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Cultural Fluency: Research

Focuses on specific aspects of cultural fluency such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation/gender identity, creed, and socioeconomic status.

Searching for Diversity-Related Material

"The terminology that describes various groups changes over time and many terms that were common in the past have fallen out of use. For instance, the term 'African American' has replaced the older terms 'Afro American' and 'Negro.'  If you search on the term 'African American,' you will find more recent items, but if you are looking for historical documents, the terms 'Afro American' and 'Negro' may return more results. This is true of descriptors for other groups as well.

Below are lists of some common search terms and their variations for researching diversity issues. These lists aren't definitive, but rather give examples which can be used as patterns in your own searching in the online catalog, in library databases, or on the Internet."* Keep in mind that terminology for this area is constantly changing, with new terms introduced and others discarded in favor of a better descriptor.

-- Gender --

abused women, abusive men, abusive women, violence against women, violence in men
feminism, anti-feminism, suffragists, women’s rights, Women -- Suffrage.
gender equity (not a subject terms—can be searched as words)
men, men’s studies, masculinity
women, womens studies
sex differences, sex role
sex discrimination, sex discrimination against women, sexism, sexual harassment
women in Christianity, Judaism, Islam, etc.

-- Intercultural Relations --

Americanization, assimilation, acculturation, immigration, immigrants, refugees
bicultural, biculturalism
bilingual, bilingualism
cross cultural, transcultural
cultural diversity, cultural pluralism (for works on the condition in which numerous distinct ethnic, religious, or cultural groups coexist within one society), pluralism
cultural competence, cultural competency, intercultural communication, intercultural relations
diversity in the work place
intercultural education
minority, minorities
multicultural, multiculturalism (for works on policies or programs that foster the preservation of different cultural identities, including customs, languages, and beliefs, within a unified society such as a state or nation) 

-- Generational Diversity --

Older people (instead of Aged, Senior citizens), aging, aging parents
ageism, age discrimination, older people abuse of (instead of Elder abuse), conflict of generations
youth, rural youth, urban youth, Generation X, Baby Boom Generation, Generation Y

-- Political Issues Concerning Diversity --

Affirmative action programs, reverse discrimination
Civil rights, minority rights, Gays -- Civil rights, human rights
abolitionists, Native American Party, Know-Nothings, American Indian Movement, Black Panthers, white supremacy movements
discrimination, prejudice, hate crimes, hate speech
segregation, apartheid, Jim Crow, integration
Brown v. Board of Education, busing
educational equalization, discrimination in education, multicultural education, sex differences in education
affirmative action programs, discrimination in employment, reverse discrimination, political correctness
suffrage, women's suffrage, African Americans -- Suffrage

-- Race and Ethnicity --

Abenaki Indians, Abenakis
African American(s)
Aleut, Inuit
Asian(s), Asian Americans
Chinese American(s)
East Indian American(s)
ethnic groups, ethnic minorities, ethnic identity, ethnic relations, ethnicity
ethnic conflict, ethnic cleansing, genocide
Greek American(s), Norwegian American(s), Mexican American(s), etc.
Hispanic American women, Hispanic American(s), Latino(s), Latina(s), Chicano(s), Chicana(s)
Indians, Indians of North/South/Central America (use instead of First Nations)
Indians of North America -- Tribal citizenship.
indigenous peoples
interracial, race, race identity, racially mixed people, racism, racialism, transracial adoption
Latin American(s)
Native American(s)
West Indian American(s)
Whites, Whites -- Race identity, Women, White
Zuni Indians, Zuni(s)

-- Class and Socio-economic Status --

Class consciousness, elite (social sciences), intellectuals, leisure class, marital status, married people, divorced people, single people, widows, widowers, motherhood, fatherhood, parenthood, children, middle class, paternalism, poor, rich people, social classes, social stratification, upper class, working class, working poor

-- Creed --

atheism, atheist(s)
Christianity and other religions
church and state, separation of church and state
civil religion
freedom of religion
political violence -- religious aspects
religion, religion and politics, religion in the public schools
religious diversity, religious pluralism, religious tolerance
school prayer
secularism, secular humanism
sects -- United States.
…use names of religions and denominations:  Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Mormon Church, Mormons, and variants
 Islam -- Relations -- Judaism
Anti-Semitism, Anti-Catholicism, Anti-Mormonism

-- Sexual Orientation --

bisexual, bisexuals, bisexuality
gay adoption, gay and lesbian studies
gay couples, gay liberation movement, gay marriage
gay men, gay rights, gay students, gay women, gays
gender identity
homosexuality female, homosexuality male, homosexuality, homosexuals
intersex, intersexism
lesbian couples, lesbianism, lesbians
same-sex couples, same-sex marriage
sex identity, sexual identity, sexual minorities
transgender youth, transgender people, transgendered people
transsexualism, transsexuality, transsexuals
... add terms to narrow a search: e.g. Norwegian gays, gay Norwegians, lesbian consumers, gay conservatives
…use “discrimination against” and add term

*Adapted, with permission, from Diversity: Search Guide by Anita Albright, Salt Lake Community College

Newspaper / Magazine / Journal Article Databases

Selected List: Full Text Journals in ACC Collections

The journals listed are scholarly, meaning most of the articles are intended for researchers in the field.   To find these titles in Academic Search Complete, search by Publications or click the linked title.  If you have questions, please ask a librarian.


Diversity Language Style and Writing Guides

ACC Library Subject Guides and Tutorials

For additional information and practice, see the Research Success Tutorials. Click on the images below to visito these tutorials.

Options for Getting Articles Found on the Web

Scenario:  Google searching leads you to the citation of an article on the web, but the full text is not available or you would have to pay for a copy of the article. 

Before paying for an article on a publisher's website, consider these options:

  • Ask a librarian for help and you'll save both time and money.
  • Use the Journal Finder to search for the title of the  journal, magazine, or newspaper that published the article to find out if any ACC library databases provide the full text. 
  • Search WorldCat to find libraries that subscribe to the print journal or magazine that published the article you want.  If you find the periodical in an Austin-area library, you can usually go there and make a photocopy of the article. 
  • Use Interlibrary Loan (ILL). ILL service generally takes from two to eight weeks. This service takes more time because the article must be requested, photocopied, and then sent from a library that owns it. The library owning a copy could be in another state.

Browse the catalog or book collection by call number

Materials in ACC libraries are shelved according to the Library of Congress Classification system. Diversity-related materials can be found in all campus library collections, in print, ebook, video, streaming media, and other formats. These are examples of some of the call number areas you can browse the library catalog and the library stacks (shelves):

E384 Americanization.
Ethnic identity.
  Ethnology -- United States.
  Immigrants -- United States.
  Minorities -- United States.
  United States -- Ethnic relations.
  United States - Race relations.
  Texas -- Ethnic relations.
HC110 Rich people -- United States.
  Millionaires -- United States.
  Wealth -- United States.
HD4918 - HD8072.5 Poverty -- United States.
  Unskilled labor -- United States.
  Working poor -- United States.
HN57 - HN90 Social classes -- United States.
HQ76 Bisexuality.
  Gay men.
  Sexual orientation.
HQ1075-HQ1599 Feminism.
  Feminist theory.
  Men -- United States.
  Sex role.
  Women -- United States.
  Women -- Social conditions.
HT1595 - HT1501 Race relations.
Immigrants -- United States -- History.

If you are not finding the material you need, ask a librarian for assistance. You can also search libraries worldwide through WorldCat. Ask your librarian about getting a title you need from another library. You may find useful titles in call number areas of other, related subjects, such as: B (philosophy, psychology, religion), HF (business), M (music), N (art), P (language and literature), R (medicine), etc. 

You can get a TexShare card to borrow books from participating local libraries.

Using Library of Congress Subdivisions and Sub-Headings

Commonly used Library of Congress subdivisions and sub-headings for demographic groups (use to search the library catalog):

--Childhood and youth.
--Civil rights.
--Economic conditions.
--Family relationships.
--Intellectual life.
--Law and legislation.
--Legal status, laws, etc.
--Literature (Art, Music, etc.)
--Mental health.
--Political activity.
--Psychological aspects.
--Social aspects.
--Social conditions.
--Social life and customs.
--United States.


Arab Americans -- Biography.
Hmong Americans -- Social conditions.
East Indian Americans -- Fiction.

*Adapted, with permission, from ELIE: Electronic Library & Information Environment.

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