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PSYC/AFAM 589, Psychology of Hip Hop

Words matter

Discover how two scholars advocated to get the official spelling changed.

Iglesias, T., & Harris, T. (2022). It's "Hip Hop," Not "hip-hop". The Journal of Hip Hop Studies, 9(1), 124-125.

Hip Hop Spelling Official Statement. (2022). The Journal of Hip Hop Studies, 9(1), 126.

Email Exchange between Tasha Iglesias and American Psychological Association and Merriam-Webster. (2022). The Journal of Hip Hop Studies, 9(1), 127-128.


Brainstorm terms for key concepts

hip hop        lyrics             pedagog*              identity    
hip-hop        poetry           learning                self-perception
hiphop        poetic*           teaching               self-esteem
rap                                      student                 self-concept
                                            achievement         self-expression


Build a search

OR        use on the same search line/in same search box for synonyms or related words

AND     between search lines or boxes, narrows a search

*           wildcard for different word endings   psycholog* finds psychology, psychological

"  "       search for phrases

Are words consistently used as subject words?  Focus your results by having the database look only there.

Where to search

The class is the Psychology of Hip Hop, so the major psychology database is an obvious choice.  PsycInfo also has a Methodology filter you can use to limit your results to empirical studies.

Depending on your topic, there could be additional databases, but without the same filters.  Strategies to make sure an article is reporting an empirical study

  • limit to peer-reviewed, or scholarly and scan the abstract looking for clues
  • try searching with words that someone might use in the abstract describing the methodology (terms are not exhaustive)
    • empirical OR qualitative OR quantitative OR "action research" OR "case study" OR "controlled trial" OR "focus group"  OR findings OR participant* OR investigat*

Find It@USC leads you to lots of different types of resources.  Among them:  articles, book chapters, books, dissertations, and reference entries for background (use the Resource Type filter to drill down).  Find It is also your go-to place when you wonder if the library has something.  First step, type in the title of the article, book, etc. If it's not found and is an article or chapter, search to see if we have the journal or book that it is in.  Make an interlibrary loan request to get materials we don't have.