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GSFS 101: Introduction to Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies: Background Sources

Background Source

Background sources are written for a general audience and are intended to give an overview of a topic, fill gaps in the reader’s knowledge, and provide context for deeper understanding.  Examples include Wikipedia, introductory textbooks, and reference works such as encyclopedias, dictionaries, and handbooks.  They can be a useful place to start your research and can assist in selecting a topic for a research project, locating basic information and key facts, defining important words and concepts, and getting suggestions for additional sources to consult. 

Typical characteristics of background sources:

  • intended to be informative
  • provide context, background, or summary information
  • present shared information and established facts; information is uncontested  
  • offer suggestions for additional sources of information on the topic

List of Books for Reference

Keywords and Subject-Headings

LC Subject Headings
LGBTQ Subject Headings (from Brandeis University Library) 
This guide features Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH)
for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and related materials.
Some sample Subject-Heading Search (in OBIS)

Women in Hinduism

Women in Islam
Women in Christianity
Women in Hinduism -- History
Women in Hinduism -- India
Women in Hinduism -- India -- History
Women in Hinduism -- South Africa -- Biography 
Muslim Women -- Social conditions -- Cross-cultural studies
Women in Islam -- Cross-cultural studies
Sex -- Religious aspects
Sex role -- Religious aspects
and more...