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Anthropology 114 (DeLugan): Home

Social Memory

Databases - primarily academic articles

These are some of the databases available that may be useful for your topic.  Depending on the nation or culture you choose to investigate, there may be additional databases options.  See the Subject database page.

Reference Resources

for background information


Selected Topics with Comments

National Monument & Surrounding Controversies

  • Find a monument which has sparked controversy.
  • Note if it appears to be known by one or more names.
    • e.g. Washington Monument OR Washington National Monument
    • e.g. "National Holocaust Memorial" or "Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe"
  • Note its location. e.g. There may be more than one memorial to Holocaust victims and survivors.
  • Are there other terms that may help define this monument e.g. some unique architectural feature?
  • What terms capture the concept of controversy? debate OR "public outcry" OR contested OR opposed OR fight

Example of Public Forgetting and Silences

  • See news report for an example of what might be forgotten "Conflict Transforms Syrian Teacher into War Photographer"
  • Quote: 
    • "KELZE: The camera is as equal as a weapon, and you need to document every single thing that's happening because back in the '80s, when we were in similar situation, nobody had an idea about what was going on. These generations are much more aware. So we are going to let the world see what's going on.”
  • What might be referred to in the 80s?  Try looking at background information in reference texts or books about a nation's history.
    • e.g. Try a search in CREDO for Syria modern history.  Is this helpful?
    • e.g. Try a search in CREDO for Hafez Al Assad.  Is this helpful?  See International Relations title.
      Now based on this based on this background information, might you have additional terminology to use in a search?

Commemorative Practice from a Nation

  • What practice will you investigate?  What is it called?  Is it a different name depending on the nation that commemorates it?  Is it known by more than one name?
  • Rembrance Day (Canada) / Veterans Day (U.S) / Armstice Day / Anzac Day (New Zealand, April 25th)
  • Day of the Dead / All Souls' Day (Mexico)
  • What other terms are associated with these commemorations? e.g. identity, heritage, symbolism etc.  Might they also be called rituals?
  • The search tool you selected can greatly impact the results you retrieve. 
  • If you find a good article, see if that author has written other articles or books.
  • For example, Stanley Brandes wrote an article (located in JSTOR) titled "The Day of the Dead, Halloween, and the Quest for Mexican National Identity".
  • Search by his name in Melvyl. au: Stanely Brandes.  Yes, he did write other books on this subject.

Search Strategies

Determine the key ideas and terms in your topic. Example: I am interested in the decolonization of Belize.
Think of synonyms or related terms. decolonization / independence
Belize / British Hondurus
Select useful resources to search. Databases > Subject > Anthropology (other subject areas may apply including World History, Sociology, Political Science)
Construct a search strategy.  Start with keyword searching. Many databases default to a keyword search field.
Join similar terms with OR decolonization OR independence
Join dissimilar terms with AND decolonization AND Belize
Truncate a term (usually *) decoloniz* (to search for decolonized, decolonize, decolonization)
Look for a phrase, using quotation marks. "political resistance" / "colonial rule" / "Malcolm X"


Additional Strategies:

  • Look for other terms and phrases to describe your topic from the literature you find.
  • Depending on what you initially find, consider broadening or narrowing your topic.
  • Take advantage of "controlled vocabulary" e.g. descriptors, subject terms when they are available.
  • Some databases have "See related materials" links.
  • Limit your serach if needed e.g. by date, by format, the field being search.
  • Examine the bibliographies for relevant materials.
  • Sort results by relevance if this is not the default.  e.g. In some databases the default is by most recent date.

Finding Databases

Locate library databases from the Databases tab on the QuickSearch box found on the library's home page.  Options include:

Databases tab at QuickSearchbox

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Citing Sources

American Anthropological Association

See the RefWorks Tutorials tab for more information on using this tool.  It allows you to

  • manage research; store citations
  • create list of citations in a style of your choice e.g. AAA
  • cite and write

UC Merced Library Links

Accessing Full-Text

Full-text may be immediately available via a pdf or html page.  If not, use the UCeLinks button to reach a request page.  You can Interlibrary Loan the item using your UCMnetID. UC-eLinks button