WRTG: Consumerism Research

                      
 

IC Library Print & Media Resources

Selected Subject Headings

(Click to run targeted Subject searches in the IC Library catalog)

The Way We Live Now:


United States--Economic conditions
United States--Economic conditions--1981-
Wealth--United States
Middle class--United States 
Working poor--United States
Poor--United States
Poverty--United States
Wages--United States 
Saving and investment--United States 
Credit cards--United States
 
Marketing--United States
Branding (Marketing)
Brand name products
Brand choice
Brand choice -- United States

Costs of Doing Business:
Resource Consumption:

Natural resources--Management
Natural resources--United States--Management             
Nature--Effect of human beings on  
Environmental degradation 
Environmental degradation--Economic aspects
Pollution--Economic aspects 
Pollution--Environmental aspects 
Pollution--United States
Automobiles--Environmental aspects 
Greenhouse gases--Environmental aspects   
Refuse and refuse disposal--United States  [garbage, landfill]
Waste electronic apparatus and appliances [in most databases use Electronic waste]

IC Library Databases (Articles)

Recommended Databases

      ProQuest Research Library : is another comprehensive database with substantial full text.  Use the "Thesaurus" (above the search slots) to preview what Subject Headings are available.  Subect searching can be a more efficient way to search than with only Keywords, since it guarantees that the articles retrieved actually be about the Subject--not just use a particular word. 
     Note that to the right of your search results you can limit your retrieval by "Source Type" (including Magazines, Newspapers, Scholarly Journals),  "Document Type," (including Cover Story, Editorial, or Interview), "Document Feature" (including Photographs, Illustrations), and "Location."
     Above each set of articles you retrieve ProQuest will display related Subject searches to help either broaden or narrow your focus.
     User Advisory: ProQuest is fussy about entering Subject searches in the designated search slot. If your subject is a person, enter the name--last name first--in the "Person" slot; if a named group of any kind--Microsoft, the Catholic Church, Radiohead, the New York Mets--enter it in "Co/Org"; if a place enter it in "Location."  

     General OneFile : is the most user-friendly of our comprehensive databases, covering almost any topic from a wide range of disciplinary angles and offering lots of full text.  Use the default Subject search to find the best subject heading for your topic (and when you find a good one be sure to look at the "Related Subjects" to see if there's something even better).
     When you settle on a subject heading, open the "Subdivisions" link below it.  Most General OneFile subject searches produce very large retrievals and the "subdivisions" help you narrow your search to a particular aspect: "Economic aspects," "Environmental aspects," "Ethical aspects," "Forecasts and Trends," "History," "Media Coverage," "Political aspects," "Psychological aspects,"  "Social aspects," and "Statistics," to name only a few.
      If the best available subdivision is still too broad, open it and add your own Keywords in the "Search within these results" slot at the upper left.
     User Advisory: When first viewing your retrievals in General OneFile, note that you are seeing only the "Magazines" (popular articles) and must click on the tabs for "Academic Journals" (scholarly articles) or "News" (newspaper articles) to see those results.

      Academic Search Premier  Comprehensive subject coverage with considerable full text.  Note that there is a “Subject Terms” link just above the search boxes, allowing you to search the index of Subject Headings--often a good first stop for more efficient Subject searching whereby you are guaranteed that your topic is indeed a main subject of the articles retrieved.
     A good initial strategy in this database is to search a likely topic in the Subject Terms and when you find it “explode” the term by double clicking it--this brings up a list of related Subject terms.  You can check as many terms as you like before "adding" them to your search by AND-ing or OR-ing them together.
     User Advisory: For any retrieved set of articles, there will be a box displayed on the left that will limit the articles to “Scholarly” journals—just check the box and click the “Update Results” button below.

     SocINDEX with Full Text : As the name implies, an excellent database for social issues. Click on the "Subject Terms" link above the search slots to find which Subject Headings will work here. Double click any Heading for a list of broader, narower, and related Subject Terms.  And note that you can check the boxes to select as many Headings as you like and then "add to search using or" and run the search--all without even retyping the terms back on the home page. 

     Business Source Premier (Special Business Interface) : Our largest database of newspaper, magazine and journal articles on all aspects of business and management.  

     PsycINFO :  The American Psychological Association use their own Subject vocabulary (called "Descriptors"), so a visit to the "Thesaurus" below the search slots is a good idea. If you find an article on exactly what you want, be sure to check the assigned "Descriptors" on the right of the citation for more ideas about useful search terms.  
     PsycINFO deals only with scholarly literature, much of it assuming a graduate-level understanding of the discipline.  But among these you may find interesting, accessible articles on your topic.  
     User Advisory: If what you're searching for are "journal articles" in "English," it's a good idea to check those boxes below the search slots ("journal articles" is a menu choice under "Document Type"). 

     ScienceDirect : Because it’s a large database with a great deal of full text, the absence of Subject searching means that your Keyword searches will often retrieve large sets of articles, many of which mention but don’t discuss your search term(s). One way around this is to limit your initial search to the “Abstract Title Keyword” field. Once you have found an article that sounds on-target, click the “Related Articles” link beneath the citation This will open a range of articles on the same topic.
     User Advisory: Don't settle for the default "Quick Search"--open "Search" for the full range of options. Among thse you can uncheck "All books," which is recommended if you're looking for articles.  And if you open the "Dates" drop-down menu you'll find a much wider range of options than the default 10 year span. 

     LexisNexis Academic  News:  Offering a keyword search of 100% full text from a vast number of national and international newspapers, this is an easy database to use poorly and a bit tricky to use well. In order not to be overwhelmed with articles in which your search terms are mentioned anywhere—first or last paragraph—or any number of times—once or ten times—use commands to target articles in which your topic words are mentioned early or mentioned often.
     Use the hlead command (headline and lead paragraphs) to target articles in which your topic words occur in the prime news-story position of headline or first paragraphs. For example: hlead(fracking and pollution) will retrieve just the articles in which the words “fracking” and “pollution” are used in the headline or first paragraphs. Note: the term or terms to which you want this command to apply must be put in parentheses after hlead, with no space between.
     Use the altleast command to target articles in which your topic words occur a set number of times. For example: atleast5(“gay marriage”) will retrieve only the articles where this phrase is used at least 5 times—indicating that it must be a main topic. You can plug in any number after atleast—atleast3 or atleast7. Note: the term or terms to which you want this command to apply must be put in parentheses with no space between the number you choose and the first parenthesis.
     Use the date range offered under Advanced Options. Because this is a large database of 100% full text, one of the most effective ways to retrieve fewer than 1000 hits is to set up a time frame. Note: if you use the calendar icons to set beginning and end dates, you need to choose a year, a month, and a day for each. Without the day, the date won’t register.

Where's the Full Text for this Article??

     Few databases offer 100% full text.  Most retrieve a mix of full text articles and article "citations"--article title, author(s), publication info, and usually an "abstract" or one-prargraph summary of the content.  When a citation makes you want the full text, look below it for this icon: 
                                                                  
     Clicking "GETIT" checks (almost all) the IC Library's other databases to see if any offers the full text of the article--or if the Library has a print subscription to the journal in which the article appeared.

  • "GETIT" will usually find the full text in another database and open it in a new window.  
  • If none of our databases can access the full text but we have a print subsciption to the journal, "GETIT" will retrieve the Library catalog record for the journal so that you can see if the date of the article falls within the date range we have on hand.
  • If full text is not available from any database or from a print subsciption, "GETIT" will provide a link to the IC Library's Interlibrary Loan.  Log in (same as your IC e-mail)--and set up your account if you've never used it before.  "GETIT" will have populated the article request form with all the necessary information and you simply submit the request elecrtonically.  Most articles are supplied as digital files and will be sent to you via e-mail when they arrive.

Contact Us

picture of Dr. Brian Saunders

Dr. Brian Saunders

Humanities Librarian
(607) 274-1198

Search Argos

Web Resources

Selected Web Sites

  • Story of Stuff Project: A 20-minute video on trash went viral in 2007 and spawned this support site in 2008.  Take a look at some of the other "Movies" available here.
  • Disposable Planet: Web site for a BBC series on whether the earth can sustain a globalized consumer society.
  • Center for a New American Dream: Anti-consumerism site.  Check the Articles and Videos under "Learn More" as well as the archive of news letters under "News."
  • Economic Policy Institute: A non-partisan economic think tank with a great deal of content available at their site.  See especially "Areas of Research" and "Publications."
  • Adbusters: A magazine agitating for a radical overthrow of the "commercial forces" that dominate our lives.  There's only a little access to the magazine here, but it's worth a look--and a keyword search may turn up links to interesting content elsewhere.

Citation Help

MLA Citation

MLA is the citation style used by most disciplines in the Humanities. Here is my guide to the latest (2016) update of the MLA style.