Pathfinder: Diversity and Discrimination

The following Pathfinder identifies resources relating to diversity and discrimination in a social work/social justice context.

Please consult the Steps to Research and Writing a Paper for more detailed information.

1. Start by locating resources that provide an overview of your topic.

This will help you define terms in that discipline and provide background information in your subject area. Encyclopedias, handbooks and subject specific dictionaries offer good places to start.

Some titles specifically related to diversity and discrimination are:

Adams, M., Bell, L. A., & Griffin, P. (Eds.). (2007). Teaching for diversity and social justice (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge.

Cashmore, E. E. (1984). Dictionary of race and ethnic relations. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

Dovidio, J. F., Hewstone, M., Glick, P. & Esses, V. M. (Eds.). (2010). The Sage handbook of prejudice, stereotyping and discrimination. London: Sage.

James, C. E. (Ed.). (1996). Perspectives on racism and the human services sector: A case for change. Toronto; Buffalo: University of Toronto Press.

Levinson, D. (1998). Ethnic groups worldwide: A ready reference handbook. Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press.

Perez, R. M., DeBord, K. A., & Bieschke, K. J. (Eds.). (2000). Handbook of counseling and psychotherapy with lesbian, gay, and bisexual clients. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Ponterotto, J. G. , Casas, J. M., Suzuki, L. A., & Alexander, C. M. (Eds.). (2010).
Handbook of multicultural counseling (3rd ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Sage.

Ridley, C. R. (2005). Overcoming unintentional racism in counseling and therapy: A practitioner’s guide to intentional intervention (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Schaefer, R. T. (Ed.). (2008). Encyclopedia of race, ethnicity, and society (Vols. 1-3). Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications.

Suzuki, L. A., & Ponterotto, J. G. (Eds.). (2008). Handbook of multicultural assessment: Clinical, psychological, and educational applications (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Willie, C. V. (Ed.). (1995). Mental health, racism, and sexism. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press.

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2. Search the online catalog for additional books that will give you the history, context, definitions and theories.

Below are suggested keywords to use when searching for information. You can use them when searching the catalog or the research databases. Try combining them with another concept having to do with your subject:

  • Age discrimination
  • Ageism
  • Anti-semitism (anti-semit*)
  • Bias
  • Disability (disabilit*)
  • Diversity
  • Ethnicity (ethnic*)
  • Homophobia (homophobi*)
  • Intolerance (intoleran*)
  • Multiculturalism (multicultural*)
  • Prejudice
  • Racial discrimination
  • Racism
  • Religious discrimination
  • Sexism
  • Stereotype (stereotyp*)
  • Stigma

NOTE: Using a truncating symbol (in this example, the asterisk “*”) at the end of the root word allows you to search for variations of that word.

Also, using these subject headings in the library catalog may improve your search results:


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3. Find some general articles on your topic.

After you have located books on your topic, start looking for general journal articles on your subject. Several general databases include:

  • Academic Search Complete
    Subjects: most academic topics
    Formats: journals, magazines, newspapers, books, book reviews
    Publication dates: 1887-present
  • LexisNexis Academic
    Subjects: news, law, business
    Formats: newspapers, wire services, broadcast transcripts, company profiles, court cases
    Publication dates: most are 1990s – present; court cases are 1789 – present
  • Article First (OCLC)
    Subjects: business, science, humanities, social sciences, medicine, technology, popular culture
    Formats: journal articles
    Publication dates: 1990 – present
  • Summon
    Subjects: interdisciplinary
    Formats: journal articles, books, conference proceedings, newspapers, images, databases and more available at CWRU
    Publication dates: Ongoing
  • TOPICsearch
    Subjects: current events, social, political and economic issues, scientific discoveries
    Formats: journal articles, magazine articles, biographies, book reviews, government information, public opinion polls, international newspapers
    Publication dates: 1990 – present

These databases are interdisciplinary and most provide a mix of popular magazine articles and scholarly research articles.

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4. Search subject specific databases for more scholarly journal articles.

After finding general journal articles on your topic, begin focusing on scholarly research articles. Citations, abstracts and, sometimes, the full-text of journal articles are found in a variety of research databases:

  • Chicano Database
    Subjects: Mexican-American and Latino topics; Spanish Speaking Mental Health Database, covering psychological, sociological, and educational literature
    Formats: journal articles, books, book chapters, newspaper articles
    Publication dates: 1967 – present
  • Ethnic Newswatch
    Subjects: ethnic, minority, and native press
    Formats: newspaper articles, magazine articles, journal articles
    Publication dates: 1990 – present
  • Gender Studies Database
    Subjects: gender inequality, masculinity, postfeminism, gender identity
    Formats: journal articles, books, conference proceedings
    Publication dates: 1972 – present
  • GenderWatch
    Subjects: gender and women’s studies, and gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) research
    Formats: journal articles, books, conference proceedings, newspaper articles, trade journals
    Publication dates: 1970 – present
  • PsycINFO
    Subjects: psychology and related disciplines
    Formats: journal articles, books, dissertations
    Publication dates: 17th century – present
  • Social Work Abstracts
    Subjects: addictions, aging, child and family welfare, community organization, homelessness, human services, mental health, therapy
    Formats: journal articles
    Publication dates: 1965-present
  • SocINDEX
    Subjects: sociology, criminal justice, demography, ethnic and racial studies, gender studies, marriage and family, religion, social development, social psychology, social structure, social work, socio-cultural anthropology, substance abuse, violence
    Formats: journal articles, books, conference proceedings
    Publication dates: 1895-present
  • Women’s Studies International
    Subjects: feminist research in sociology, history, political science and economy, public policy, international relations, arts and humanities, business and education
    Formats: journals, newsletters, bulletins, books, book chapters, reports, theses, dissertations and grey literature
    Publication dates: 1972-present

5. Browse current issues of journals that contain literature on your topic.

Journals that are most likely to contain information on the topic of diversity and
discrimination include:

Affilia online at: OhioLINK, Sage, E-Journal Portal. (Public catalog)

Ageing International online at: OhioLINK, Springer Link, E-Journal Portal. (Public catalog)

Cultural Diversity & Ethnic Minority Psychology online at: APA PsycNet, OhioLINK. E-Journal Portal. (Public catalog)

Disability Studies Quarterly online at: E-Journal Portal. (Public catalog) [Harris Library hardcopy discontinued]

Families in Society online at: Alliance for Children & Families. E-Journal Portal. (Public catalog)

Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences online at: OhioLINK. E-Journal Portal. (Public catalog) [Harris Library hardcopy discontinued]

Human Organization online at: E-Journal Portal. (Public catalog) [Harris Library hardcopy discontinued]

Journal of Black Studies online at: OhioLINK, JSTOR . (Public catalog) [Harris Library hardcopy discontinued]

Journal of Disability Policy Studies online at: E-Journal Portal. (Public catalog)

Journal of Ethnic & Cultural Diversity in Social Work online at: Taylor & Francis Online.
E-Journal Portal. ( Public catalog) [Formerly: Journal of Multicultural Social Work]

Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services online at: Taylor & Francis Online. E-Journal Portal. (Public catalog)

Journal of Homosexuality online at: Taylor & Francis Online. E-Journal Portal. (Public catalog)

Journal of Multicultural Social Work online at: Taylor & Francis Online. E-Journal Portal. (Public catalog) [Title changed to: Journal of Ethnic & Cultural Diversity in Social Work]

Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare online at: E-Journal Portal. (Public catalog)

Siecus Report online at: (Public catalog) [Ceased]

Social Forces online at: JSTOR,
E-Journal Portal.

( Public catalog) [Harris Library hardcopy discontinued]Women & Health online at: Taylor & Francis Online.
E-Journal Portal. (Public catalog)

Additional journals that cover general topics in Sociology and social studies are available in the Electronic Journal Center and the E-Journal Portal.

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6. Search online for additional information.

Information located through the Internet can provide supplemental material to scholarly research articles. Material retrieved from websites should always be evaluated for currency, authorship, bias and accuracy.

Below are selected websites on diversity and discrimination:

7. Evaluate the information you have collected from books and articles.

Consult the bibliographies of the books and articles you have selected. This will lead you to additional references and authors to investigate. Make notes of the gaps in your literature so that you can use this information when you do additional searches. Click here for more information on evaluating the information you have collected.