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Race, Gender and Social Justice: Getting Started

Social Justice: Opposing Viewpoints

Opposing Viewpoints and Controversial Issues

There are several series that discuss controversial viewpoints. These books often provide suggested readings and texts for additional research

  • Discrimination - JC599.U5 D57 2008
  • Feminism  -  HQ1155 .F442 2012
  • Homelessness -  HV4505 .H65528 2012
  • Homosexualtiy - HQ76.25 .H67375 2009
  • Minimum wage - HD4918 .M59 2012
  • Poverty - HC110.P6 P5883 2012
  • Race Relations -  HT1521 .R337 2011
  • Social Justice - HN90.S6 S56 2005
  • Welfare - HV91 .W46632 2012

Tips for Effective Search Strategies

  1. Searching works best when you have a research question in mind. You should be able to identify key concepts related to your research. These concepts form the basis for your search terms.
  2. Know your topic. Exploring general sources (a chapter in your textbook, an encyclopedia article or other background reading) is a good way to start. The better you undestand a topic, the easier it is to evaluate sources.
  3. What is your purpose? You may be writing an argumentative or persuasive paper. Or, your assignment may require you to analyze research on a topic. Perhaps you are developing a slide presentation based on your evaluation of key sources.
  4. Start early. Until you have done some searching and reading, you might not recognize if your topic is too broad or narrow.
  5. Don't wait until the last minute. Good resources may not be available locally. Allow yourself time for an interlibrary loan.
  6. Select resources appropriate  for your topic. Your professor may ask that you use only peer-reviewed journals. Other professors may want you to use a combination of texts and articles, or news sources. Perhaps you will be doing primary research using interviews or observations. Feature Articles

The Leadership Conference offers this newsfeed concenring current civil rights issues.

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Selected Reference Sources

Reference sources can provide good background information plus a list of recommended books and articles at the end of each article. You can find thes by searching the online catalog for the phrase "handbook" or "encyclopedia" in combination with a relevant topic.  Or, ask at the Reference Desk for assistance.


  • Encyclopedia of Race and Crime (REF HV6789 .E43 2009)
  • Encyclopedia of Gender and Society (REF HQ1115 .E54 2009)
  • Encyclpedia of Race, Ethnicity and Society (REF HT1521 .E63 2008)
  • Encyclopedia of Activism and Social Justice (REF HM671 .E53 2007)
  • Encyclopedia of Civil Liberties in America ( REF JC599.U5 E53 2005)
  • Feminism and Women's Rights Worldwide ( REF HQ1180 .F424 2010)
  • Handbook of Gender, Sex, and Media (Circulating collection P96.S5 H36 2012)
  • Social Issues in America : an encyclopedia (REF HN57 .S624 2006)

Selected Organizations

Each of these organizations provides information on current issues, news, and projects. Browsing through each organization's website is a good first step in thinking about possible research topics.