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Women's Studies

This research guide is designed to support WMS classes and those doing gender studies research at CSUDH.

Why is background research important?

Background research is am important step for getting started with researching any topic, as well as to help make sense of the information you find throughout the research process. These types of sources can provide a brief summary of a topic, explain important theories, define commonly used terms, and provide biographical information on important people in the field. 

Databases for Background Research

Books for Background Research

Articles, chapters, and reviewed essays from subject encyclopedias are particularly helpful for providing a snapshot of a specific topic. Some of these resources might be accessible online by providing your CSUDH username and password while others might be available as physical books to check out from the library. Just click the title to find out how to access each book!

  • Encyclopedias & Dictionaries: Sometimes called "reference books," encyclopedias and dictionaries can provide definitions and brief summaries of terms, concepts, or ideas. Understanding the terms used by researchers in the field makes understanding resources like scholarly articles and books easier!
  • Feminism & Feminist Theory: These books provide background knowledge which explains some of the most important concepts and ideas that later feminist research is based on.
  • Foundational Writings: These are important works in Women's Studies and Feminist Research which continue to influence thinkers and researchers today. This list is by no means exhaustive but is a short selection of items in our collection which are important in Feminist Research.