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SOCI 006 - Race & Ethnic Relations: Getting Started

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.

HRAF / eHRAF - Human Relations Area File

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:

African Americans Amish
Arab Americans Basque Americans
Cajuns Chicanos
Chinese Americans Cuban Americans
Haitian Americans Italian Americans
Korean Americans North American Armenians
North American Hasidic Jews North American Hmong
Puerto Ricans (Mainland) Sea Islanders
Serbian Americans

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.

Style guides and manuals

Librarian & Coordinator of Social Sciences Collections

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Lauris Olson
University of Pennsylvania Libraries
203 Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center
University of Pennsylvania
3420 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

Guide history

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).

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