The Oxford English Dictionary defines sociolinguistcs as "The branch of linguistics that deals with the social aspects of language."
The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics (online) is a great place to get background on a research topic. Articles, available in html or pdf, can be browsed by title or topic and have a list of bibliographic references. The encyclopedia may be also searched by keyword. For off campus access, use your campus id and password.
Here are some examples of journals in the field of Sociolinguistics. Some may not be available for 2010, so use Interlibrary Loan for recent articles. Most links are to the journal record in the library catalog, GIL-Find. Follow the electronic link to browse the journal.