Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

9780198201571_450

Solidarity: an art worth learning

Can solidarity exist? Or is it just a fantasy, a pious dream of the soft of heart and weak of brain? Gross inequality, greed and prejudice: these manifestations of selfishness which stalk our world may seem to invite our condemnation and to call for an alternative – but what if they are part of the natural order?

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9780198739036

Bodies of breath, bodies of knowledge, and bodies of culture

Towards the end of his lecture on ‘techniques of the body’, delivered to a meeting of the Société Française de Psychologie in 1934, the sociologist and anthropologist Marcel Mauss discussed the methods of breathing practiced by Daoist priests and Yogic mystics. Far from being instinctive, these techniques require a lengthy apprenticeship.

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9780199948901

No time to think

On leaving school, my advisor reminded me to always take time to think. That seemed like a reasonable suggestion, as I trudged off to teach, write, and, of course, think. But the modern academy doesn’t share this value; faculty are increasingly prodded to “produce” more articles, more presentations, more grant applications, and more PhD students.

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The Journals of Gerontology

Does providing care for a grandchild impact volunteerism?

Grandparents provide a significant amount of care for grandchildren in the United States. Some grandparents provide occasional care, others provide daycare while the grandchild’s parents are at work, and others are fully raising their grandchildren.

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9780199463589

The art of conversation

On 28 November 2015, I had a reading and panel discussion at Médiathèque André Malraux, a library and media centre in Strasbourg, the main city of the Alsace region of France, adjoining Germany, traditionally one of the Christmas capitals of the continent, and currently the site of the European Parliament.

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JAAR

Mythology redux: The Force Awakens once again

For some time now, I have been among those who have argued that the fandom associated with the Star Wars franchise is akin to a religion. There are those who will quarrel with the word choice, but it is hard to gainsay the dedication of fans to the original films

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Migration cover blog

Getting rid of Schrödinger’s immigrant

One of the best jokes circulating on social media today is a bogus announcement that Donald Trump is warning Americans about ‘Schrödinger’s immigrant’: a foreigner who lazes around on benefits while simultaneously stealing your job. A UK version of the gag circulated during the recent general election, also playing on the famous quantum physics paradox, in which a single particle that exists simultaneously in two opposite states theoretically causes a cat in a sealed box to be both dead and alive at the same time.

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9780199012060

The reality of DUI prevention laws [infographic]

Do DUI prevention laws actually deter driving under the influence? Authors Lorne Tepperman and Nicole Meredith argue that punishments like fines, imprisonment, and license suspension are not as effective as we like to think. They have found that people are more likely to be changed by constructive influences (e.g., alcohol counseling) and social taboos than they are by threats of punishment.

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Waiting to Happen

Rethinking the “accidents will happen” mentality

Canadians have a vast lexicon of phrases they use to diminish accidents and their negative consequences. We acknowledge that “accidents will happen,” and remind ourselves that there’s “no use crying over spilled milk.” In fact, we’ve become so good at minimizing these seemingly random, unpredictable incidents that they now seem commonplace: we tend to view accidents as normal, everyday occurrences that everyone will inevitably experience at some point.

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SOCPRO_blog

HIV/AIDS: Ecological losses are infecting women

As we celebrate the 27th annual World AIDS Day, it is encouraging to note the most recent trends of worldwide reductions in new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths. However, the gains charted against the “disease that changed everything” are not equally distributed. In fact, the HIV/AIDS crisis has markedly widened gaps of inequality in health and well-being the world over.

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Social Work

The hijab can be a feminist act

Feminism and Islam are rarely considered to be complimentary to each other or even capable of coexisting. A mere cursory glance of any major media outlet and one can find endless articles, newscasts, and videos of radical Islam waging war against the West and systematically oppressing women. The image of the veiled Muslim woman has become emblematic of the patriarchal control Islam seems to yield unrelentingly over female followers of the faith.

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PP&AR

When aging policies can’t keep up with aging families

The very look and feel of families today is undergoing profound changes. Are public policies keeping up with the shifting definitions of “family”? Moreover, as the population ages within these new family dynamics, how will families give or receive elder care? Below, we highlight just a few social changes that are affecting the experiences of aging families.

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Journal of Consumer Research

Consumer reactions to attractive service providers

Imagine that you are going to buy a health care product. You see a highly attractive salesperson. What would be your reaction? Would you feel very happy? Would you spend more time interacting with the salesperson and be more likely to buy his/her products?

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9780199272334 oso

Cars – are they a species?

The Edwardian seer and futurologist, H. G. Wells, wondered whether aircrafts would ever be used commercially. He did the calculations and found that, yes, an airplane could be built and, yes, it would fly, but he proclaimed this would never be commercial.

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