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Asian Americans : Sociology: Getting Started

Related Penn Libraries guides

Videos on Asian Americans

The Penn Libraries hold online videostreams and videos in DVD and VHS formats. Available videos will be listed in Franklin Catalog.

Relevant videostream collections include the Center for Asian American Media and its predecessor, National Asian American Telecommunications Association (NAATA).

• Franklin Catalog keyword expert search for videos about or by Asian Americans.

HRAF / eHRAF and ethnographic Big Data

Big Data has had a presence in ethnography since the 1950s, with the creation of the Human Relations Area Files.

HRAF and eHRAF - subject-indexed ethnographies

eHRAF World Cultures and its not-yet-superseded microfiche predecessor Human Relations Area Files (at the Museum Library) provide cultural-attribute indexing for fulltext ethnographies about cultures around the world.

In addition to covering Native American cultures and traditional cultures on other continents, eHRAFincludes a number of US ethnic groups:

Chinese Americans
Chinese Canadians
Korean Americans
North American Hmong

eHRAF's Outline of Cultural Materials provides subject terms applied to individual paragraphs. By searching for an OCM term, you can quickly locate very specific information within a culture's ethnographies. By searching across several cultures, you can make quick crosscultural comparisons.


"Database of Dreams" - psychological anthropology documents

Microcard Publications of Primary Records in Culture and Personality (Van Pelt Microtext Center: Microcard 61) is a microprint collection of more than 60 reports of unprocessed and uninterpreted psychological anthropology materials for non-Western cultural groups, including Rorschach inkblot tests, Thematic Apperception Tests, sentence completion tests, life histories and autobiographies, and dream accounts, produced during 1956-1962. Two leading Penn psychological anthropologists, A Irving Hallowell and Anthony FC Wallace, were important contributors.

Individual titles within Microcard Publications appear in Franklin Catalog. Van Pelt Library's Microtext Center offers equipment to read microcards.

See especially:
110 Rorschachs of Nisei and Issei men and women / George Devos.
Rorschach protocols of 14 Jamaican Chinese children / Thomas W. Maretzki.

Microcard Publications is the subject of a recent book:

Database of dreams: the lost quest to catalog humanity / Rebecca M Lemov. (Yale Univ Press, 2015)

Reference works

Use dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks to learn quickly about the state of research on your topic. A good encyclopedia article should describe major themes, current research fronts, and controversial areas; it should also provide a brief bibliography of classic, important, or definitive works on your topic. Handbooks generally offer chapters on specific aspects of a topic: together, the handbook's chapters should provide a broad overview of the state of research; individually, chapters may be narrowly focused.

Bibliographies and Guides to the Literature

Bibliographies are lists of works organized around a topic, while guides to the literature are systematic introductions to the literature of a field.

Literature reviews are a handy way to get quickly into the scholarly literature. A typical literature-review article will provide a narrative that identifies and describes dozens of journal articles and books.

Librarian & Coordinator of Social Sciences Collections

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Lauris Olson
University of Pennsylvania Libraries
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University of Pennsylvania
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