VCU Libraries

Research Guides

SLWK 603: Social Work and Social Justice

Useful Search Terms

  • Attribution   
  • Impression Formation    
  • Social Comparison  
  • social distance
  • Social Perception
  • Stereotyped Attitudes
  • comfort level
  • ingroup.  ingroup effect,  ingroup favoritism; ingroup preference
  • homogamy; homophily;
  • outgroup;
  • xenophobia

Theoretical terminology:

  • acculturation theory
  • assimilation theory
  • conflict theory
  • deficiency models
  • empowerment theory/ models/ perspectives
  • feminist theory/ perspectives/ models
  • strengths perspective;

Plan Searches Carefully

Plan your searches carefully!

Some keywords or phrases will be more helpful than others - and - keywords that work well in one database may not be useful in others, so be flexible and willing to try out various terms and/or change databases if you don't find what you need.

Using AND OR and the Asterisk

When searching databases, linking your primary concepts together with AND tells the database you only want articles that contain both your terms. For example: stigma AND muslim

Linking synonyms together with OR tells the database you want articles that contain any of your terms.

"Nest" synonyms or related terms in parentheses to capture articles you might otherwise miss.

The asterisk also captures articles you might otherwise miss. For instance, islam*  will return articles with the words islam, islamic, islamist, islamaphobia; stereotyp* will return articles with the words stereotype, stereotypes, stereotyped, stereotypical, stereotyping.

Look for potentially useful synonyms in the titles, abstracts, and subject headings of articles