Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.


Guide for CSUDH students for research in all fields of anthropology (archaeology, biological, cultural, and linguistic).

Books & eBooks

Looking for books? Use OneSearch to find books we have here in the library and online. Most of our physical books are located on the 3rd and 4th floors of Library South. Materials requested online can be picked up from our 24/7 library lockers

View Guide FAQs

Finding Ethnographies

For some assignments you may be asked to find an ethnography. Finding ethnographies in OneSearch isn't easy, and a keyword search for "ethnography" won't always help. First of all, there isn't one subject tag just for ethnographies. The most common Library of Congress subject subheading assigned to ethnographies is "social life and customs" but "case studies"  and "ethnology" are some of the other subheadings that may be assigned. It is also rare that the phrase "ethnography" be used in the title of the book itself. Ethnographic books about a particular cultural group will be shelved next to other books about that group or region and not shelved with other ethnographies. For a critique of ethnography as a historically racist methodology, which discusses some issues of classification, see Linda Smith's book, Decolonizing Methodologies.

Here are some tips for finding an ethnography:

  1. Search by the specific cultural group or region and add in keywords like "customs" or "case studies". Example: Mayas -- Social Life and Customs
  2. Use "ethnology" or "ethnography" in your search as a keyword
  3. Try looking in a book series devoted to ethnographies like "Anthropology of Contemporary Issues" or "Case Studies in Contemporary Anthropology"
  4. Search by the name of an anthropologist to see if they have published a book based on their fieldwork
  5. Ask a librarian for research assistance

For more discussion, on the biases in classification language of culture and people check out the following video:


Logo for OneSearch, CSUDH's online catalog.

OneSearch is a library search tool where you can find almost everything the CSUDH Library owns or subscribes to on one platform. Use OneSearch to find books, including textbooks, articles, streaming videos, and more! A great place to start for any research project. You can also use OneSearch to find the full text, borrow books from other CSU libraries, and generate a citation.

Start Tutorial Watch Video