Gender identity, family relationships: Social psychology topics for your research paper

Gender identity makes for an interesting social psychology topic.

Gender identity makes for an interesting social psychology topic.

If you’re taking a course in sociology then you may be looking for good social psychology topics for your research papers. Think about issues that are in the news today, such as gender identity. What about an issue that is closer to home like family relationships? Let’s take a look at some of the possible topics that you could use when you want to explore social issues.

Gender identity and other topics

A good place to begin your search is at Questia where you can read millions of full-text books and articles. Questia also houses magazines, academic journals, newspaper articles and encyclopedias. What’s more, you find video tutorials on how to plan, research and write your paper. There are also tools to help you take notes, bookmark and cite your sources.

Use the “browse library” feature to get started and then explore the category of sociology and anthropology. Then you can focus on social issues such as:

  • social classes
  • social values
  • human and civil rights
  • addiction and substance abuse
  • relationships and the family
  • gender

Within the topic of gender you can find out about gender identity and read books like Questioning Identity: Gender, Class, Ethnicity by Kath Woodward. In this book, Woodward begins by discussing identity; what it is and how we identify ourselves individually and within our society.

“All societies have ways of differentiating between men and women, and between femininity and masculinity. Differences are often expressed through stereotypical language, through words which are associated with women and with men,” Woodward said.

Family and relationships

If you need to expand your sources then you’ll want to do keyword searches either in Questia or another database or web service. The search phrase “family and relationships” will return several good resources including a link to the American Psychological Association (APA).

The APA site has an entire section devoted to the topic of family and relationships where you’ll find articles on:

  • teens and stress
  • coping with chronic illness
  • suicide

In the article “How to help in an emotional crisis” you can learn how to spot the signs that someone is in crisis and what you can do to help.

According to the article, “Some examples of mental health crises include depression, trauma, eating disorders, alcohol or substance abuse, self-injury and suicidal thoughts. If you suspect a friend or family member is experiencing an emotional crisis, your help can make a difference.”

Social classes

America has always prided itself on its large middle-class but recently many have questioned whether our class structure is changing in favor of “the one percent.” Perform a keyword search on “social classes” and you’ll find articles like “Where Do You Fall in the American Economic Class System?” by David Francis.

In this September 13, 2013, article for, Francis explores the implications of a Census Bureau announcement of a 1.5 percent drop in median household income.

Francis believes that most Americans don’t understand what category applies to them: poverty, middle class or upper class. They often believe that they are worse off than they really are and tend to have misconceptions about how other classes live.

Quoting Robert Gordon, a social sciences professor in Northwestern University’s economic department, the article said, “People have only a vague idea of their income, based primarily on their income-tax returns, if they are filers.”

Social issues blogs

Perform the keyword search, “social issues blogs” and you’ll get a long list of resources to fuel your research paper.

A few blogs to consider are:

  • Everyday Sociology Blog
  • Mark Rubin’s Social Psychology Research Blog
  • Psychology Today
  • Generally Thinking

Another blog of note is The Guardian’s blog, “The Social Issue.” While the blog is maintained in the U.K., people from other countries will relate to recent articles such as:

  • Aging and art: tackling isolation among older people
  • Changing how we support and see people with learning disabilities

The blog is run by social affairs journalist and commissioning editor Saba Salman. Topics range from homelessness to disability to welfare.

Read more about social issues on Questia.

What topic in the area of social issues interests you the most? Tell us in the comments below.

2 replies
  1. Nagwa Abdalla says:

    All the topics are very interesting to me
    ◾social classes
    ◾social values
    ◾human and civil rights
    ◾addiction and substance abuse
    ◾relationships and the family


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