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Gender / Sexuality / Women's Studies  

This guide supports the curriculum and research in the School of Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies at the undergraduate and graduate level. With any inter- or multidisciplinary, it is important to also consult the relevant discipline-specific guides.
Last Updated: Oct 28, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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How to Best Use this Guide

Conducting research in Gender / Sexuality / Women's Studies can be exciting, interesting and sometimes challenging.

Asking yourself a set of questions about your research or information need will help you find the appropriate resources.

In the boxes to the right, important questions about your research are raised and suggestions for a resource or strategy are made.  


    Whose voice do I need to hear?

    Whose voice do I need for my analysis?
    An academic or scholarly voice?       Start with Women's Studies International.
    A journalist's voice?                           Start with Canadian Newsstand.      
    A living person's voice?                     Start with LGBTLife.               
    A voice from a person in the past?    Explore Primary Sources in this guide.

      Do I need general or specific information?

      Would my analysis benefit from a breadth of understanding (analysis over a long period of time or across a wide expanse of geography) OR a detailed examination of a specific specific group, small geographic area or issue?  Or both?
      Breadth requires books.            Use the York University Library Catalogue.
      Specificity requires articles.       Use a periodical index / scholarly articles database.

        Do I understand the terms or concepts being used?

        Do I understand or know the terms, theories, or contributions of the main scholars in my area of interest?
        If no.      Start with the Dictionaries / Encyclopedias.

          Which academic disciplines also explore my topic?

          Topics within Gender / Sexuality / Women's Studies can also be explored in traditional disciplines / subjects.  Examine your topic closely and determine if it is:
          Humanities-based?                    Use the relevant gudies under Humanities.
          About the arts or music?            Use the relevant guides under Fine Arts.
          About society or politics?           Use the relevent guides under Social Sciences. 
          About health or disease?           Use the relevent guides under Health & Life Sciences.   

            Do I need government or statistical sources?

            Governments create policy and information documents and publications that can help, hinder or change conditions for those in the LGBT community, racialized women, indigenous women, women living in poverty to name a few groups.  Do you need such documents and statistics?

            If yes.               Go to Advanced Research in this guide.


              Am I interested in the work of activists / organizations?

              Many local, regional, national and international groups and centres will be of interest to those in Gender / Sexuality / Women's Studies.  As there are thousands of these, it is impossible to create an exhaustive list.  Some criteria:

              Purpose                                     Academic
                                                                Activist or political
                                                                Arts or culture
                                                                Social / community support
              Legal / administrative status     Not-for-profit
              Status                                       Active 


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