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BMS312 Global Outreach Research: Customs & Cultures Search Techniques

One stop shop for research strategies for finding books, articles, web sites, and links to databases for the purpose of gathering information on a specific country, it's history, spread of Christianity, culture and society.

Ethnic Studies Books

Search Techniques for Customs & Cultures of Countries & People Groups


From the Powell Library Web site:

Option 1:  A very broad keyword search ("keyword" searches all the metadata, i.e. author, title, subject, table of contents, summary, etc.)

<united states ethn*> -- This tells the Discovery search engine to look for records containing the terms "united" AND "states" and because of the use of the * (asterisk), Discovery knows to look for the root word "ethn" and any variation thereafter, so it will look for ethnic, ethnicity, ethnograph, ethnography, ethnographic, ethnographies.  


Option 2:  A focused metadata search -- in this instance the search is limited to the Subject field.  The metadata code used in Discovery is <su:>

<su:united states ethn*> -- This will limit the search to those records containing these key terms somewhere in the Subject.


Option 3: A very focused metadata search --  in this instance the search is limited to the Title field.  The metadata code used in Discovery is <ti:>

<ti:united states ethn*> -- Here the search is limited to those records containing these key terms somewhere in the Title.  


Option 4: Another very focused metada search -- in this instance the search is limited to the Author field.  The metadata code use in Discovery is guessed it

<au:gregg frazer> -- Here the search is limited to those records containing these key terms belonging to an Author.


Last updated January 2023

Related Research Guides

Subjects to Search

Use the same principles described in the fist column to search for specific countries, cultures, ethnicities, and people groups, etc.

To get information on the customs of a country or people group, simply use "customs" as a subject heading.   Add the name of the people group and/or the name of the country or region. For example:

su:native americans customs

For information on the culture of a country or people group, use "ethnology" as either a subject or a keyword.  Add the name of the people group and/or the name of the country or region.  For example:

su:uganda ethnology

uganda ethnology

Every search can be further focused by using the Filters to the left of the results list.  For example:

1.  Limit the Year to 2015 to 2023 for materials published during that period. 

2. Limit the Format to Books

3. Limit the Language to English 

4.  If you haven't planned ahead to permit the use or our InterLibrary Loan services, limit the Held by Library to The Master's University so you only get results that are available in and through the Powell Library.

Last updated January 2023

More Search Techniques

Using the Powell Library Catalog to find resources on the manners, customs, family and social life of a country or people group, search the name of the country or people group and add these subject headings:  Social life and customs, Manners and custom, Society and culture, Popular culture, Family & relationships, Families, Ethnic, Ethnicity, Ethnology, Kinship, Etiquette.  Like this:

>su:social life india
>su:ethnic* hmong
>su:family relationships paraguay
>su:ethnology punjabi
>su:customs georgia
>su:manners romani
>su:society culture italy
>su:kinship germany
>su:families japan
>su:etiquette kikuyu

NOTE: the asterisk (*) is a truncation symbol commanding the search engine to look for the root word (ethnic) and any variation thereafter (ethnicity).

Additional Subject Search Terms:  be sure to add the the name of the people group and/or the name of the country or region to each of these Subject Terms.  You can also identify a common term repeated in several Subject Headings and just use it along with your country or people group.  For example: "italian americans cultur*" will include anthropology cultural, cultural assimilation, and popular culture.

su:czech americanization

Anthropology Cultural 
Cultural assimilation 
Dinning <su:korea* AND kw:dining>
Economic Aspects 
Ethnic identity 
Ethnic relations
Food <su:italy AND kw:food>
Manners and Customs 
National characteristics 
Political Aspects
Popular culture
Social life and customs 
Social Science Emigration & Immigration

Last updated January 2023


Work smarter not harder. Ask Miss T

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Janet "Miss T." Tillman
Robert L. Powell Library
The Master's University
21726 Placerita Canyon. Rd.
Santa Clarita, CA 91321

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