Finding Ethnographies

Finding Ethnographies

What is an Ethnography?

An ethnography is a first-hand descriptive work of a particular culture or ethnic group based on the immersion  and participation of the anthropologist in the culture and daily life of the people who are
the subject of study. 

TIP:  The is no physical section in the library of ethnography books. You will need to use Scotty, the Library Catalog to find the location of the books you need. 

Finding Books in Scotty

There are two ways to find books in Scotty:


In the first box, select SUBJECT
Then type in your ethnic group, example: Yoruba

Ethnographies usually fall under the subheading of Social Life and Customs.  Click on Yoruba African People Social Life and Customs to see titles under this subheading.  However, it is important to note that not all titles under this subheading are ethnographies. You may need to physically check the book to see if the title is indeed a first-hand descriptive work based on the immersion and participation of the anthropologist in the culture and daily life of the people who are the subject of study. 

Some of the ethnographies might focus on narrower topic rather than the general "social life and customs." Check titles under subheading such as Kinship, ReligionRites and Ceremonies etc. 

  • Using TITLE

UCR Library has over 100 ethnographies in Case Studies in Cultural Anthropology series. In the first box, select TITLE  and key in Case Studies in Cultural Anthropology.

  • Using KEYWORD

Keyword searches are tricky; most ethnographies simply do not have the word "ethnography" in their titles or subject fields.  Try a SUBJECT search first!

Identifying a Group

Before starting your search you might first identify a particular ethnic group to study. Several encyclopedias in our reference collection provide overviews on ethnic group worldwide. They are good starting point if you are having a hard time selecting an ethnic group for your research:

  • Encyclopedia of World Culture 
    iv Ref GN550 E53 1991
  • WorldMark Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily Life  Riv Ref GN333 W67 1998 
  • Countries and their Cultures
    Riv Ref GN307.C68 2001
  • The Encyclopedia of Peoples of the World  Riv Ref GN 495.4 E53
Last modified: 8/5/2008 11:12 AM by V. Bloom

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