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 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.
eHRAF World Cultures provides cultural-attribute indexing for fulltext ethnographies about cultures around the world.
In addition to covering Native American cultures and traditional cultures on other continents, eHRAF includes a number of US ethnic groups:
|North American Armenians
|North American Hasidic Jews
|North American Hmong
|Puerto Ricans (Mainland)
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.
Created for SOCI 006-401 / AFRC-006 / ASAM-006 / URBS-160: Race and Ethnic Relations (Fall 2014).
Updated for SOCI 006-401 / AFRC-006 / ASAM-006 / URBS-160: Race and Ethnic Relations (Fall 2015).