To find background sources, the best strategy is to look at encyclopedias, handbooks, dictionaries, and books. This strategy applies to library catalogs and databases that contain "reference collections".
Here is how you can locate these materials:
First and foremost, build a list of related words (synonyms vs antonyms; broad vs narrow terms). For example, Fictional Characters (Fantasy, superheroes, etc.) and words like social (influence, impact, emotional investment, etc.)
Always use Advanced Search so you can build a specific strategy, using AND, OR, NOT, and specific fields:
For example: [Subject] contains Fictional Characters AND [Subject] contains Social Impact
OR [Any field] contains (specific character name) AND [Subject] contains (criticism, analysis, etc.)
Here are some sample results from our library catalog, based on the strategies above:
From the library catalog
Characters in Fictional Worlds by Jens Eder (Editor); Fotis Jannidis (Editor); Ralf Schneider (Editor)The volume Regeln der Bedeutung ('Rules of meaning') marks the launch of REVISIONEN, a projected series of some eight volumes on basic concepts of literary theory. The series aims to reflect on central concepts of literary studies which have become questionable or problematic in the course of recent debates and to open up new perspectives on them in order to make them available for research in a new manner. Such concepts include, for example, 'meaning', 'literature', 'interpretation'. The series takes an interdisciplinary approach, drawing not only on literary theory but also on art history, music, philosophy, linguistics, and psychology.
Call Number: Online
Publication Date: 2010-11-16
Screening Characters by Johannes Riis (Editor); Aaron Taylor (Editor)Characters are central to our experiences of screened fictions and invite a host of questions. The contributors to Screening Characters draw on archival material, interviews, philosophical inquiry, and conceptual analysis in order to give new, thought-provoking answers to these queries. Providing multifaceted accounts of the nature of screen characters, contributions are organized around a series of important subjects, including issues of class, race, ethics, and generic types as they are encountered in moving image media. These topics, in turn, are personified by such memorable figures as Cary Grant, Jon Hamm, Audrey Hepburn, and Seul-gi Kim, in addition to avatars, online personalities, animated characters, and the ensembles of shows such as The Sopranos, Mad Men, and Breaking Bad.
Call Number: Online
Publication Date: 2019-03-06
The Sociology of Disaster by Thomas E. DrabekIn a book as illuminating as it is captivating, Thomas E. Drabek presents an in-depth analysis of the emotional impacts of disaster events and the many ripple effects that follow.　 Through the technique of storytelling, a series of nine fictional stories where characters experience actual disasters of different types throughout the United States illustrate the vulnerabilities and resilience to enhance the readers understanding of disaster consequences. Designed for classroom use, each story is followed by an "Analysis" section wherein discussion and research paper topics are recommended. These highlight links to published research findings. A "References" section details citations for all works included. Brief commentary in a "Notes" section adds further connections to other disasters and relevant research studies. The Sociology of Disaster is an important innovation in disaster education and will become an invaluable resource within universities and colleges that offer degrees in emergency management at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
These sources are more likely to be journals, specialized books, databases that contain data sets. To find them, you need to think about the type of information you need and ask yourself:
Who might publish that information? For example, datasets on conflict are typically collected by organizations that have an interest in collecting this information: for example, the united nations, international organizations, gallop reports, etc.
What type of exhibit? Are you looking at historical data? current data? How long of a set? Are you needing surveys?
Where would this data be published? reports (by for-profit), gallop surveys (by governments or a non-profit), statistical publications (typically by organizations)? Original research (typically in journal articles)?