphia
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Similar to the 1985 first edition, the second edition of the Social Science Encyclopedia
attempts to provide broad and up-to-date coverage of all of the social sciences in a single volume. It contains more than 600 signed articles, ranging in length from a few paragraphs to a few pages, representing current theory, practice, and policy in such disciplines as anthropology, economics, education, feminism, geography, government and politics, linguistics, philosophy, and sociology. With such broad coverage, the encyclopedia does not go into great detail. Fortunately, every entry includes a bibliography for further reading. Like the first edition, the encyclopedia is written primarily for specialists in the field. It has a relatively high reading level and will be most useful for researchers and graduate students.
A comparison of the first and second editions indicates that the editors have taken into account the many changes that have occurred in the social sciences over the intervening decade. In a random sample of entries selected from both editions, only one-quarter of the text was found to be the same. Approximately 15 percent of the entries from the first edition were dropped, and more than one-half of all entries have been revised and updated. A further 25 percent of the entries in the second edition are completely new. Many of the articles contain recent findings and citations, some as recent as 1994. This work will replace the first edition and will continue to serve as an update to the old standard, the International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. It will be a useful addition to any social sciences research collection.