Peer-reviewed articles are great sources of information but they are not good starting points. Peer-reviewed articles focus on a very specific topic or experiment, and the authors assume you already know a lot about the topic. A great way to get some background info on your topic is to look for an overview article in Gale eBooks or CQ Researcher.
Social artifacts are texts, images, or videos created by members of a society. You will need to find a TedTalk or a music video that relates to the social issue you've chosen.
When a historian, scientist, sociologist, or other researcher makes an important discovery, they want to share what they learned. They do this by writing an article about the research and publishing it in a "scholarly journal." To see an example of a scholarly journal, check out PLOS ONE, a scholarly journal for science-related topics. Journal articles go through a rigorous editing process and are reviewed by other experts before being published -- this where the term "peer-reviewed" comes from.
Scholarly articles are different from other forms of writing you're probably used to, and it takes some practice to get the hang of reading them. Learn how to read a scholarly article effectively.