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Dirty Pretty Things: Objects, Objectification and Cultural Meanings (Mediratta PWR 2) Winter 2008

Dirty Pretty Things: Objects, Objectification and Cultural Meanings
Instructor: Sangeeta Mediratta
Librarian: Molly Molloy,

To Get Started

From the Library homepage under Research Help, see
Research Quick Start Guides:

Guide for PWR Students http://library/guides/pwrframe.html - link to Image Sources
Ethnic Identity in the United States
Women in Society

Research Subjects, A-Z: see Feminist Studies Collections - lots of great websites and databases, including "Women of Color and Women Worldwide"; Shinjoung Yeo is the Bibliographer for Feminist Studies.

Reference Materials - to help you find more information on your topic, limit your topic, and find keywords to use in online catalogs and databases

In the Information Center:

  • Allen, Irving. Unkind words: ethnic labeling from Redskin to WASP. PE2846 .A46 1990
  • Cashmore, Ernest. Encyclopedia of race and ethnic studies. GN495.6 .C36 2004
  • Contemporary youth culture: an international encyclopedia. 2 vols. HQ796 .C8154 2006 (“body image” etc.)
  • Greenwood encyclopedia of women’s issues worldwide. 6 vols. HQ1115 .G74 2003
  • Greenwood guide to American popular culture. 4 vols. E169.1 .G7555 2002
  • Kelly, Robert J. Illicit trafficking: a reference handbook. HV6252 .K45 2005
  • Series: Contemporary World Issues, Transnational feminist studies

    See also Reference Universe - listed under Databases.

    Finding Books

    Use the Library catalog, Socrates.

    Try keywords in SIMPLE Search (Search Everything) to find useful books and then try the subject words in those records.

    Some good subject words are:

  • Body, human
  • Body image
  • Human smuggling
  • Mass media Social aspects
  • Moral and ethical aspects
  • Reality television programs
  • Sex in advertising
  • Stereotype psychology in mass media
  • Some interesting books:

  • Dickenson, Donna. Property in the body: feminist perspectives. TP248.23 .D53 2007
  • Ginneken, Japp van. Screening difference: how Hollywood's blockbuster films imagine race, ethnicity, and culture. PN1995.9 .D95 G56 2007
  • How real is reality TV? Essays on representation and truth. PN1992.8 .R43 H69 2006
  • Images that injure: pictorial stereotypes in the media. 2nd ed. P96 .S76 I45 2003
  • Levy, Steven. The perfect thing: how the iPod shuffles commerce, culture, and coolness. ML74.4 .I48 L48 2006 Music Library; also at Jackson (same call no.)
  • Shaheen, Jack G. Reel bad Arabs: how Hollywood vilifies a people. PN1995.9 .A68 S54 2001 (Also ZDVD 13600 in Media/Microtext)
  • Sleaze artists: cinema at the margins of taste, style, and politics. PN1995.9 .S284 S54 2007
  • Trafficking and the global sex industry. 2 vols. HQ281 .T64 2006 (2 copies)
  • Thomas, Jeannie B. Naked Barbies, warrior Joes, and other forms of visible gender. GR105 .T46 2003
  • Hint: Browse call numbers in the stacks to find even more books and journals. You can also browse (one library at a time) online using the "Call No. Browse" in Socrates.

    Finding Films

    Use COMBINED SEARCH in Socrates and limit the Format to "Films/Visual":
    Documentary: Barbie nation: an unauthorized tour. 2003. ZDVD8789
    Forever Lenin. (history of his embalmed body)
    Killing us softly 3: advertising's image of women. 2002. ZDVD 12357
    Whole. 2003. ZDVD 11171 (on amputee obsession)

    Finding Articles: Journals and Databases

    Adbusters (advertising and social issues in mass media)
    Bitch: feminist response to pop culture

    Hint: browse Current Periodicals under "women" or "film", etc.


    Search by title or subject: Ethnic Studies, Magazines and Newspapers, Women and Gender

    These titles might be helpful:

  • Advocate
  • Journal of popular culture
  • Journal of popular film and television
  • Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism
  • (note: all these titles are also held in hardcopy)

    Hint: Compare online coverage of e-journal titles to help you select which database to use.


    Search by title or by subject - such as as Sociology, Feminist Studies, Film and Media Studies

    General - indexing scholarly and popular journals:
    Academic Search Premier
    Expanded Academic ASAP

    Some subject databases:

  • Alt-Press Watch- independent press
  • Alternative Press Index: 1991-, early hardcopy in IC: Z7164 .S66 A5
  • Ethnic NewsWatch – interdisciplinary, bilingual (English and Spanish) and FT, 1960-, see Social Science Module
  • Contemporary Women's Issues
  • GenderWatch, 1982+
  • Global Newsbank – searchable by topics, in English, links to America's newspapers
  • PsycINFO – enter through CSA Illumina (also has Sociological Abstracts and Sociology, can search multiple databases at the same time)
  • ProQuest Social Science Module – many political, sociological sources; check with Alt-Press Watch, Gender Watch, and Ethnic NewsWatch at the same time by clicking on “select multiple databases”
  • Other Libraries

    See also the Art & Architecture library, especially Online Resources and Databases, which includes Image Resources

    URLS to Remember: – PWR Research Guides, see also tags (websites)


    Librarian’s Internet Index: - interdisciplinary searchable database, continually updated

    About-face: an organization based in SF to promote positive self-esteem in girls and women, combating negative media images
    Coalition against trafficking in women.
    Diary of a Sex Slave: 2006 report in SF Chronicle
    Human Rights Watch - information and reports by geographical area or topic, see "Women's Rights"

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