POLT 32000: Politics of U.S. Citizenship


This guide provides information sources useful for writing a self-reflective final paper addressing, "What does it mean to be an American?"   Student will be able to:
  • Access background information that provides an overview of citizenship
  • Access scholarly articles that probe theories of citizenship including ones that employ discuss autoethnograpy, a qualitative research method
  • Access primary sources in government and law particularly Congressional, Presidential, and Supreme Court documents
  • Access data from the U.S. Census that enumerates shifts in the American Population
  • Ask questions of librarians to find research that is on target to issues in the reflective paper

Qualitative Research

Use the following reading to comprehend what an autoethnography entails:

Ellis, Carolyn, Tony E. Adams, and Arthur P. Bochner. 2011. "Autoethnography: An Overview." Forum: Qualitative Social Research 12, no. 1: 1-18. SocINDEX with Full Text, EBSCOhost (accessed October 27, 2015). Autoethnography is an approach to research and writing that seeks to describe and systematically analyze personal experience in order to understand cultural experience. This approach challenges canonical ways of doing research and representing others and treatsresearch as a political, socially-just and socially-conscious act. A researcher uses tenets of autobiography and ethnography to do and write autoethnography. Thus, as a method,autoethnography is both process and product. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Beta Search:
immigration AND "qualitative research"
citizenship AND "qualitative research"

EBSCO search: 
autoethnography AND citizenship or politic*
SU qualitative research AND SU citizenship 


  • "Citizenship." International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. Ed. William A. Darity, Jr. 2nd ed. Vol. 1. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2008. 542-544. Gale Virtual Reference Library.  Defines citizenship: "membership in a polity" and the tension between inclusion/exclusion. Boundaries of inclusion/exclusion can involve class, gender and race.  Outlines: T. H. Marshall's 3 types of rights: Civil Rights (indvidual freedoms), Political Rights (active political participation), and Social Rights (welfare to engage in civil and political rights). Discusses Republican (Commutarian) Theory versus Liberal Theory.  Discusses multiculturalism and the emergence of group rights as well as transnationalism.
  • CQ Researcher
    Comprehensive reporting and analysis on current issues in the news. Each report includes an introductory overview; background and chronology on the topic; an assessment of the current situation; tables and maps; pro/con statements from representatives of opposing positions; and bibliographies of key sources.
  • Every CRS Report
    Congressional Research Service (CRS) provides background reports to Congress yet they were not distributed to government document collections. Citizens had to write their Congressional representatives to obtain copies.  This site collects those documents.
  • Government Accountability Office (GAO)
    The GAO investigates and reports on the use of government funds for Congress. Full text copies of the reports are available by searching the site.
  • Opposing Viewpoints in Context
    Opposing Viewpoints in Context covers today’s hottest social issues, from Offshore Drilling to Climate Change. This database helps students research, analyze, and organize a broad variety of data for conducting research, completing writing assignments, preparing for debates, creating presentations and more.

Find scholarly articles and news

Use the following library databases to find articles in periodicals, newspapers and scholarly journals
  • Beta Search:  Not sure where to begin? Try our Beta Search engine.  It searches across the library's catalog and most databases. 
  • EBSCO databases: you can combine a number of EBSCO databases together:
    Academic Search Premier , Alternative Press Index , America: History and Life , and SocINDEX with Full Text .  Click on "Choose databases" above the search box and check the ones you want. 
    Here is a sample search: SU immigration AND SU citizenship  (SU=subject; all results will have immigration AND citizenship in the article's subject fields)
  • Nexis Uni (replaces LexisNexis) Search LexisNexis for news or legal information (casescodes, law review artices). 
  • ProQuest Social Science Database  This is a basic database indexing an array of ariticles in the social sciences.
  • Ethnic NewsWatch
    Ethnic Newswatch is a full-text collection of the newspapers, magazines and journals of the ethnic, minority and native press. Contents include African American, Arab and Middle Eastern, Asian American, European, Jewish, and Native American publications, including the Spanish-language press.
  • GenderWatch
    GenderWatch is a full-text database containing 140 international publications plus reports, pamphlets, papers and conference proceedings devoted to women's and gender issues. It is a repository of materials on gender issues worldwide, the evolution of the women's movement, and the changes in gender roles over the last twenty years.
  • Alternative Press Index
    Index to articles in alternative news sources. Use to research topics that may not be well covered in the mainstream press; 1991 to current.
  • Black Newspapers
    Black Newspapers is a collection of current newspapers providing access to news from 1989 to the present,including Afro-American Red Star, Call & Post (A&I), Chicago Defender, Houston Post (A&I), Michigan Chronicle, Muslim Journal (A&I), New Journal & Guide (A&I), New York Amsterdam News, and the Los Angeles Sentinel.
  • PolicyArchive Indexes reports from a variety of think tanks.


These are a few titles on U.S. immigration policy that are available through Ebook Central (formerly ebrary) .

Census Data

  • American FactFinder
    Current population, housing, economic, and geographic data from the US Census Bureau.  Includes the Annual Survey of Manufactures, Economic Census, Current Population Estimates, Business Patterns, and American Community Surveys.  The Guided Search walks you through each step in picking the data and/or geographies you want to download.
  • Economic Census 2007 from U.S. Census Bureau
    The economic census provides a detailed portrait of the United States' economy once every five years, from the national to the local level. The 2007 Economic Census covers most of the U.S. economy in its basic collection of establishment statistics. There also are several related programs, including statistics on minority- and women-owned businesses. Censuses of agriculture and governments are conducted at the same time. Search by Geographic area and NAICS codes.
  • American Community Survey The American Community Survey (ACS) is an ongoing survey that provides vital information on a yearly basis about our nation and its people
  • Historical Census Browser
    Access to summary level demographic, economic, and social data collected by the U.S. Census from 1790 to 1960. Database generates longitudinal tables and maps. Topics covered: population, education, ethnicity, economy, slave population, and place of birth.
  • Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR)
    Organization of academic and research organizations that maintains a data repository.  Offers reports and statistics across cultures, internationally, arranged by themes such as aging, demographics and race. Some data is for members only.
  • National Historical Geographic Information System (NHGIS)
    NHGIS provides, free of charge, aggregate census data and GIS-compatible boundary files for the United States between 1790 and 2010. The NHGIS Data Finder (which requires free registration) provides access to aggregate census data via an easy-to-use web based interface.
  • U.S. Census Bureau
    Social, demographic and economic information. Includes the American FactFinder resource.

Government Documents

All branches: FDsys (GPO's Federal Digital System)
The Government Printing Office's (GPO) Federal Digital System (FDsys) provides public access to government information submitted by Congress and Federal agencies. Search or browse  for documents and publications.  Use the Advance Search form to search by date or specific publication title (Congressional Record, Code of Federal Regulations, Federal Register, Bills, Hearings, the United States Code, etc.). Fulltext primary source documents are available in both PDF (downloadable) and XML formats.

Congressional Presidential Judicial / Legal

Public Opinion, Influence and Think Tanks

Public Opinion and Data:
  • Polling the Nations
    A compilation of public opinion surveys, containing the full text of questions and responses from 14,000 surveys from 1986 to the present in the United States and more than 80 other countries. Each record includes the polling organization responsible for the poll, the sample size and the date the poll was released.
  • Pew Center on the States
    Policy solutions for state governments from the Pew Charitable Trusts.
  • Polling the Nations
    A compilation of public opinion surveys, containing the full text of questions and responses from 14,000 surveys from 1986 to the present in the United States and more than 80 other countries. Each record includes the polling organization responsible for the poll, the sample size and the date the poll was released.
  • Marist Poll
    The Marist Institute for Public Opinion (MIPO) is a survey research center at Marist college in Pougkeepsie, New York.
  • Quinnipiac University : Polls : NY State
    Polling data for NY.
  • Siena Research Institute
    Survey institute founded in 1980 at Siena College, New York. In addition to national and state-wide polls, SRI conducts the Siena New York Poll that focuses on New York voter's sentiments.
Political Influence: Political Blogs:
  • Newstex Government and Politics Blogs
    A LexisNexis file of blogs by politicians, United States agencies, and some additional political blogs by individuals.
  • Daily Kos
    Progressive community blog.
  • Drudge Report
    Aggregated news feeds from Matt Drudge. Some original reporting. Considered conservative leaning.
  • Huffington Post
    Edgy leftist blog founded by Arianna Huffington.
  • Nation : Blogs
    The Nation magazine\'s blog site. Includes: Campaign 08, Editor\'s Cut, The Beat, Actnow!, The Dreyfuss Report, Capitolism, The Notion, And Another Thing.  Liberal perspecitve.
  • National Review : Blog Row
    National Review magazine's Blog Row includes: Bench Memos, Campain Spot, The Corner, Frum, Kudlow, Liberal Fascism, Media Blog, Phi Beta Cons, Planet Gore, Pryce-Jones, and Tank.  Default is to The Corner. Conservative perspective.
  • Politico
    Online magazine with blogs covering American politics.
  • Talking Points Memo (TPM)
    Josh Marshall's political blog.
  • TNR Blogs
    The New Republic: A Journal of Politics and the Art magazine (TNR) hosts the following blogs: The Plank, The Stump, The Spine, The Flack, and The Vine.
  • Weekly Standard : The Blog
    The Weekly Standard, a conservative news magazine, includes a blog, "Today's Standard."
Think Tanks and Organizations:
List of Think Tanks (Wikipedia)
An international listing by country of think tanks. For the United States, there is also a list by political or economic leanings. 
  • Annenberg Public Policy Center
    University of Pennsylvania public policy center that provides expert analysis on political communication, information & society, media & children, health communication, and adolescent risk.
  • Aspen Institute
    Public policy institute that promotes values-based leadership.
  • Bill of Rights Institute
    The Bill of Rights Institute provides resources for educating the public about founding documents
  • Brennan Center for Justice (NYU)
    New York University School of Law. Think tank that addresses problems of democracy and justice. Site covers the following issue areas: Access to Justice; Campaign Finance Reform; Courts &Government; Immigrant Rights; Liberty & National Security; Criminal Justice Reform; Voting Rights &Elections; and Wages, Jobs &Economy.
  • Brookings Institution
    Public policy think tank that supports research in a wide array of areas including: education, Asian policy, children, socio-economics, health care, Middle East policy, taxation, etc.
  • Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
    Think tank founded in 1910 that promotes peace between nations. Maintains programs on: China, Democracy & the Rule of Law, the Middle East, Nonproliferation, Russia &Eurasia, South Asia, & Trade, Equity & Development.
  • CATO Institute
    Libertarian think tank founded in 1977 that provide research in the following areas: Bioethics, Education &Child Policy, Government &Politics, Immigration &Labor, Law &Civil Liberties, Regulatory Studies, National Security &Foreign Policy, Budget &Tax Policy, Energy &Environment, Health &Welfare, International Economics, Political Philosophy, and Telecom, Internet & Information Policy.
  • Center for a New American Security (CNAS)
    Think tank on national security policy.
  • Center for Policy Research (Syracuse University)
    Collection of essays on current public policy issues in aging, health, income security, metropolitan studies and related research.
  • Council on Foreign Relations
    Foreign policy think tank. Publishes the journal Foreign Affairs.
  • Guttmacher Institute
    Public policy institute focused on advancement of women's sexual and reproductive health through research, education, and policy changes.  Subjects include Abortion, Contraception, Pregnancy and more.
  • Harvard Kennedy School
    Public policy research from Harvard. Information can be accessed under the Research & Publications tab.
  • Heritage Foundation
  • Institute for Policy Studies
    Founded in 1963, IPS is a progressive think tank dedicated to social justice.
  • Kids Count Data Center
    From the Annie E. Casey Foundation, use this resource to access data on child well-being in the the United States.
  • National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA)
    Nonpartisan policy research organization that advocates for alternatives to government regulation in favor of self-regulation of the private sector.
  • Program on Corporations, Law & Democracy (POCLAD)
    Group of eleven citizens that questions the authority of corporations to govern through writing, legal research, public speaking, etc.
  • PolicyArchive
    Digital library of public policy research with more than 12,000 policy documents from about 220 think tanks and research groups.
  • RAND Corporation
    Think tank that publishes reports in the following issue areas: Arts, Child Policy, Civil Justice, Education, Energy &Environment, Health &Health Care, International Affairs, National Security, Population & Aging, Public Safety, Science &Technology, Substance Abuse, Terrorism &Homeland Security, Transportation & Infrastructure, &Workforce &Workplace.
  • Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)
    Site includes the following databases: Facts on International Relations and Security Trends; Multilateral Peace Operations; Data on Military Expenditure; Data on Arms Transfers; Data on Arms Production; Database on National Export Control Systems
  • Transgender Law & Policy Institute
    Contains an up-to-date listing of all laws in the US that are transgender-inclusive and resources and information on legal issues affecting transgendered and gender variant people in the US.
  • U.S. PIRG
    A federation of state Public Interest Research Groups that advocates for the American public on a variety of issue areas: product safety, toxins, health care, transportation, politics, media, taxes, higher education, etc.
  • Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law
    Based at the UCLA School of Law, the Williams Institute provides law and public policy guidance in the field of sexual orientation through research and scholarship.

Contact Us

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Social Sciences Librarian
(607) 274-1961
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Communications Librarian
(607) 274-1293

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Chicago Manual of Style

The library has two copies of the Chicago Manual of Style (16th ed.) available for use within the library.

There are several online guides to the Chicago Manual of Style: For further assistance, use this form to make an appoinment with the Ithaca College Writing Center

What is Zotero?

Zotero is software that allows you to easily collect, manage, and save bibliographic information about the items you find on the Web. It also works with word processing programs to help you easily cite your sources as you write. You can download Zotero from the Zotero website.

Ron Gilmour, our Science Librarian, created, "A Brief Guide to Using Zotero"

Select Journals

Consider signing up for email alerts that cover Washington:
  • National Journal  Covers the Executive Office and Congress.
  • CQ Magazine
    Weekly info on Congress: reports on upcoming issues, wrap up of news, status of bills, behind-the-scenes action, committee and floor activity, debates and all roll-call votes.
  • Foreign Affairs (by the Council of Foreign Relations)
  • SCOTUSBlog
    Supreme Court of the United States blog.
  • Washington Post
    Current edition. See also the Proquest Historical Newspapers database and Lexis-Nexis database to search historical and recent issues of this newspaper.


Country Guides

  • CIA World Factbook
    Provides basic history of all countries  - includes maps, population, history, politics, economics, education, communications, transportation and military data.
  • BBC News: Country Profiles
    Full profiles provide an instant guide to history, politics and economic background of countries and territories, and background on key institutions. They also include audio or video clips from BBC archives. Contain information on the different types of press available in the country.
  • Country Reports
    Cultural, historical, and statistical information for countries.

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