Why the Library?
Why use the library for ethnographic research?
1. The library contains scholarly and popular sources such as books and journal, magazine, and newspaper articles. These sources provide:
- description of culture
- prior research
- answers to your research questions
2. Library sources help you to compare and contrast your topic to other related (or maybe unrelated?) subcultures and help you determine how it is representative of a larger culture.
3. Doing library research helps you to generate a theory by stimulating your creativity and intelligence.
4. A literature review may be a required element of your research paper.
Finding Background Info
The library has a large collection of print reference books (encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks) that can provide definitions, facts and background information on your subculture.
You also have access to two great online reference sources: Gale Virtural Reference Library and Credo Reference. These sources are available 24/7 from off campus (need your myHancock username and password).
Ethnographic Research Tips
Tip #1: Organize and categorize your field notes. Some categories to consider: age, gender, ethnicity, behaviors, relationships, status (health, education, income).
Tip #2: Analyze the data from your field notes. Generate questions raised by this analysis (brainstorm). Use your observations and readings to identify questions related to trends and conflicts.
Tip #3: Use the research process guide to help you get started using library resources.
Tip #4: When searching, combine your topic with the terms ethno*, subculture, or anthropology.
Tip #5: You may need to broaden or NARROW your search if you are not finding any sources or are finding too many.
Tip #6: Search for a blog on your subculture using IceRocket blog search. Blogs are considered primary sources that generally reflect a person's opinion on a topic. You must carefully evaluate a blog before you include it as a source for a research paper.
Finding Periodical Articles
Academic Search Premier is an online databases that provides access to periodicals. Full-text scholarly journals available through Academic Search Premier and ProQuest include:
- Asian Ethnology
In addition, the Journal of Contemporary Ethnography is indexed in Academic Search Premier and articles can be requested through inter-library loan (don't wait until the last minute to start your research!).
There are a variety of subject specific online databases you can search. Check out the listing on the library web page.
Visit the Periodicals and the Library Libguide for additional assistance.
Finding Electronic Books
The Allan Hancock College library contains over 50,000 eBooks!
To use our eBook collection you must be a Hancock student, staff or faculty member. Access eBooks from computers in the libraries or using your myHancock username and password from off campus.
From the Hancock Archives
Seri Woman from Tiburon Island.
Meredith, DeWitt. Voyages of the Velero III: A Pictorial Version with Historical Background of Scientific Expeditions through Tropical Seas to Equatorial Lands Aboard M/V Velero III. Los Angeles: Brookhaven Press. 1939. p.156.
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