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Asian American Studies: Find Articles: Databases

Selected resources for doing background research on Asian American studies, history and finding literary criticism about specific authors.

Finding Newspaper Articles

Identify Search Terms

To do a proper search using library resources, you will need to search using keywords.

Once you have your topic decided upon, it is now time to brainstorm some keywords.  For this example, your topic is "How are Asian women portrayed in Hollywood movies ?"

First we'll break it down into the main ideas (also known as keywords). In this example, some keywords could be: Asian American women, representation, film, femininity, stereotypes, and/or actresses as your keywords. 

Now, let's take each of those and come up with as many synonyms (or at least related ideas) as we can.

movie -film, Hollywood, mass media, popular culture, etc.

women - gender, feminine identity, specific types of female occupations, specific cultural identities such as "Chinese American women", etc.

race - ethnicity, ethnic groups, minorities, minority groups, identity, culture, immigrants, discrimination, etc.

Finally, we simply combine any of our terms using the word AND.

Example:  "Asian American women" AND stereotypes AND film

You can also search using search operators to expand or limit your search: "OR" (film OR movies OR Hollywood); "NOT" (film OR movies NOT "Charlie Chan").

General Databases

These databases will give you full-text free access to published articles (many that are ordinarily behind a paywall):

Specialized Databases

Two-Minute Videos: Video Guides to Help You Use the Library

Short video tutorials on using databases here: Two-Minute Videos: Video Guides to Help You Use the Library


How to Search with Academic Search Complete:

Background Research

Keywords/themes to explore: gender, sexuality, women, girls, infanticide, women's rights, feminism, masculinity, India, class, caste system, diaspora, immigration, family, globalization, history and politics of different cultures.

Suggested Keywords

When conducting research on any ethnic group you must consider the range of labels we use to identify ethnic groups in the United States. Given the numerous ethnic groups that define "Asian American" you might also want to consider using specific ethnic labels like: Hmong, Japanese, Korean, etc. Sometimes certain historical events are specific to certain ethnic groups like: Japanese American relocation, Chinese Exclusion and Immigration, Hmong refugees, etc. Using the range of terms will make for better searching results.

Also consider adding topic keywords and their synonyms.

Assimilation: Immigration, Economics/Mobility, Labor, Intermarriage, Education, etc.

Immigration: Different groups have terms associated with their immigration experience, i.e. Chinese Exclusion, Japanese American Internment, Southeast Asian Refugeesl, relocation, etc.


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