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Research Methods Databases

Search for Handbooks

Why use handbooks?

Handbooks are excellent sources to find overviews of topics, to begin a literature search, or to find discussions of theories and landmark research. They provide summaries and evaluations, and are often contributed to by recognized experts. They will be more comprehensive than a course textbook, and will contain important lists of references.




Search for Ethnographies

What is Ethnography?

"Ethnography is the art and science of describing a group or culture. The description may be of a small tribal group in an exotic land or a classroom in middle-class suburbia." Fetterman, David M. Ethnography: Step by Step. Honnold 4th floor GN345 .F47 1998

Mead's Coming of Age in Samoa is an example of a traditional ethnography. In contemporary urban anthropology ethnographies might be of immigrant groups, members of specific residential areas, or participants in a specific organization, business, or other type of group. 

In Library Search:

If you have no specific group or culture in mind, search by SUBJECT Ethnology. (Ethnography is more appropriate as a keyword search rather than a subject/tag search. You can do a SUBJECT search for Ethnography methodology; however, it will return some but far fewer ethnology results.) There are subdivisions by country and area. Browse and pick an area of interest to you.

If you have picked a culture, search by SUBJECT Ethnology (country), for example, Ethnology Africa or Ethnology United States. You can also search by KEYWORD Ethnology and (group name) for example Ethnology Maya or Ethnology Pueblo.

Try using the SUBJECT search (Country) Social life and customs, for example China Social Life and customs or Peru Social Life and customs. Not all of these may be ethnographies, some may be guidebooks or travel memoirs. Check the credentials of the author and look for the word ethnographic or ethnography when the author introduces their research. When in doubt, check with your professor about whether a specific source meets their requirements for your research.

You can use Resource Sharing to request books beyond what is available in our library.

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