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Lloyd Sealy Library
John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Ethnic Studies: Multicultural America

Know What You Need

Think about:

State your topic in one sentence.  This helps you identify keywords/phrases that describe your topic.

How many pages do you need to fulfill your assignment?  Knowing how many pages you need to write helps pinpoint just how much information you will need.

How many and what kind of sources are required?  Knowing how many and what type of sources you need helps you choose a database and limit to the sources you need whether it be scholarly journals, books, newspapers, and/or statistics.

Selected Readings on Ethnic Studies

Ethnic studies is not without controversy in the history, as well as the whos, whats, wheres and hows of the discipline. Please consult these readings for a better understanding.

Ben-Rafael, E., & Sternberg, Y. (2015). Sociology of ethnicity. In J.D. Wright, International encyclopedia of the social & behavioral sciences (2nd ed., pp. 157-161), Elsevier.

Bös, M. (2015). Ethnicity and ethnic groups: Historical aspects. In J. D. Wright, International encyclopedia of the social & behavioral sciences (2nd ed., pp. 136-141), Elsevier.

Cabrera, N. L. (2019) Ethnic studies in an age of expansion: An introductionEquity & Excellence in Education, 52(2-3), pp.151-153.

Collins, P. H. & Solomos, J. (2010). The SAGE handbook of race and ethnic studies. SAGE Publications Ltd.

Jenkins, R. (2015). Anthropological aspects of ethnicityIn J. D. Wright, International encyclopedia of the social & behavioral sciences (2nd ed., pp. 148-151), Elsevier.

Ramírez, C.S. (2014). Learning and unlearning from ethnic studies. American Quarterly 66(4), 1057-1069.

Sleeter, C. E. (2011). The Academic and Social Value of Ethnic Studies: A Research Review. National Education Association.

Sleeter, C., & Acosta, C. (2013). Ethnic Studies in the United States. Oxford bibliographies in education. Oxford University Press.

Spickard, P. (2013). Ethnicity. Oxford bibliographies in sociology. Oxford University Press.

Yang, P. (2014). Ethnic studies. In C. E. Cortés & J. E. Sloan (Eds.), Multicultural America: A multimedia encyclopedia (Vol. 2, pp. 818-825). SAGE Reference.


Special Issue on the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Founding of Ethnic Studies: special issue of Ethnic Studies Review including Harvey Dong's "Ethnic Studies on its Fiftieth Anniversary: Roots, Challenges, and Critical Dialogues for the Future,"  Francisco Hernandez's "Ethnic Studies Fifty Years Later: Activism, Struggles, and Lessons," Victoria Wong's "Cultural/Political Activism and Ethnic Studies (1969-2019)," and Xamuel Banales and Leece Lee-Oliver's "Guest Editors' Introduction: Fifty Years of Ethnic Studies: Foundations, Challenges, and Opportunities."


Issues to Explore


If you are exploring ethnic studies or multicultural America, here are some issues you may wish to explore:


Focus on a Specific Cultural/Religious/Ethnic/Racial Group

Dominant Culture 

Relationship of Cultural/Religious/Ethnic/Racial Group to Dominant Culture or Power Structure



Acculturation and/or Assimilation

Integration and/or Segregation












Holiday, Ceremony, Ritual



Cuisine/Food Culture

Cultural Practices 


Core Journals

Browse through recent and archived articles from key journals in the field to gain an understanding of issues addressed as well as help you brainstorm for topic ideas.

Journal of the Critical Ethnic Studies Association

This journal of the Critical Ethnic Studies Association is published to promote multiple ideological conversations and is committed to providing a space for insurgent critique within ethnic studies. Centered on interdisciplinary scholarship and repositioning the guiding assumptions of these fields to provide new methodologies, philosophies, and discoveries. This journal strives to treat "categories such as race, class, gender, and sexuality not as additive modes of identity, oppression, or discrimination, but rather as constitutive, as robust analytics for critically apprehending and theorizing alternatives."

Ethnic and Racial Studies

Ethnic and Racial Studies publishes articles that focus on the role of race, racism, ethnicity, migration and forms of ethno-nationalism. With a global orientation, this journal seeks "to provide an interdisciplinary academic forum for the presentation of research and theoretical analysis, drawing particularly on sociology, social policy, anthropology, political science, international relations, geography, history, social psychology and cultural studies."

Journal of American Ethnic History

As the official journal of the Immigration & Ethnic History Society, the focus is "various aspects of North American immigration history and American ethnic history, including background of emigration, ethnic and racial groups, Native Americans, race and ethnic relations, immigration policies, and the processes of incorporation, integration, and acculturation."

Ethnic Studies Review

Ethnic Studies Review (ESR) is a peer-reviewed, multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary journal committed to ethnic studies and includes articles on topics related to social movements, migration, media and communication, and issues of importance to disparate communities.

Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies

The Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (JEMS) presents academic research on migration and its consequences, ethnic conflict, discrimination, racism, nationalism, citizenship and policies of integration. Published articles are peer reviewed and present original empirical research that makes a clear contribution to the field of migration.

Race and Class

Race and Class is a journal on racism and imperialism in the global context. With a multidisciplinary approach, Race & Class is a fully peer reviewed journal containing contributions from scientists, artists, novelists, journalists, politicians and black and Third World activists and scholars.