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SOCI 006 - Race & Ethnic Relations: Finding books - Franklin, etc.

What's a good book?

Sure, it might be easy to find a book on your topic. But how do you know it's solid work? Or how it fits into the current research community? And what if you're overwhelmed by your Franklin searching ... and all you want is a good book on your topic? These suggestions will help you to answer these questions.

SEARCH HINT!  In a fulltext database - JSTOR, and MegaFILE, for example - overwhelming results can be winnowed by adding this synonym set to your search:

(recommended OR excellent OR outstanding OR "must read" OR important OR landmark*)

Even if the review's subject book is not great, perhaps the review will mention a book that shouldn't be missed!

Narrowing down your book search results

If your Franklin:Catalog search results are overwhelming, there are some subject heading phrases that might help you maintain control. Plug these into your Keyword Expert searching with ... AND ....

Conditions and aspects

attitudes economic conditions
health aspects history
intellectual life legal status
moral and ethical aspects social aspects
social conditions social life and customs
politics and government public opinion
psychology psychological aspects
religion religious aspects
religious life

Methodologies and sources

methodology anecdotes
autobiography case studies
correspondence cross-cultural studies
diaries interviews
longitudinal studies newspapers
personal narratives statistics
surveys testing


... in advertising ... in art
... in literature ... in mass media
... in motion pictures ... in popular culture
influences study and teaching

Finding books about racial and ethnic groups

Franklin:Catalog uses Library of Congress subject headings and subject heading subdivisions to describe books about specific ethnic and nativity populations. These subject headings are assigned at the most detailed level most of the work treats.

The Anthropology & Sociology Section (ACRL) librarians have written a few helpful notes on how library catalogs describe race and ethnic groups:

There are two subject heading patterns to watch for:

  • "African Americans"/"Asian Americans".
  • "Africans--United States"/"Asians--United States".

The subject phrase "xxxx Americans" is used in Franklin:Catalog for works generally about people of xxxx ancestry, that is groups of people who are bound together by common ties of xxxx ancestry and culture. "xxxx--United States" is used for works about people born outside the United States in a specific world region or country who now live in the United States. Both subject heading patterns can accept country names:

"african americans" "nigerian americans" "senegalese americans"
"hispanic americans" "mexican americans" "puerto ricans"
"asian americans" "east asian americans" "chinese americans"
"japanese americans" "taiwanese americans" "korean americans"
"southeast asian americans" "filipino americans" "hmong americans"
"south asian americans" "bangladeshi americans" "east indian americans"
"pakistani americans" "sri lankan americans" "nepali americans"
"africans united states" "west africans united states" "nigerians united states"
"latin americans united states" "mexicans united states" "mexicans california"
"asians united states" "east indians united states" "hmong asian people united states"
"chinese new york" "japanese california" "hmong asian people minnesota"
"indians of north america" "iroquois indians" "lumbee indians"
"indians of north america north carolina"

You can use Keyword Expert searching in Franklin:Catalog to pull together several of these terms for a more inclusive search result:

Keyword Expert = subject:("asian americans" OR "east asian americans" OR "chinese americans" OR "japanese americans" OR "taiwanese americans" OR "korean americans" OR "southeast asian americans" OR "filipino americans" OR "indonesian americans" OR "vietnamese americans" OR "laotian americans" OR "hmong americans" OR "cambodian americans" OR "thai americans" OR "burmese americans" OR "south asian americans" OR "bangladeshi americans" OR "east indian americans" OR "pakistani americans" OR "sri lankan americans" OR "nepali americans" OR "tibetan americans" OR "afghan americans")

And you can add several subject terms to narrow down to an ethnic group and your research topic:

Keyword Expert = subject:("african americans") AND subject:("mass media")
Keyword Expert = subject:("korean americans") AND subject:(adopt*)
Keyword Expert = subject:("east indians united states") AND subject:(emigr*)

The pattern "Asian American" is also used as an adjective to describe categories of people and literature genres:

Keyword Expert = subject:("east indian american women" OR "south asian women")
Keyword Expert = subject:("asian american teenagers" OR "chinese american teenagers" OR "japanese american teenagers" OR "korean american teenagers")
Keyword Expert = subject:("asian american" OR "chinese american" OR "korean american" OR "south asian american" OR "east indian american") AND subject:("college students")

Finding books on race and ethnicity

Franklin:Catalog, the Penn Library's online catalog, lists the millions of books, journal titles, videos, and other materials held in Penn's campus libraries or available online to Penn readers.

Franklin:Catalog uses a large array of Library of Congress subjects headings to describe books on race and ethnicity. You can search Franklin using these subject headings in several ways:

  • See the subject heading's subdivisions:

Subject Heading Browse (LCSH) = asian americans

  • Combine two different concepts:

Subject Heading Keyword = "asian americans" identity relations

  • Build and combine synonym sets:

Keyword Expert = subject:(asians OR chinese OR japanese OR koreans) AND subject:("united states") AND subject:(assimilation OR americanization OR acculturation OR "cultural fusion" OR socialization)

Here's a large selection of relevant Library of Congress Subject Headings and subject heading subdivisions to use in Franklin:Catalog "Keyword Expert" searches:

minorities ethnic groups
racially mixed people/children/families
discrimination ethnocentrism prejudices
race discrimination segregation human skin color
physical-appearance-based bias
racism civil rights colorism
miscegenation race riots xenophobia
identity race identity ethnic identity
ethnicity race awareness affirmative action programs
assimilation americanization acculturation
cultural fusion socialization immigrants
ethnic attitudes race relations ethnic relations
ethnic conflict culture conflict social conflict
emigration and immigration migration, internal assisted emigration
brain drain return migration
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